How Do You Optimize Your Internal Links?
Internal links ensure that users will keep browsing your pages, increasing dwell-time on your site.
Check your links every once in a while to make sure they work and the page hasn’t been removed or changed. Broken links upset the user as well as Google, so be sure to redirect or manually fix them.
Make the anchor text more descriptive of the page you are linking to. Use relevant keywords in the anchor text.
For example, instead of saying “read our post here”, use the actual title of the post. Rather than “contact us”, use “contact the best window cleaner in Wichita”.
Be sure you use links that appear natural to Google and the user on your website.
For GMB SEO, make sure your GMB Page has more links to it from other pages.
For websites with blog posts, you should have a link from your blog posts to your home, service, or conversion pages, but not the other way around.
Link deep. Link within and not just from your homepage. Links from the other pages on your site also matter.
You should know that links in your footer and header also count as internal links, so be careful what you link to in your footer and main menu.
Only add links when you absolutely have to, rather than just adding them for the sake of it. Too many links make the text confusing to read.
Use an optimal number of links per page. This will vary based on a lot of factors. There is no exact number of links to use, but one rule of thumb is the more the content, the more the links.
Obviously, this depends on the importance of the page, the purpose it serves, what other pages are in relation to it, whether you want users to leave the page, etc.
Don’t forget to place important links within your page’s main content as opposed to somewhere in the supplementary content on the side.
Also, do not duplicate links to the same URL from the same page. If you have to, then at least change the anchor text.
A website with a lot of pages gives you more freedom to experiment as you have more toys to play with. You can also supply additional firepower to your main pages.
If you have a website with a small number of pages, you can try adding extra links to make up for the gap.
Make sure you develop a proper site structure with your internal linking process. Your money pages should be getting the most links. Point links from traffic pages to conversion pages.
On the topic of external links, you should use them sparingly, as they will take the users elsewhere. This includes links to your social media accounts on Facebook, YouTube, etc.
Limit your follow external links as they give away SEO equity/juice from your site, especially for external links to large sites that don’t really need the juice.
When linking, use do-follow or no-follow links as necessary.
Remove some of your external links or convert them to nofollow links. Remember, all links are follow by default so you have to add “rel=nofollow” to the code. The full code is this:
<a href="www.website.com" rel="nofollow">anchor text</a>
However, external links serve the necessary purpose of informing Google what your page is about.
If you choose to add an external link, give it to a site that has content relevant to yours. It could also be a link to a study or infographic.
If you have mentioned specific data, statistics, facts, or figures, then cite and link to sources.
Sometimes, the content may be too much to condense or you’re reviewing or critiquing a paper or website. In these instances, it’s good practice to link to the other site.
No matter what, never give an external link to a direct competitor. Not only will you lose SEO juice, but you are improving your competitor in the process.
It’s not just text. Your videos and images can also be links. All image links should have alt attributes.
Linking to the Wikipedia page for the topic is generally a safe bet. City pages may link to the Chamber of Commerce or the government website for that city.
Internal and external links should not be thrown around as you feel like it. They should be wielded cautiously like the double-edged sword they are.
Examine your pages and plug the link leakage by rerouting or removing links to or from unwanted pages.
None of these rules are hard and fast. There will always be exceptions.
Internal link analysis and link restructuring is a tedious and time-consuming process, even for smaller sites.
Still, it is an important ranking factor and should not be neglected, especially since it is a way to get a leg up on your competition.
Internal Links for SEO – An Actionable Guide – Blog Post by Ahrefs
What External Links are How to Use Them Properly – Blog Post by Site Checker Pro
What is Google PageRank? – Blog Post by Bruce Clay
Improve Internal Linking for SEO: Calculate Internal PageRank – Blog Post by Search Engine Land
Need help optimizing your links or with white-label GMB services and local SEO? Schedule a free consultation with our GMB Expert!