Written by: Richard Fong
Published on March 17, 2021
Published on March 17, 2021
Whether you run a small boutique in your neighborhood or a large e-commerce store that ships globally, brand authority is crucial to business growth. In fact, a study in 2019 reveals that 81% of general consumers would only consider buying from brands they truly trust.
Typically, modern-day business owners can establish brand authority by creating a solid online presence to boost brand awareness. You can do so by running social media ad campaigns and hosting virtual seminars, among others. Overall, the goal is to work towards brand recognition.
There are multiple other ways to build an online presence and become a thought leader—each requiring an ample amount of thought and strategy. However, the simplest way to get started is by making a blog that consists of multiple industry-related articles and forming a linking strategy as you go—particularly with internal links. But what are internal links?
Internal links are hyperlinks that redirect to web pages and resources from the same site. This is a link network that connects a website’s various web pages.
Some of the ways to add internal links to your websites include:
Anchor texts are very popular among bloggers. This involves creating hyperlinks using a set of words—called the anchor text—that would lead to a different page.
The key here is to link out to a related resource. For example, let’s say you’re writing an article about digital marketing and you mention something about influencer marketing. If you already have an existing article or resource on your site that covers influencer marketing, you can attach it as a hyperlink to anchor text related to the aforementioned topic.
Note that you cannot just link out to random web pages or use random blurbs for your anchor texts. This would do more harm than good. In fact, Google might categorize your web page as spammy if it has useless hyperlinks scattered all across the page.
Whether you run an e-commerce store or a blog site, navigation bars are a must. These allow the reader to jump from one web page to another without scouring through all the pages in between. Think of this as a “table of contents” section on every page. Ideally, you should create a category for all your web pages.
For example, let’s say you sell a social media engagement tracking app and primarily talk about digital marketing on your website. You should have a main navigation bar that leads to your homepage, blog page, product page, and contact page. Then, under the blog section will be multiple subsections linking to various topics about your industry, digital marketing.
A solid way to reduce bounce rate and increase the time the average reader spends on your site is to suggest related articles. The goal here is to scatter links you think the reader might be interested in.
For example, let’s say you’re talking about social media marketing. Toward the end of the article, you can opt to insert a link talking about collaborating with influencers, running social media ads, or something similar. There’s no hard rule on this. Just make sure to link out to something you are confident that the page reader would be interested in.
Internal links connect your web page to other web pages on your site, while external links connect your web page to other websites. Which of these should you use?
A solid link-building strategy contains both internal and external links. Google takes both types of links into consideration when assessing various web pages on the internet. Although, you might want to use your external links sparingly. Only use outside sources when referencing facts, data, statistics, or research.
Also, don’t link out to direct competition. Doing so won’t affect the way Google ranks your page, but your bounce rate will increase if you’re literally sending your readers to competitors that offer the same products/services as you do.
Still on the fence about the benefits of internal linking? Here’s how a well-architected page with naturally inserted links would benefit your overall SEO performance:
Statistics show that the average internet reader has less than 9 seconds of attention span and will only read about 20% of a page’s contents. This leads to higher bounce rates. Apart from making quality, engaging content, you can reduce bounce rate by striving to redirect them to different pages of your website.
The more time a reader spends on your site, the higher your chances of converting them are. Strive to create engaging, high-quality pieces of content that would keep readers lurking around your website. Then, maximize this traffic by engaging with them and placing call-to-action buttons throughout the site. The button could link to your contact or products page.
High-quality internal links, low bounce rates, and credible outside sources are all crucial when Google crawls through web pages. If the bots give you a good score, your pages might have a shot at securing a higher position in Google search engine results pages (SERPs).
Make your website as user-friendly and navigable as possible. Ideally, readers should be able to jump to various pieces of content around your site without having to go through the home page or content index page.
Here are some simple, effective tips on how to maximize your internal linking strategy:
As you build your website, you’ll notice that different web pages generate varying amounts of foot traffic. Some get thousands of visitors every month. Meanwhile, others might only generate a few hundred—or even less.
If you want to bump the foot traffic your other web pages generate, try adding them as links to high-ranking pages. Just make sure they’re relevant and informative.
Semantics are extremely important when creating hyperlinks. If you’re linking out to an article about digital marketing, you’d want to use an anchor phrase that contains the exact words “digital marketing.” You can’t just use random blurbs for the hyperlink.
Whether you’re adding internal or external links, the resource linked out to should be relevant to the page’s contents and add informative value. For example, if you’re writing about SEO techniques, you can consider linking out to internal guides about relevant topics such as keyword research, content siloing, and headline creation, among others.
Think of hyperlinks like sales pitches. They’re crucial and efficient, but use them too often and you’ll likely turn the reader off—especially if you keep linking to the same pages. Try limiting your internal links to around three to four per article or web page. This number excludes related article and menu bar links.
You’d want to sprinkle the three to four internal links naturally throughout the web page. It has to be semantically relevant and add informative value to the content. Otherwise, don’t add the link. As mentioned, readers and Google page crawlers dislike web pages loaded with useless links and might categorize them as spam content.
Internal links that open in the same tab as the current page the reader is on is not good for your bounce rate. It encourages readers to leave web pages prematurely. Even if the reader is navigating through your site, you’d want them to spend as much as possible on every web page they land on.
Link juice is an SEO jargon that refers to the amount of value one page passes onto another. Ideally, you’d want to scatter this evenly throughout web pages. To execute this strategy properly, you need to first understand what types of pages have link juice, and which ones don’t.
Pages that have link juice are those that have:
Meanwhile, avoid linking to pages with low link juice content as they can do more harm than good to your overall content quality. These are pages that:
Overall, internal linking is an excellent strategy to create a well-architected page that encourages readers to spend more time on your site, improves your Google PageRank score, and makes in-site navigation much easier. Every blog owner should incorporate internal linking strategies into their marketing plan.
Are you having trouble distributing link juice throughout your site? Or maybe your site doesn’t have enough articles and web pages yet for you to execute an excellent internal linking strategy?
Digital marketing is a field that takes years to master. You’ll have to invest a decent amount of time and financial resources studying different techniques and experimenting with what strategy works or not. If this is not your goal, a third-party digital marketing agency can definitely help you out.
Consult with industry experts, have them assess your current website, and hear out whatever strategy they suggest. This plan will cost a bit more upfront. However, the time and money you save in the long-run combined with the exponentially larger profits that an effective marketing strategy brings in will more than cover the initial investment.
Can’t seem to get readers to visit—much less stay—on your website? Bliss Drive is a reputable digital marketing agency that specializes in helping SMBs take their online presence to a whole other level. Reach out to the Bliss Drive team to see how we can help!