Did you know that increasing internal links strategically can often increase your rankings?
Hello. Thanks for listening to SEO tips today.
I was reminded of this when watching Mike King’s presentation at MozCon yesterday when he mentioned that large e-commerce retailers have set up a system to programmatically increase internal links to URLs when they rank on Google’s second page of search to boost them to the first page.
I also have seen this with my clients. I had one client that has an incomplete XML sitemap, a slow homepage, and an internal link structure that could be improved. We were able to tackle all three of those issues in a month – increasing the homepage page load speed, creating and submitting full XML sitemap, and setting up a strategic HTML sitemap on their site – linking to pages that needed a boost. You can see the traffic chart on my site, but the traffic doubled over three months.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when building internal links.
Make sure to optimize your anchor text
Keep in that you can strategically optimize the anchor text internally – Google actually recommends that you’re clear about where you are sending the user by clearly labeling the internal anchor text.
Only build links to indexable, canonical URLs
Here’s how to find the pages that need more internal links
Ahrefs has a great report that shows you the URLs on your site by internal links. It looks like this:
And here’s where to get started.
I would start with building links to your orphaned pages, as Google likes to see the URL linked to internally as well as in your XML sitemap file. In Google’s guidance, it says:
“Ensure that all pages on the site can be reached by a link from another findable page.”
Then you can move on to the pages that are high value to you and don’t have many internal links or run a report of pages ranking on page two as the next set to which you’re going to build internal links. You can also remove internal links to pages that are ranking for which you that page is NOT the URL you want to rank.
Then you create links from your high authority pages (the ones with the most inbound or external links) to those pages that you’ve identified need a boost. You can find those in Ahrefs by looking at the Best by Links Report.
Here are a few tips about building internal links at scale
There are a few ways to build internal links strategically and quickly.
- The first is by deploying breadcrumbs across your site if it doesn’t already have it. (Though this tactic only works if the information architecture of your site makes sense).
- The other is to create or improve your HTML sitemap page.
- And finally, if your site is on a CMS like WordPress you can install plugins to surface related content dynamically.
So that’s your tip for today. If you have pages that need a boost in rankings, try building strategic internal links to them.
Thanks for listening. Come back tomorrow for another SEO tip.