Most business people and content marketers who have sufficient experience know how important external links are. External links stand for a significant and important ranking factor, proving that studies again and again. In addition, external links also stand for trust, which shows a different and first-class website. Where there are stumbling blocks for companies, however, internal links are used to shift capital directly to where it will have the most impact. While internal links will not provide you with Link Juice, unlike external links, they are essential. Why? Quite simply, they are needed to steer the link juice to the sites that normally attract fewer links or when an increase in SERPs is urgently needed.
In our next article, we’ll explain what it takes to have a good link structure and what to refrain from doing. You’ll learn why you can not get around an internal link strategy, and on top, you’ll get three world-class strategies that can help you with keywords with different levels of competition and search volume.
Build a good internal link structure – how it works!
The internal link structure of your company always depends on the underlying goals. However, there are some elements that always stay the same:
- Keep the structure of your website as flat as possible. Because it is confirmed time and time again that it is better if as few clicks as possible are needed to get from your website to a specific page. Therefore, we recommend that you design your website in such a way that every page is accessible within two to three clicks from the start page. Or you can use breadcrumbs, cloud tags, and an internal search to get the most out of even the most complex websites.
- Feed the main content of your pages with links! There are a total of two different types of links: contextual links and navigational links. The so-called navigation links contain links in your header, footer and navigation bar that help the user find other pages within the same domain while search engines search your site. Context-sensitive links are much more important in the content of your pages and in the SEO area. And it’s exactly these types of links that we will discuss in more detail in our article.
- Also, include keywords in your text anchors. Presumably, most SEOs would rather discourage using exactly matched keywords in the internal link text anchor. However, much better advice would be to make sure that the entire text anchor informs the reader what to expect when clicking on the linked content. Adding keywords to your text anchor should not be a problem if you’re already creating high-quality, well-optimized text. Also, remember to set image links with alt attributes that contain keywords. These behave like text anchors for text links.
- Keep an adequate number of links on each page. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines recommend that you limit yourself to a limited number of links. This procedure is not only better readability for the visitor of your page, but they are also not marked as spam in this way. You should also remember that the first anchor text is always preferred should you refer to the same URL several times on a page. All other anchors are paid correspondingly less attention and are sometimes even almost insignificant.
- In any case, make sure that all-important and relevant pages are linked. Search engines are often able to find orphaned pages that are not linked to other pages. Your site visitors can not do this though. Depending on what kind of pages this is, you can delete them, integrate them into the link, or exclude them from indexing altogether.
The internal link strategy and why you need it
According to CMI’s 2019 “B2B Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” report, around 81 per cent of B2B companies believe that a particular content strategy aligns their team “around shared missions/goals and makes it easier to determine what kind of content should be developed. ”
The same applies to internal link strategies. The more you understand and know exactly what your “Linkjuice” is about to do for you, the better and more efficiently you can use an internal link structure to achieve your company’s goals. If used properly and skilfully, internal links can not only be a very helpful tool but also a very powerful one. Creating a clean and consistent internal link structure is the best way to achieve:
- They can provide your visitors with additional information that, above all, offers them high added value and is helpful.
- It helps Google and other search engines to search your site faster.
- They increase traffic to high conversion sites but low traffic, such as product pages.
- You can “advertise” for pages stuck on page 2.
- You can improve the ranking for high, medium or low search volumes of keywords.
The best internal link strategies mean a double dose of responsibility by influencing the metrics for interacting with users. These include, for example, page views per session, the conversion rate, the time visitors spend on the website, and a few other factors. The second point is that they affect your ranking in the SERPs for significant keywords. But how can you make it easier? We tell you! Just consider the user’s stay on your site and plan and think about which internal link strategy is right for you and your business.
But let’s come to the announced three strategies that you can target for keywords based on search volume and competition.
Internal link strategies based on search volume
1. Use internal links to increase the relevance of the homepage for high-volume keywords.
If you’ve set yourself the goal of ranking with a few high-volume keywords and high levels of competition at the same time, then you’ll need a rich, detailed website to leverage and implement that strategy. This includes, for example, a landing page style landing page that aims to attract, convince, and convert new leads.
To structure your internal links:
While your navigation links will continue to help visitors find your content and discover new pages on your site, most of your contextual links should be supported by relevant anchor texts, such For example, target keywords in combination with narrow synonyms may point to your home page. In a purely structural sense, this means that you have more links pointing to your homepage more often than any other page. This also means that visitors to other high-quality “help pages” on your website should end up back on your information-rich homepage as quickly as possible. As we have already mentioned, the first anchor text is always given the highest priority should you refer to the same URL multiple times. Therefore, some webmasters make their task,
That, in turn, means that the only goal of this strategy is to improve your site’s ranking. You will, therefore, use every opportunity and content to drive more traffic to your site. Always keep in mind that all secondary pages and content, while still useful and relevant to attracting external links, are not designed to rank strongly with keywords. All this so-called “Link Juice” is intended for your home page.
2. Use internal links to find middle-search keywords and drive traffic to important landing pages.
We tell you exactly when you should resort to this strategy and put it into action!
Namely, if and only if you want to make it the main task to bring keywords with a medium search volume on significant pages, such. For example, product category pages within an e-commerce website or blog categories on a news-style website. This usually works best with robust category pages containing lots of info, product details and comparisons, blog posts, and more.
But how exactly do I structure the internal links?
You simply use anchor text keywords to drive visitors to your most important category pages. With this strategy, your website’s job is to guide users to the most relevant category page. Helpful articles and product pages should also all refer to these pages with medium anchor text to direct as much traffic as possible back to your category pages.
This means that this strategy transforms every category page into a kind of information hub that users can visit again and again when they get new information.
For example, a website that sells supplements may have a category page for vitamin C supplements. So whenever new articles are published on this topic that evaluates a new product or compares it to other products, you can link to the appropriate category page using appropriate target keywords. These keywords could be:
- Buy Vitamin C.
- best deals on vitamin C supplements
- Compare to Vitamin C.
3. Use internal links to find low-search keywords for your child pages.
When should I apply this strategy?
This strategy is useful if you are in a fairly tight niche and you want to lead highly qualified leads to specific child pages, such as specific blog posts or product listings.
How to structure internal links:
In this link strategy, the child pages should be as detailed as possible. This allows you to arrange images and copies that can be organically linked to other child pages.
The goal of this link strategy is, therefore, to give the users a certain “overall picture”, which results from the purchase of several products or the consumption of numerous contents. For example, if you have a multi-part blog series that naturally lends itself to internal links. Or you may have product pages for specific lifestyle products that reference specific product comparisons or other information about those products.
As a rule, the less competition you have for the keywords, the better your pages rank. So make sure your chosen keywords are actually searched.
How to implement an internal link strategy
Once you’ve decided on a link strategy that can help you reach your goals and fits in with your business, the time has come to evaluate your internal links and anchor text. To complete this step, we strongly recommend that you use a tool capable of measuring the click depth, the links to the page, but also from the page. In addition, the tool should be able to measure metrics that value the importance of websites.
WebSite Auditor, DeepCrawl or Sitebulb are such tools to help you get the right insight into internal link structure and traffic. With such SEO tools, you should be able to filter your URLs by substring and make sure each page has enough detail and the right anchor text.