Want to game Google’s ranking system? Try internal links.
Optimizing the SEO value of your content feels like trying to complete a puzzle. You need to find out where certain pieces fit, such as authoritative language, article length, and links, in order to make the whole thing work.
Linking, in particular, gives strength to the SEO ranking of content on sites such as Google and Yahoo.
Internal links increase the amount of time users spend on your site and add authority to the work you’ve written. As such, they’re perhaps the most vital SEO element you can leverage.
What’s the best way to include internal links in your content? Through a combination of keyword optimization, strong anchor text, and natural integration, you can climb your way to the top of the SERP in no time.
1. Establish a Link Structure
The internal links you have at your disposal include:
- Navigation menus in the header, footer, and sidebar
- Links peppered throughout your articles and posts
It’s worth noting that, while images can and should link out to their media files, you shouldn’t rely upon .pngs or .jpgs to raise your ranking.
To optimize your use of internal links, you’ll need to determine which pages on your website will serve as primary destination links. What other pages on your website contribute valuable information to the subject matter of your content?
Integrating navigational links into this structure is a straightforward process. These links carry users from one page to another throughout your website, and are therefore crucial to your site’s functionality. As a perk, they cause users to stick around for longer, and your search engine results page ranking will rise.
2. Build Compelling Anchor Text
To effectively place internal links in your content, you’ll need compelling anchor text. This anchor text should include the destination article’s keyword, and that calls for some research.
For example, say your primary article discusses SEO integration on YouTube. In this article, you want to link to another post on your website that discusses the evolution of Google’s SEO algorithms.
The keywords you should integrate into that link’s anchor text will include head keywords, or keywords that are used in millions of searches daily. Long tail keywords, on the other hand, take up a lot of content space, even though they’re more specific.
Therefore, when making anchor text for an internal link discussing Google’s SEO algorithms, it could say something like this: “In August 2018, Google detailed a broad core algorithm update that changed the way SEO factors like keywords and links ranked web pages.”
3. Integrate Internal Links Naturally
Once you have your anchor text, provide it with relevant context. While you can leave some internal links hanging, Google’s algorithms respond better to well-integrated linkage. This boosts your web page’s rating in the SERP.
For example, in your article about SEO on YouTube, the paragraph leading up to your anchor text could discuss SEO’s changing value and the constant need for innovation in the field.
When a user can’t spot your internal links without the help of a hyperlink’s underline, you’ll know that you’ve successfully mastered the art of natural internal link integration.