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By Blair Kelly Outreach

The Importance of Internal Linking for SEO and 8 Best Practices

15 minute read
The Importance of Internal Linking for SEO and 8 Best Practices Featured Image

Building the perfect website for your advisor’s business can be a large undertaking, but if you are able to get it across the finish line then the growth of your business will greatly benefit down the road. So, maybe your website has launched now and now you are looking to boost your online presence even more through content marketing. Great! We already know the importance of content marketing when it comes to boosting SEO however, internal linking is an integral part of your content strategy and overall website.

What Are Internal Links?

First things first, what is an internal link? It might seem straightforward based on the name alone, but simply put, an internal link is a link that points to another page on the same website. They are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain. They are commonly used in the main navigation on the website.

Why Are Internal Links so Important?

  • They allow users to navigate a website.
  • They help establish an information hierarchy for the given website.
  • They help spread ranking power around websites.

With all of the different blog posts and pages you’ve published on your website, you have got to get the most out of your site and the work you put in. That comes down to how you link your pages. Internal links are huge for link building because you can control everything about them, from the location on the page to the anchor text. This is something that we see most advisors overlook. Make sure to drive your content in the direction of other posts or pages so you can link to them.

Pro tip: Avoid using exact-match anchor text in your site’s navigation, as this may cause Google to mark it as spam.

Why is Internal Linking Important to Google for SEO?

Google checks out websites by following both internal and external links using Google bots. When the bot arrives at the homepage of your advisor’s website, it checks out the first page and continues to follow the links. By checking out these links in order, Google is able to find out the pages that cover a similar subject matter. Does your website flow well? Google can figure this out by seeing what the relationship is between the pages, posts, and content on your advisor site.

Google also divides link value between all links on a web page. More often than not, the homepage of your advisor site will have the greatest link value because it contains the most backlinks. The link value turns into simple math after that, as the value will be shared between all the links found on that homepage, which will then be passed to the next page and divided, and so on.

We have discussed the importance of updating your blog posts and historically optimizing them in order to keep them fresh with updated content. That plays a role with internal linking as well, as a website’s newest blog posts will get more link value if you link to them from the homepage, so be sure to do this, as Google will also find new posts more quickly if this is the case.

Simply put, Google likes pages that have many valuable links, as those also pass their value on. Ultimately, when this happens, your webpage ratings will increase.

Best Practices For Great Internal Linking Strategy:

Now that you should have a better understanding of what internal links are and how they work, let’s dive into best practices for using internal links on your advisor’s website in order to boost your SEO.

1. Generate the Ideal Structure

When structuring your website, ideally you want to put the most important information upfront. Similar to email marketing, think about how you want to draw in your audience by using things like strong subject lines and bold opening sentences. The same goes for the structure of your website. Also, keep in mind that the average user spends less than 15 seconds on a website, so it’s important to draw them in early!

2. Create Quality Cornerstone Content

Cornerstone content should be at the core of your website, as it will hold the most value. They are meant to reflect your business or communicate your mission. It’s of the utmost importance that cornerstone content remains timeless and up to date. When done correctly, your cornerstone content will start to drive traffic and build brand awareness by showing readers that you are a leader in the industry. This content is not intended to get someone to buy something and it should be easily accessible.

Keep in mind that you should link from the top pages to subpages about related topics. Linking internally to related content shows Google what pages hold information about similar topics. Google will understand that the cornerstone content article contains the most information about this particular keyword. So ultimately, Google will rank the cornerstone content above other, shorter posts about keyword research.

3. Remember to Link from the Top

Aside from linking to posts and pages with similar topics, you can make your cornerstone content even better by adding links to it from your website’s homepage or the top navigation. This will give the most important posts or pages a lot of link value and will make them stronger in Google’s eyes.

Website showing linking from the top

4. Create and Link to Common Categories

We hope you blogging by now! Within your blog, it’s a good idea to create and establish a hierarchy of categories. Then, you can add links within various blog posts that will navigate to the same category that the topic is a part of. Adding links to the category and tags helps Google to better understand the structure of your blog and helps visitors easily navigate to related posts.

At Twenty Over Ten, we’ve made it easy for our users to create customized blog categories based on their unique library of content. Categories are also easy to delete and reorganize as your blog page evolves. Follow the steps below to easily add categories to blog posts.

Step 1: Log in to your Twenty Over Ten account. Access our login page directly here.

Step 2: To add more categories for your blog posts you need to first access the Page Settings window. Hover over the page that contains your blog. Two icons will appear for ‘Post Settings’ (a capital ‘A’) and ‘Page Settings’ (a cog icon). Click on the cog icon.

Step 2 for ToT

Step 3: The Page Settings window will appear. Scroll down until you see Categories. To add a new category click on the text box, type in your new category, and click enter.

Step 3 for ToT

Step 4: If you would like to remove a category, you can click on the ‘x’ button next to the category you wish to delete. A confirmation window will pop up. Click Confirm.

Step 5: Once you are finished adding categories click Save.

Step 5 for ToT

5. Link to Related Posts

Linking to related posts not only helps Google understand your site structure, but it also helps promote one or more related posts at the end of your article as well as creating even more internal link juice. Linking to related posts also keeps visitors on your website as they browse through other articles and content you’ve created. 

For example, on the Twenty Over Ten blog, we include links to three additional related blog posts at the bottom of every post. It can keep visitors on your website for longer which can boost your SEO rankings and also helps bots to crawl your website easier.

Linking to blogs at the end of a blog posts

6. Take Advantage of Popular Posts

We can’t forget how important it is to create internal links that go back to the most popular or newest posts on your blog. These are oftentimes best placed in the sidebar area of your blog or the footer of your website. You created a great post, so now it’s time to get some extra value from it. Linking to a popular post is a great way to generate extra “brownie points” for ranking and traffic.

Creating a popular or recent posts section benefits you because the link value passes to the linked posts from many different pages and posts. Also, the posts will be easier for visitors to access, which will increase traffic – and more traffic is a positive sign for Google too.

7. Low-Value Links Are Okay

While we have been chatting about the important links on your website, there are bound to be links that probably won’t bring much value to your site, and that is okay! Low-value links tend to bring less value to your site for ranking but aren’t necessarily bad or damaging.  An example of a page that does not need to have high value is a login link for your clients.

Low-value links are okay as long as you limit the number of them on your site or blog. These links tend to have little impact on your SEO but if used incorrectly could be considered manipulative links. It’s a good idea to read up on how Google classifies links, but don’t beat yourself up if all your links aren’t high value. The most important thing is to use links that are relevant to the topic.

8. Correctly Use Anchoring Text

Once you have decided which links should be on a page and which pages should get the highest link value, it’s important to use the right anchor text.  The anchor text is the interactive text that visitors see. When it comes to creating your anchor text there are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Keep the anchor text relevant to the content at hand.
  • Place anchors where people pay the most attention.
  • Avoid over-optimizing and keep the text natural.
  • Keep them succinct and non-generic.
  • Use keyword phrases that best describe the destination page.

Tomren Wealth Management

Twenty Over Ten client Tomren Wealth Management uses anchor text on their homepage that links to their Team page, Service Offerings, and their Processes page to help develop a plan.

Editing note: This article was originally published on July 17th, 2020 and has been updated to ensure consistency.

Link Your Content! 

Without links, your content can’t rank! With a solid internal linking strategy, you’re able to show what content is related and which articles are most informative. This not only helps yourself but any visitors to your site or blog. Remember, ease of use is one of the most important things when creating online content. If you follow the guidelines in this post both Google and your users will understand your site better, which will, in turn, boost your rankings and increase usability.

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About the author

Blair Kelly

Blair is a digital marketing assistant at Twenty Over Ten and has a passion for uncovering what drives online traffic and the highest engagement. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her daughter, Grey.

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