Interlinking Done Right: Secrets of Internal Website Links
Website optimization starts with its content, and if a webmaster wants to save on external link building, he should first invest in internal optimization. Good and optimized content is the core of successful seo strategy, and if keywords are the bricks and posts are the buildings, then internal links are the infrastructure that brings your online city to life and makes it flourish. Without connections pages and posts are just separate units without power.
Why Does Your Website Need Internal Links?
Many webmasters neglect the value of interlinking and build their online stores without paying proper attention to connections between the pages. Instead of looking for new resources for link placement, why not to use the power of existing content and build links internally? Such links are always 100% natural, from the proper context and by the anchors you need, so there is no reason why you should leave internal website links out. Just consider these advantages:
Internal website links reduce bounce rate. Links help people navigate through your website and dig it deeper exploring relevant content and cutting your bounce rate at the same time. And since bounce rate is one of the factors that influence website ranking, you should definitely care about its reduction. Mobilunity had a real world example reducing organic bounce rate on a client’s website from 71.59% to 50.53% simply by adding proper interlinking to the landing page.
Cross-linking passes link juice from one page to another. PageRank ranking algorithm works same good inside the website as it ranges external links. So if you have a page, that already ranks good, and want to pass some “trust” to another potential page – feel free to insert a relevant link to the ranking page. Best SEO practice is linking from the content above the fold, since this part of the page has more value. Back in 2012 our team observed pages on clients’ websites growing from PR0 to PR1 in few months after acquiring internal links from pages that already earned PR2.
Internal links built by proper anchors help growing your website by the targeted keywords. To give search engines a better idea on what your page is about, other pages should point to it by relevant anchors. And why not to use the power of internal link building for your benefit and reinforce your ranking by adding links with desired anchors to the relevant pages? We, at Mobilunity, use interlinking as one of the first steps in optimizing websites by the targeted keywords and defining website structure and navigation.
Your Interlinking Checklist
Our experts prepared a brief checklist on building internal links for better seo:
- Always use dofollow internal links within the content body.
- Build links with anchors and according to the keyword of the page you link to.
- Link from content above the fold.
- Don’t overuse interlinking, usually 1 link per 100 words is enough.
- Don’t be greedy and link to external reputable resources as well.
- Have all your pages interlinked between each other and do not leave free ends (pages that don’t include any cross-links).
Some Interesting Interlinking Schemes
We’ve been experimenting with interlinking for several years and defined own schemes. Not each of them is good for every website, and when building your own website structure always consider what pages you would want to reinforce the most. Also always strive to have all pages and posts interlinked between each other – the longer spider stays on your website, the better for your ranking. Here is our infographics on top8 interlinking schemes – feel free to share it in social networks.
- Silo schema: applicable to websites with several categories. Each post links only to the posts within one category.
- Circle schema: applicable to any domain, the easiest algorithm. Every post links to the previously added and next added post.
- Home schema: good solution for domains with homepages aimed to rank by a versatile list of keywords. Every post links to homepage and previously added post.
Tags schema: applicable for websites-blogs or online magazines. Every post links to 2 other posts with the closest to the main keyword meaning, at the same time the anchor of the new link should be added as a tag to the post we link from (it’s already present in tags of post we link to).
Old Domain schema: to get the most value from menu and service pages. Every page on the site links to the main page and homepage, all posts link to service pages and main pages.
Hierarchy schema: for generic keyword domains with several service pages. Every service page on the site has a dedicated category in posts, all posts in relevant category link to the appropriate service page and between each other, every service page links to home and menu pages.
Harmony schema: applicable to new domains that don’t have any interlinking yet. Every new page added links to one menu page and one previously added page, every post links to one page and one previously added post.
Same Keyword schema: for domains with many pages/posts. Every new page/post added links to 1 post and 1 page that have the closest to the main keyword in title.
Cool Tools for Internal Links Analysis
Developing correct internal links structure in the dark is not a good idea, and internal website optimization should start with interlinking analysis. We, at Mobilunity, use the following free tools for interlinking:
- Broken Links Checker – one of the most popular free WordPress plugins every webmaster should have. In addition to scanning a website for broken links and alerting admin, this plugin helps to find any internal link by anchor or source page.
- Screaming Frog – free SEO spider that not only helps to identify bugs in internal optimization on website, but also provides a detailed interlinking report with anchors. Here is a sample of its interface:
- Google Fusion Tables – an excellent Google’s product that helps visualizing connections between pages into a beautiful graph. Just export the report from Screaming Frog and add it as a table to it. Here is our sample of interlinking on mobilunity.com website: