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9 Internal Linking Rules You Must Know

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Image Source: Kumar Group

Are you ready to rank higher in Google?

In this article, you get 9 pro tips to improve your site’s internal linking structure. The main purpose of this is not only to shed light on a complicated subject matter in SEO but to improve your content marketing.

We won't just discuss well-structured internal linking procedures – we also deal with smart internal linking structure.

As one of the main and the most attractive ingredients in attracting new clients and retention strategies for existing clients, internal linking should be done by pros and beginners.

Whether you follow basic internal linking mantra or adhere to more advanced internal linking commandments, this all boils down to one thing – internal linking spells SEO success.

Internal linking has been found to be the most overlooked and undervalued SEO tactic.  Here are 9 rules to get you started, extract and channel more juice, and re-engineer your site's hierarchy:

 

Rule #1: Create lots of internal pages

The primary SEO mistake is bad content marketing. A killer internal linking strategy is nothing without a killer content marketing strategy. Why? Lots of content means lots of linkable content, that simple. Please, oh, please create pages of value that users would love to share with their friends.

 

Rule #2: Use anchor text and linked images properly

The use of anchor text is pretty simple. Just create or use natural statements in your content with your anchor text, usually ranging from 3 to 5 words, highlight the phrase, link it, and you're done.

The text in the link should match the target keywords in the referenced page – and most importantly, be relevant. When done properly, the use of anchor text increases relevancy and can help improve your content or site's position in search engine results.

wordometer statistics

If you want to use images especially for the purpose of sharing or re-distribution to social networking sites and content communities to attract or gain more attention, make sure the image is properly linked and alt-tagged.

Remember that these images, even if they are linked, should not be the main source of your links.

 

Rule #3: Deep linking is a must

The best links and the most natural links in a content marketing strategy are deep within the structure of a site which includes your homepage, categories, and individual pages. Now, we're talking about interlinking.

interlinking seo

 

In the below example, “source of traffic to your site” links to another article http://contentmarketingup.com/blog-post-ideas-sources/

internal linking 2

Follow this rule by remembering that you only need to link to relevant pages on your site. Do this more often than adding more categories or navigation or side menus to your site.

The process of passing this valuable juice can be pretty time consuming but is worth it to help SEO, drive up your site as a go-to resource in the industry, and increase pages viewed per visitor.

 

Rule #4: Drop links on the homepage and IA pages

Don't get us wrong here. We don't mean you should no longer link to your homepage. What we mean is that unless your homepage or company sends a strong trust and authority signal to search engines, make it a priority to boost the overall SEO of your site.

By strengthening internal pages first and then linking to your homepage for the sole purpose of tapping equity.

Pages that are high in information architecture (IA) are pages only a click away from the home page. So if you are to drop most of your links to your homepage you should also drop links to these related pages.

The more links you add going to your home page, the more juice flows to your IA pages. And the more links you add to your IA pages, the more juice that moves up the ladder to your home page.

 

Rule #5: Develop a user-focus approach

Add more value and information to your content to ensure user-retention.

Those who have mastered the art of internal linking prove that a properly structured internal linking strategy generally improves user engagement. In that case, make sure your dashboard or internal linking plan is user-focused. Make this your #1 objective this 2015.

user focused design

Create pages to make sure your visitor sees an informative link in your site. Next, create a strong link to relevant pages so your visitor can continue reading and move on to the next relevant page. Improving user experience is the most vital conversion factor of every website or SEO campaign.

 

user focused design for webAnd the next step is to ensure your site visitor stays longer and becomes more involved in your website experience by sharing your content.

 

Rule #6: Relevance spells authority

A powerful internal linking strategy finds its greatest strength in the proper way of internal linking to relevant pages and use of relevant linksWhen you continually create relevant, useful and actionable content, you'll become an authority, just like Darren Rowse.

authority-intensive-darren

We've talked about relevant pages in our previous discussion. So to clarify, relevant pages can be found within your site's home page, categories or navigation, and specific pages.

Individual pages can be used for internal linking. Try adding additional navigation or sub-pages to your most linked-to pages to extract more juice. Or you may also enrich your navigation or categories or sidebar menus with relevant keywords.

The litmus question to ask is: am I adding value to my readers?

 

Rule #7: Keep your distance from "rel=nofollow"

The attribute rel=nofollow was internally used in the past primarily to increase link juice to a single page and avoid the flow to or from other pages. Are nofollow still relevant?

This idea was popular way back until Danny Sullivan clarified the confusion over an internal nofollow link.

rel-nofollow

In order to avoid more confusion, let us simply avoid the nofollow link for internal pages and let link juice flow freely.

no follow tag

 

Rule #8: The magic number for internal links is…

There is no magic number. You don't need tonnes but you only need to use a reasonable number of internal links. Check and balance, for that matter.

Write an article with more than 1000 words and link it to a relevant internal page from your site today. The next day, do the same but link it to one of your products. Do the same for the following day but link it to a blog post..

Keeping a balance between inbound and outbound links is also important. You can add many but make sure that every link is user-focused, relevant, and will not block the link juice. As a rule of thumb, search-engines can get sketchy if a site has over 40 outbound links on a given page.

See an example of low-quality outbound links below. These are clearly not for the user because they outbound links cover unrelated topics. The large numbers of outbound links on the page (of more listings) are an SEO flag:

links for seo

 

Rule #9: Link to unconventional places on your site

Did you know that some of the best pages to tap for link equity are pages like privacy policy, terms of service, contact us, and even that page about the members of the organization or the team or the people behind the web site.

Sounds unconventional and does not seem like an all-time favorite for more clients but it works! How?

 

Pages like privacy policy, terms of service, and contact us, are rated high in the architecture and are often free of other links. WordStream do this on their Trademarks page:

 

wordstream

My last tip is to not load up the footer with keyword-rich links designed for search engines. It’s spam. Keep it user-friendly.

The rules above can become your lucky 9 tips towards successful content marketing SEO. Hopefully you’re now a little more confident in your content strategy.

What other internal linking rule do you think is important to know?

 

Joshua Uebergang is head of strategy at Digital Darts where he helps Shopify stores improve their SEO and marketing for more sales. Our social media links are in the footer of the site: https://www.digitaldarts.com.au/ 

About the Author Michael Chibuzor

nazia says

Thia article is gives full knowledge about interlinking.i am a new blogger and i started blogging in the education field . I have a questio that is how many interlinking is best for good seo.

Squillions says

With regards anchor text, I'm finding that you really have to mix up the text amongst all the properties. Most certainly getting penalised for matching keyword phrases, you need to add alternative text in the link as well. It's a funny old game. Google, a search engine with a heavy basis on measuring links says (Matt Cutts) not to link on purpose or find ways to do so, yet my competitors do so by the thousands and don't get penalised. Still very much a case of shut up Google and join in unfortunately.

Uday says

This article provided me the complete information for which I was searching for. I just want to ask one thing. Can I use tag pages for internlinking? e.g. I want to use "abc" keyword as anchor text in my articles. Can I use it as a tag?

Niki says

Hello Michael!

This article really helped me to know more about internal linking. I never knew such concepts about these factors, but today onwards, I'm going to use these tips. Thanks a lot for your great article!

Regards,

Nikita Arora

Sonam Jain says

Hello sir,

i relly like your strategy about internal linking thank you very much for your interesting post. i will adopt the policy too.

Thank you again

Kyle says

I definitely need to improve the deep linking on our website. I find it really helps to focus on different content niches so the deep links are relevant and then people actually end up explring a bit deeper into the website.

    content marketing up says

    You’ve a good idea Kyle. Deep linking is truly important and relevant in today’s SEO. Thank you for your time.

David says

very good this post, I'll use these tips rank well want my blog

 

Faizan Ahmad says

Deep interlinking is really effective, I have personally tried this tip on my blog and it helped me to boost my search engine rankings. BTW thanks for sharing this useful guide.

Jackson says

Great post! Does only dofollow backlink hurt a website because i was told by a friend that google only regonise dofollow backlinks

Saint jose says

Great post! Actually am new to your blog but you are posting information really help to me…thanks for sharing this & keep posting.

Arbaz Khan says

Great article on internal links.
I use SEO Smart Links on all my blogs for linking to my previous posts automatically. It saves me a lot of time and by using a variety of keywords, I can actually get anchor text diversity as well.

Rodrigo says

very interesting adopt these strategies, thank you

Swapnil Jagtap says

Thanks for all the important points you mentioned. I got my mistakes i was making for internal linking. Thanks to point #5. Keep posting.

Pritam Nagrale says

Great post, you always come up with new and unique topic. And it is always great to read and Implement it. 

Deep linking always work and benificial, Very 1st point is not just useful for internal linking point of view but it also important as good blogger and writer. 

Creating informative pages is very important; readers must enjoy reading those pages and must share with their friends 

Paul Schinider says

You have shown great points to take a good internal linking, you have clearly tells many point which have easily track all goals & get more traffic instantly.

Sumit Thakur says

Thanks a Lot Micheal, It is very nessary for everyone to focus on internal linking in Blogging. There are lots of bloggers doing this big mistake. They should learn it from you.

Sanjay Sajeev says

When I started my blogging career, i just link some words in my blog post to another posts. Later I realized when we link to other post, it should be relevant and related to the current post. Internal linking is very important to promote our old posts and we have to inter link properly for  better navigation. 

I learned a lot from this inter linking guide post. Keep sharing.

Tarik says

I just published a post on link building and found your internal linking strategy. One big tip I have for bloggers is to link to the old and the old to the new. Find your most visited pages in Google Analytics and see if you can build links to some less popular pages. Also, if you have some underperforming pages, then link them to the most popular ones.

Wikipedia performs this strategy the best. They dominate top rankings for hundreds of thousands of keywords based on internal linking, which sends lots of link juice throughout their site.

sandeep says

Wow, awesome stuff and very useful to me so thanks for sharing with us sir.

Have a nice day.

Jude says

This i great information you shared here. As a new blogger, I will make use of it to help me on my blog. Thanks for your write up!

Susan Fernando says

Great blog! I am SEO executive this information is very useful for me and these strategies apply on my website. 

Check my website: dark knight rises leather vest

Olayinka says

This post is full of informative ways tricks for internal linking building. I really love the image link building, it really may blog to be an engaging monster in the cyber space.

Sagar Solanki says

really good post for the on page optimization! 🙂

Mark Miller says

Good ideas here on interlinking.  I try to keep my interlinks good, but not sure I have gotten the hang of it.  I have been trying to use your tip on relevance, but now think I might need to re-examine every link.

I am loving the tip on unconventional places.  Great idea!

Worli says

Internal link building is one of the easiest ways to create inbound links to your site or blog. There are many creative ways to insert internal links to a page. SEO experts recommend links to related posts, comments, viewers' favorites, and even a frequently asked questions section to boost the link network within a site.

Kathula Santhosh says

Hii Micheal Sir,

This is really awesome post. I learned every-thing about link-building in your post. Thanks for sharing your tricks to rank. I w'll follow all the ways which you mentioned. Hope i'll get rank my keywords.

Thank You..

MJ Haider says

Internal linking is very important specially when it comes to page views. You have explained this in great detail. Thank you for this post.

Paras says

Thanks Michael .. I Really Appriciate Your article Few Point on Internal Linking are Reflecting Greatly On My Concepts But Still Learned A Lot From This Article. I Am Using almost Same Procedure And Will Improve Now on My Blog With Decent Interal linking. Thanks Once Again.

Muawia says

Great information again from your website,its very useful to read the article and the comments , specialy the one with the mentioned plugin for seo links.

Thanks alot

Dylann says

I really appreciate article like this. It's very informative and I learned something from here. Thanks for sharing these 9 Internal Linking rules.

Avnish says

These internal linking rules are improving our perfection and thanks for this useful guide.

Jay Patel says

That's a great article about internal linking. Nofollowing internal links are certainly bad but you should use nofollow link for contact us, privacy etc pages. I have been told this several times before.

Is it correct?

    Makey says

    Thank you for post on internal linking it does alot to my blog thank you 

Rahul says

Its been always good reading your blog posts. Everytime I get something new from here. Keep sharing it help me alot. 

Dazzy says

I am biggest Fan of this website. Few month ago, I don't have idea about the Blogging. But, Now, help of This website. I have more knowledge about the SEO. Every time, I am waiting for your new article.

Albert says

I have been wondering if the same rule of Penguin penalty apply also for the anchor text of internal links (i.e. we need to vary anchor text), or is that irrilevant?

    content marketing up says

    We need to vary anchor texts for both internal and external linking. The Penguin penalty applies.

Kelvin Smart says

Thanqs for Sharing this guide.

Janifer Bostal says

After reading above 9 rules for making Internal links, I got the full information about new strategies. Whenever. I am here, then I got some news and useful information.

Alex says

Good tips.

I've have several articles ranking on the first page of google and have only been in the blogging world 6 months. If I could recommend ONE thing over anything, it would be to focus on great content. One amazing article will be shared over and over resulting in high traffic to your website. Basic SEO skills are still vital and necessary, but what good is SEO without good content? The last thing you want is people coming to your website and leaving after reading a few sentences of your boring/low quality article. This will result in a HIGH bounce rate and tell Google that your website isn't "popular". Good luck everyone!

-Alex

http://www.inertiawillhurtya.com

Joshua says

Hi Nick,

What do you mean not focus on few pages? An irregular number of internal links to one particular blog post compared to others, just like external links, can be a flag.

Nick says

I don't have proof but I think we should not focus on few pages for interlinking it might result in penality. Can you please recommend any good custom inter linking plugin for wordpress?

 

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