Internal links – what is it?
Internal links are often mentioned if we are discussing about Search Engine Optimization in blogging world, there are so many SEO techniques and strategies that are very important to take care of, one of them is how good our internal links in our websites.
What is internal links? This is wikipedia definition of internal links.
To me, which English is not my native language, internal links are the words or phrases in a hyperlink form in your post or page, menu, anywhere in your blog, and still pointing to another part of your website. Example, I want to link a “wordpress videos” phrases, and I “linked” it to my home page.
This is called internal linking, but if I pointed that phrase to wordpress tv page, then it is not “internal” eventhough this is a relevant link.
I have just guessed that I actually have more “external links” then internal ones, and this could be one of the cause that the pagerank of this blog dropped one step, however I am not 100% sure.
One thing that I have just realized is, while trying all in one in one seo pack alternative, wordpress seo plugin by yoast, I have found out, that external links are also playing important role in SEO.
It is obvious that those internal and external hyperlinks should be balanced, and what this actually means is when you have more out linking than internal links, this will reduce the “link juice” of page or post in your blog.
How to optimize internal links in your blog
Here are some of thoughts that can strengthen your internal links juice:
1. Use link anchor text everytime you point to one of your article or page.
Example, if I would want to improve, my “twenty eleven logo tutorial” post, I would type and create internal links to this sentence:
Visit my video how to add Twenty Eleven logo in your blog.
You probably notice that I make the “Twenty Eleven logo” clickable, that’s an internal link (and use link anchor text, because I target a keyword phrase) because when you click it, you will land on a page which still belongs to this blog.
That sentence is better than this:
Want to know how I add Twenty Eleven logo in my blog? Click here.
From that sentence, you notice, that I put “click here” a hyperlink, though it still points in my blog’s post, that’s not keywords optimized. Because I don’t want to rank for “click here” keywords.
Why do we need to take care of those hyperlinks? it is because when a search engine bot crawls that link, they will know what exactly a content or topic of your website from that words or phrase.
2. Create a sitemap page.
In my post, which is titled, importance of a sitemap page in a blog, I wrote that sitemap page is not the same as sitemap.xml. Because this sitemap contains lists of your pages and posts, and this will help your visitors to look for a specific post in a specific category, for instance.
I know I still have not made any tutorials how to create a sitemap page, but if you are curious how it looks like, you can visit my sitemap page, and if you want a plugin, you can try dagon design sitemap plugin.
3. Use text navigations pointing your pages in your footer.
I admit I did put some affiliate links in my footer, and I have just cleaned them today, because I have tracked, there are actually no sales made from this footer links, and actually footer is the good part of our page to be crawled by bots.
Also, I add some additional links to sitemap page to make easier for people who wants to find something when they are looking at my footer. This additional navigation is including the back to top button with nofollow attribute, so when people click that arrow, they will be brought to the top.
When I visit a website, I also mostly look at the footer first before reading the page :)
4. Use related post widget, random post, or even popular post widget.
Those widgets are mostly placed in your sidebar, and they will display most of your articles that are published in your blog.
For example, related post will display the similar topic posts which are older, random post widget will show some of your articles randomly, they can be in similar or different tags and categories, and the popular post widget will show most viewed or most commented posts (depends on the settings), these links to your posts will definitely increase the link juice.
5. Eliminate dead links in your blog.
I have posted broken link checker plugin last year, and I deactivated the plugin when I was still in my shared hosting because it took many resources.
But I will definitely activate it again to check if I have dead links in my blog, because cleaning or fixing dead hyperlinks in your blog, not only preventing search bots not to crawl those useless hyperlinks, but also to make your page loads faster if it is clean.
Internal links optimization conclusion
Try to get balance to have a good sense of external and internal links so that you do not loose your own link juice and still providing good external resources or beneficial affiliate link if you have some.
You can put the “reliable, relevant and respectable” external links on dofollow, and you can put the others with nofollow attribute, also putting “target=’_blank'” (or onclick=’target=”_blank”‘ if you use HTML strict) is one step to reduce your bounce rate.
Have a thought to improve internal links issue in our blogs, share some!