Research a keyword, write the content, optimize it, publish.
This seems like a good on-page SEO process but it’s missing one critical step… after you publish the content you’re not done optimizing it until you’ve built a few internal links to it. This is the easiest way to get links to your site and you’re going to miss out? Not anymore…
Links to a page are about 20% of how it ranks and what better way to build them than to use existing content you’ve already written. All you have to do is find related content on your website/blog and link to that new page. This can improve the page’s ranking and helps it get indexed faster in search engines. And the best part is… it only takes about 3 minutes to do.
So next time you publish a page or post, don’t stop there. Read this article then spend the extra 3 minutes to build some internal links. Your pages could start ranking 20% higher…
Link From Relevant Pages/Posts
Search WordPress – search your existing pages/posts for relevant content about the topic. You may not find everything (WordPress only shows content that includes the exact keyword), but it’s a good start. Go to those pages and find the section where you mention the topic, then create an internal link to your new page. You can probably think of a few pages and posts off the top of your head IF you have enough content… just don’t cram the page with links since it only gives off a certain amount of link juice. Here I use Yoast as the topic:
Search Google – search Google for: site:yourwebsite.com “your keyword” and you will see pages on your site related to that keyword. This is one of the best ways to find a more extensive list of relevant content where you can get internal links from.
Use Google Search Console – if you want links from your highest authority pages, head to Google Search Console and go to Search Traffic –> Links To Your Website. Go to your “most linked to content” (you’ll see this on the right-hand side) and look through any relevant pages you can get a link from. Pages that have more links tend to have more link authority.
Internal Linking Best Practices
Now that you where where to get internal links, here’s how to do it…
Diversify Your Anchor Text – multiple internal links that point to the same page should have varying anchor text (the link’s displayed text) so do not use the same anchor text over and over again. Each anchor text should be unique, descriptive, and NOT keyword rich. Linking to the same page with repetitive keyword-rich anchor text links used to work, but since Google Penguin this looks spammy and could risk a penalty. Make it long and descriptive.
Use Deep Links – instead of linking to your home or contact page, linking to deeper (not so obvious) pages will help readers find more specific information about certain topics, plus these are the pages that need links the most. You want you link juice to be spread out… think of your website as an ecosystem where everything needs to be linked together.
Know The Best Structure – a “perfect” internal link structure does exist, but take it with a grain of salt. It’s unrealistic every website would follow this but knowing the concept helps.
Avoid Automatic Internal Linking Plugins – when you use a certain keyword, these plugins will trigger an internal link to be created to a specific page which you set. Sounds like a good shortcut but these are not as personalized as if you were to insert the links manually. Plus many of these plugins do not allow varying anchor text (like I mentioned earlier) so they could also risk a penalty. “Related Post” plugins aren’t personalized either. Just avoid these.
As I write this article I’m in the middle of a large internal linking project for a client which prompted me to write this. It definitely IS worth spending some time on especially if you already have hundreds of articles which you can add internal links to. If you only have 20 or so pages you may need to create more content to do it effectively, but I would start now so you can get in the habit of internal linking and optimizing your content.
Many SEO tasks take a lot of time, but internal links don’t compared to how much value you get out of them. So if you haven’t done this yet, either go back and add them to your existing content or at least start next time you write your next piece. Seriously, it only takes 3 minutes. As always, leave me a comment if you have any questions – I’m here to help out!