This is a guest post by Charles Dearing.
Almost every single webmaster needs to think about how to optimize everything in order to get the perfect SEO results. The most basic methods are well-known and it certainly seems that most webmasters have already managed to understand them. However, things can always be improved and one method, internal linking, isn't getting as much attention as it should when it comes to SEO optimization. The thing is, internal linking is not complicated by any means – it just seems to be a bit overlooked. Hopefully, this article will be able to push those knowledge horizons a bit further.
The essence of internal linking is simple – what you want to do is to give your domain a clear and concise structure. At first glance, that might look like a very natural goal – however, there would be no need to spend any time on it without the existence of search engines. Yes, that is right – getting internal linking right will make your website better and visitors will be able to find their way around more easily, but the main goal is to allow the various search engines index your webpage in a better way and to give your domain a better “ranking”. Basically, having your domain linked internally will allow the indexing machine to see a clear way through your entire domain – and, if it is clear enough, it will be able to see that your site is indeed very valuable and that it indeed deserves to be at the top of the search results.
However, internal linking is not actually that simple as it might seem, especially if you want to get the best possible results. The number one thing that you should know is that the actual structure can make a difference – and the ideal structure looks like a pyramid (and it is most easily made by dividing everything into categories and subcategories). The point is to have the smallest possible amount of links between the homepage and the individual lesser pages. That way, the link power will be distributed throughout the entire domain, improving the rankings of the individual pages in the process.
The Subtleties of Internal Linking
With all of that out of the way, it's time to take a look at some of the subtleties of internal linking. First of all, take care to stay away from the footer area of your websites. Don’t get this wrong – you can use it, but you most certainly should not try to abuse it with unnecessary internal links. Not only will that bring zero value to your readers, it is also quite likely that the crawler is going to discover your intentions. And, on top of that, you are also going to decrease the value of your legitimate internal links.
Secondly, choose the keywords for your anchor texts carefully and keep the basic rules of SEO in mind. Yes, what applies to the most basic and simple SEO techniques applies in the case of internal linking as well. However, try to implement everything in a way that is as organic as possible – do not scare your readers away by choosing clumsy keywords.
Finally, don’t think that you will be able to trick the search engines into giving you a high rank by forcing the issue and trying to put an internal link with your main keywords wherever possible. Not only will the visitors of your webpages think that you’ve gone completely mad, the search engines might also easily discover your intentions and even penalize you for using such measures.
Make Your Work Count!
As you can see, internal linking is not a mysterious topic by any means. And, once you manage to get into it, you will be able to see how straightforward everything is. For now, internal linking is one of those less known strategies that can give you a nice edge over the rest of the competition – and that is certainly a very good reason for doing it. And even if you believe that there is no need for it just yet, we can guarantee that it will soon become a regular weapon in everyone’s arsenal and you will have to implement it in order to keep up with everything. The bottom line is that internal linking is here to stay – and you should start using it as soon as possible!
About the author
Charles Dearing has worked extensively in the web development and SEO industry and writes for SEO Positive ltd. He is also an avid blogger and he enjoys sharing his insights on various online publications.