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Internal links are an important tool in your SEO strategy. They help not only in the performance of your blog, but also in the user experience.
Generating qualified traffic is a very important part of any digital marketing strategy. In addition to attracting the right people, you need to do this on a large scale in order to gain authority, generate leads and ultimately close sales.
Among the many strategies that are available to attract the attention of the ideal client, the number of companies that invest for real internal links. The reason for this is simple: they don’t know what they’re missing!
Internal linking has a fundamental role in the performance of a website, both in search engines and in the eyes of users.
Want to learn how to make better use of this feature and achieve great results? So, let’s go!
In this article you will see:
- what are internal links;
- why internal links are relevant to your position on Google;
- main reasons for taking your site’s internal link seriously;
- how to do a complete audit of your internal links;
- 7 internal linking tactics that will boost your results.
Understand what internal links are
Internal links are those that point to another page on the same site. For example, you can find in this post several links to other articles here on the blog.
As all of these links are on the same domain (the Websites Are Us blog), they are all internal links.
But if I link to a Wikipedia page, for example, the link in question would already be outside the domain of WAU and would therefore be an external link.
In fact, link building is usually in the spotlight when it comes to ranking on Google.
However, now let’s see why you also need to pay attention to internal linking.
Why internal links are relevant to your position on Google
Yes, the Internal linking to a website can radically change its position on search pages.
There are real cases where a page has skipped many positions in the search engine ranking with nothing more than a change of strategy in the internal links.
I’m talking about very expressive changes, such as:
This reveals two vital truths:
- O Google values the way you distribute links of the pages themselves internally.
- O seeker rewards those who have a real and active strategy instead of simply placing an internal link or another from time to time.
But why does Google give so much importance to internal links?
First, the way the search engine “scans” the web for content. To always offer users the best results for their searches, Google never stops scouring the internet for new and updated content you may consider relevant on any possible topic.
To do this scan, Google uses robots, called spiders, that begin by analyzing some pages.
Then, they follow the links on those pages to expand their search and analyze the pages to which the links point.
Spiders repeat this process millions of times until they are able to evaluate a huge amount of content across the web.
So, in summary, the links are vital for Google to continue finding the best content and offering good results to users quickly.
That reason alone should make you keep your eyes open as to the internal link on your site. But there are at least 3 more reasons to do this.
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Top reasons to take your site’s internal link seriously
If you had no idea that you need to pay attention to internal links as a way to leverage the digital presence of your business, you are not alone.
A lot of people invest most of their time and money in other actions to increase their positioning on Google and increase organic traffic.
Taking into account the amount of existing practices to optimize Google’s more than 200 ranking factors, this is normal.
But here are 3 important reasons to take the creation of a well-structured internal link strategy for your site seriously.
Improve the user experience
The first reason to link your content in a planned way is because it contributes to a more complete user experience and it takes more value than you have to offer.
For example, in this complete guide you will find several links to other content that complement the subject and cover your knowledge about the importance of the subject.
Without them, the value of this post would be considerably less for any reader, because even if he / she wanted to know more, he / she would need to search again until he / she found additional material.
And think about it: how difficult is it to include contextual links on your internal pages and blog posts? It is something simple, fast and that greatly increases the value of your website in the eyes of the user.
Drive new and strategic content
You must agree with me that there are some strategic content for your company’s success. These need to be treated in a special way when it comes to disclosure and ranking – and one of the simplest and most practical ways to boost content is through internal linking.
Just you choose some blog posts or specific navigation points – like the main menu or the sidebar – to place the link, perhaps even with a CTA.
In addition, when you link to new and newly launched content, it gets indexed more quickly by Google, which increases the chances of receiving a high ranking on SERPs.
Move potential customers through the purchase journey
Finally, we cannot leave out the fact that the good choice of your internal links also helps move your leads through the shopping journey. How?
For example, a company that wants to generate inbound leads could create a series of blog posts on the same general topic, all aimed at the top of the funnel.
Then, just put a link in each post to an e-book that delves into the subject of interest to the persona.
Another option is include links in funnel media content with calls to chat with a consultant or ask for a quote. In this case, the destination link should be a contact page.
How to do a complete audit of your internal links
Before taking action and trying to link to your most important content on every page of your website or blog, you need to step back and prepare well.
Don’t forget that the Google privileges those who have a strategy, not those who link without any sense of purpose.
Therefore, you need to do an audit of your internal links, that is, to know the situation of your site in this aspect.
Only after that will you be able to adjust what is wrong according to best practices.
A good way to make a audit of your internal links is for using Ahrefs, one of the most used and respected SEO tools in the world.
The Site Audit tool offers a complete overview of all the SEO problems that your site may have, but, specifically speaking about internal links, it is worth focusing on the analysis of:
- incoming links: finds orphaned pages (without links) and problems with nofollow links;
- outgoing links: detects links to redirects and broken links.
Another complete option for auditing your internal links is with the SEMRush tool called Internal Linking Report. It contains a section with only errors and internal linking problems, as well as clear instructions on how to resolve the problem.
7 internal linking tactics that will boost your results
After doing the full audit with quality tools, it’s likely that you’ve already fixed many internal link errors on your site, which is great.
But there are still some tactics that can benefit (and greatly) the performance of your pages on search engines.
Here are 7 actions you must take to boost your results and conquer the long-awaited organic traffic to increase business opportunities:
1. Caprice in the anchor text
Google’s algorithm is increasingly intelligent when reading and indexing pages, which makes the analysis of keywords and internal links very careful.
The anchor text – in which the link is present – serves to tell Google what the link is about.
So it is much better to include a link in a contextual and didactic way than using expressions like “click here”.
2. Display recommended content
Submit a selection of recommended content – either through a plugin or manually in the middle of an article – is another practical way to include internal links.
This tactic is also valid because it makes it easier to choose only content that is actually connected, in some way, to the current post.
This is very important because there is no point in focusing only on the quantity of links, it is necessary to pay attention to quality and relevance of them to the current moment of the user.
3. Create a hierarchy of internal links
As we have already pointed out, not all content will be of equal importance in your digital strategy. The same goes for the fixed pages of your website.
So why treat everyone the same when planning your internal link strategy? It is recommended that you establish a internal link hierarchy, preferably in a well-documented and organized manner.
So you’ll always know which content needs to be linked more often and even choose some to place in fixed sections, like the navigation menus that appear on every page.
4. Balance the distribution of links on each page
The short version of this tactic is: it is better to link to good content than to 10 pages that have nothing to do with the subject you are talking about.
In general, you can place multiple links on the same page, and you should even do so. But a page with 100 links, for example, tells Google that its recommendation criteria may not be as reliable.
Another way to balance the distribution of internal links is to remember link to the most recent articles, and not just focus on content and main pages. Thus, your new content will also be boosted.
5. Use navigation to link your most important pages
Navigation generally appears the same on all pages of a website, especially in the header and footer. Some sites also have sidebars that can be used to display CTAs.
Links contained in these sections are perceived as most important by Google, and may receive a higher ranking on search engine pages.
Not to mention that the traffic directed to them is higher due to high exposure. Thinking about that, be sure to take advantage of navigation to link strategic pages of your business.
6. Use your most relevant pages to drive very important content
We already painted this tip a little earlier in this article, but it is worth listing it here too. Some pages deserve more prominence than others, especially those that will bring greater financial return.
Therefore, whenever appropriate, place internal links in a natural way pointing to pages that will make the user progress in the purchase journey.
Increase internal links to landing pages with rich materials, events and consulting orders and budgets can transform your results.
7. Keep your internal links 3 clicks away
There is good SEO practice that dictates that all links on your page should be at most 3 clicks away.
If the user needs to give more than 3 clicks to access the content of a link, it is likely that he will not do so. What’s more, Google knows this and will also give less importance to these links.
Investing in an internal link strategy is a relatively simple step, but one that will bring great return for your business.
Use the tips shown here to do a full audit of your pages and chart the best route to the top of the search pages.
Now that you know how to master internal links, learn how to apply the other ranking practices in your digital strategy. Download our complete SEO guide now and enjoy!