We should all know that outbound links to fresh, original, relevant content on other blogs or websites are vital when it comes to providing users with quality content. But often times we overlook the importance of good internal linking strategy within our own domains.
I’ve put together what I believe to be a fairly solid list of tips to use when linking to your own content via a new post or page. Of course, this list is compiled of methods I’ve used with a decent level of success, so I provide these tips to you as a testament of my own experiences. As always, you should use your own judgment and do research when applying new methods of linking to content.
–Choose Your Blog Post Subject (You might want to choose a blog post subject based on SEO strategy)
This one is a given for the most part, but if you have your blog post subject well established before you start writing, you’ll likely find it easier to build an internal linking strategy as you create your post.
I find that if I know exactly what I want to write before I write it, I can use the search function to pull out five or so related posts and use them to establish the post content before I write the first sentence. Having the post URLs readily available also helps me establish the keywords and keyphrases I’ll want to use throughout the post.
–Keywords and Keyphrases
Once you’ve established your post topic and you’ve opened up several pages within your site that you wish to link to (I have these pages open in multiple tabs in Firefox), you’ll want to choose keywords and keyphrases to be used throughout the post. These keywords are to be used specifically in the anchor text used to link to the related internal pages. Note: Make sure these are the right SEO keywords for your blog.
–Use Title Tags in Your Text Link
Many SEO opinions state that title tags are not important. I would argue, however, that they can do no harm, and in many cases have proven to be healthy with regards to good blog SEO. So, with this in mind, toss in your title for the link like title=”Anchor Text Title”.
Yes, it’s an extra step and can be time consuming, but you want to make sure you cover all areas of your link for maximum search engine exposure.
–DO NOT Use No Follow On Internal Links
Personally, I do not use no follow on ANY links… both internal and external. Unless, of course, they are sponsored links. That being said, if you do use no follow on your blog/site, make sure you allow the search engines to follow internal links by removing the tag on internal links.
This is vital in increasing pagerank through smart internal linking.
–Link Directly to Content Pages
You’ll want to link directly to blog posts and pages. Never link to a category or archive page unless you need to do it as a part of your narrative. Search engines love those permalink URLs that are full of unique, original content. Your category and archive URLs are, for the most part, full of duplicate content. Plus, one of your main goals should be to get your readers immediate access to the information they want to find, not keep them hunting for it.
If you follow these simple steps religiously when writing new posts, search engines will begin crawling your pages on a much deeper level, they’ll begin seeing your posts as providing access to much more information, and your readers will find what they’re looking for when they read your post.