SEO Tips: Internal Linking 101!

In Link Building by Marius Badenhorst

When it comes to dishing out top SEO tips, few are more important than advising on the correct use and implementation of internal linking. So many companies and individuals out there are so pre-occupied with getting quality links into their sites from reputable sites (which isn’t a bad thing) that they completely forget about the impact that good internal linking can have on a website. This article takes a look at why internal linking is so important and contains some top SEO tips on how to implement these links effectively.

SEO Tips: Why bother with internal linking?

An extremely valuable SEO tip that you need always bear in mind, is the three main effects that internal linking has on a website. Each effect has a different weight as far as its actual SEO value is concerned, however you can’t afford not to think about each when implementing internal links:

3 reasons why Search marketing specialists say internal linking is so important:

  1. It increases individual page rank.
  2. It builds the relevancy and weight of specific keywords to a particular page.
  3. It assists in getting all pages on your site spidered by search engines.

1. SEO Tips: How does internal linking increase page rank?

Just as it is with inbound links from external pages, internal linking also carries weight in increasing the relevancy of any page. The homepage of most websites generally has the best page rank in search engines which is often referred to as “SEO juice”. One of the best SEO tips I can provide you with is to identify some of the key phrases/keywords for your site and use those phrases to link to important pages on your site from your homepage. Each link from your homepage to sub pages filters some of the homepage’s SEO Juice down to those sub pages, thereby increasing their ranking and relevance. Take a look at the graphic below:

As you can see, the juice from the homepage filters down to the sub pages, thereby giving them more juice and making them more visible and better ranked in search engines.

Bonus page rank SEO tip: Notice too that by having too many layers or levels in your site, you can severely damage a page’s page rank. Try to make each page on your site accessible by no more than 3 or 4 clicks from the homepage.

2. SEO Tips: How does internal linking increase the relevancy of a page to a specific keyword?

One of the top SEO tips everyone should know, is that when you start optimizing a website, you need to indentify key phrases within your industry that you wish to target with your site. In order to improve the keyword relevancy of any page on your site, you need to use that EXACT keyword phrase to link to that exact page. By doing this, every time you link to your page using a specific keyword, search engines are able to identify that the page is clearly relevant to that keyword. The higher the PR of the page that links to your target page, the better. This is why, as mentioned in the free SEO tip above, linking to a page from your homepage is ideal. Obviously you can’t link to EVERY page on your site from your homepage, however, you can target your most important pages. The text surrounding the link phrase is also important as this gives search engines and idea of the content of the page linking in to your page. All of which are factors which increase your page’s relevancy to a specific keyword.

Bonus keyword relevancy SEO tip: A good way of linking to multiple pages from your homepage is by using a footer menu!

3. SEO Tips: How does internal linking help get pages spidered by search engines?

It is important that EVERY SINGLE page on your site is linked to from somewhere on your site. You might think this occurs naturally, but if for example you have a terms and conditions page that is not referenced from anywhere on your site, there is no way a search engine can find this page. Search engine spiders enter your site from the homepage and follow through to the sub pages via text links. If the only way to link to your sub pages is via a big fancy flash menu that does not get spidered, none of the sub pages, and their subsequent sub pages will be indexed, thus giving a search engine the impression that your entire site is made up of a homepage only. Obviously, this does not bode well for your site’s ranking. The more pages you have indexed with relevant links, the better your site will rank. See the graphic below to see how search engines spider websites:

Bonus spidering SEO Tip: If you make use of a flash menu or any other menu that does not get crawled, then ensure that you have another text menu on the site, possible a left hand navigation menu, or as mentioned before, a footer menu that links to sub pages.

Just by considering these top SEO tips, you can SIGNIFICANTLY increase the visibility of your site as a whole, but more importantly, the relevance and ranking of individual pages. Take some time today to analyze your internal links to see if you are make optimal use of internal linking!

About the Author

Marius Badenhorst