It is almost comical sometimes to see website owners, and sadly, SEO consultants who should know better, scurrying around desperately trying to find backlinks from every possible place they can think of. It almost seems that they are like mice in a wheel, constantly chasing the next link they can get their hands on.
Now, we are not saying backlinks should not be sought, and they are indeed extremely important when it comes to SEO process. However, external backlinks are not the only type of linking strategy you should follow.
Including an internal linking strategy as part of your SEO also pays high dividends in terms of ranking. There is also the very obvious fact that internal links are much easier to create, and as you are the website owner, you should not need anyone’s permission to create them either.
Having a carefully planned and implemented internal linking has a number of advantages, and while it can certainly help boost your SEO, not all of them are simply for Google’s benefit when they are deciding how to rank your website.
When it comes to planning your internal linking, this is one of the times where doing so visually can make it easier and more effective. Bear in mind, you are in effect, creating a network within your website, and to try and visualise that in your head, while not impossible, is difficult.
A much better way is to represent each page of your website as a square and to have each page’s square laid out in the hierarchy that they have within your website.
This means your home page at the top, then your main pages underneath, and then as you move further within your website, the squares are drawn on each lower level thereafter.
Now you have all your pages drawn you next want to label them so that you have the name of each page written within the square that represents it.
Next, it is time to link the pages, and as you draw lines to represent those links ensure that you include the anchor text that is going to apply. Obviously, you want to use a number of different keywords for this anchor text, but make sure your primary keywords are the most common ones.
With your plan complete it is now time to go to each page and create the hyperlinks that are indicated on it. Mark them as complete on your diagram so that you know each is in place, and so that you do not miss any.
The benefits accrued form internal linking are first that visitors to your website will be more able to navigate through it. As such they are likely to see more of your website and stay longer which is always positive from Google’s point of view.
By your website giving them a more enjoyable experience thanks to the internal linking, you will also be building a better relationship with visitors, who will be more inclined to do business with you as a result.
From a ranking perspective, all the links within your website will be passing power from the pages that they link from. Individually, it may not be much, but the cumulative effect for your whole website will make a positive difference to your search engine rankings.