Today, we are living in the era of Panda where many blogs and websites are “scared” of being smashed by this nasty Google algorithm. Webmasters are aware of the latest Google algorithms and every tip is welcomed for saving “their world.”
For that reason, today I’ll present one of the most effective on-page strategy that somehow is underestimated by people who are running blogs, but tend to have high rankings in the Search Engines.
And not just that, but Google loves this strategy because it helps for much better user experience and search engines are all about that: satisfied and returning users who will find the right answers for their problems or any other information they searching for.
I’m representing utility interlinking or internal linking.
What is interlinking?
Interlinking is the procedure of making links within a blog or a website. The other way of linking is inbound linking which means external sources are linking to your website. In this article we are talking about links that connect two pages of a same website.
Here is a simple example of making internal link as a part of my SEO strategy. I have just made a link to another page of this blog and navigate crawlers as well as users to that page.
How many types of internal links are there?
There are several types of internal links like navigation, sidebar, footer links, related posts links, and the most powerful – contextual links. If you want to give a boost to your posts or product pages, than using contextual links (within text body) will be perfect choice. Don’t link posts in navigation bar, or make footer links. These areas are used to link to other pages like about, contact etc.
What is the positive effect of interlinking?
Interlinks have several benefits as follows:
- Increase average visit duration
- Lowering bounce rate
- Increase the number of page visits
- Give a vote for the page linking to
Yes, interlinks if used smart can create better user experience and boost site ranking in Search Engines. However, be aware of excessive interlinks as that look spammy in the eyes of search engines.
Best practice is to use at most one link on every 100 words. So for 600 word article, the perfect number will be 4-6 links to other (different) pages. It will be useless if you link the same page several times because only the first link counts. And not just that but having heavy ship that firing harpoons is something that Google does not prefer. So try to link different related pages to the topic.
Interlink smart, not hard
When someone visit a page, it means that he is interested in the page content and if he find it useful, or the content pays his attention at the beginning, the user won’t close the page and will continue reading. Yes, in this case he is interested in what he’s reading so why don’t you give him additional info and navigate through other related topics? Yes the latest one covers the smarter part of interlinking strategy.
If you have categorized blog, try to interlink only those pages within one category. This is called siloing your theme or simple silos.
Let’s take a simple example. Consider you are having a dental implants blog.
So reasonable categories would be dental implants problems, dental implants procedure, mini dental implants, dental bridge and one or two others at max.
Articles within dental implants procedure should be linked each other and if you want to link to another category post, include rel=”nofollow” tag to differentiate your theme.
Google loves this. If you structure you blog on this way, you will gain high authority in a short period of time, as you will be considered as an authority in your niche because of your themed strategy. I’m not going into Google patents about internal links but it is reasonable because of several things:
- You have a link to related category post, so a user interested in the article he’s reading at the moment, will probably be interested in the link you’re suggesting to click on. On this way, the average page visits are increased because he follows more than one page.
- He is staying more time on your page, so you are lowering bounce rate. REMEMBER, high Bounce rate is strong indicator that your blog sucks and thus you’re eating a penalty i.e. your page does not have the needed quality to be on the top of Google rankings.
- If previous two were not enough, than what about voting for linked page? Yes internal links are not same (in terms of quality) as inbound links, but they will surely help your pages to boost their rankings as every page has it’s own page rank and trust and with sending links, the page gives from its rank to linked page.
Internal linking is a valuable piece of your SEO strategy. Review your pages, make categorization and start to interlink related pages. Google loves internal linking, so don’t waste your time before next page rank update and start with this task today. The last sentence is a little hint about my next article ;)