10 Tips for Effective Interlinking

Be honest, how much attention do you pay to interlinking on your website?  Do you put more emphasis on external linking?  As every SEO expert can tell you, search engines will give plenty of attention to your external linking efforts, but internal linking is just as important.  Internal linking is a content optimization tactic that not only helps your user navigate your site (if done correctly), but it also helps pass your page rank throughout your site.

Why is internal linking important?  Your site architecture actually has a direct impact on how your ranking power flows from page to page through your site.  With proper internal linking, you have some control over this and you can manipulate your page rank in the most beneficial way for your site.  Bad internal linking means poor navigation throughout your site and search engines will determine that your site is of poor quality because of this.  In addition, poor interlinking can confuse your website visitors.  To help you navigate the world of internal linking, here are 10 tips, in no particular order:

  1. Make sure you have a link structure that provides easy access to every internal page you want to be visible to search engines.
  2. Use anchor text that promotes the keywords you’re targeting on the page.
  3. Find the most desirable hierarchy of your pages in order to manipulate the flow of page rank.  This is important because page rank is shared by the internal pages the main URL links to.  Therefore, it’s essential to set priorities and adjust your architecture accordingly.  For instance, you don’t want page rank split up amongst form thank you pages, but you would want page rank to flow to your product pages.
  4. Include calls to action before, within or after your link.  People’s eyes naturally gravitate toward any links on your page, so it’s a great way to emphasize a call to action.
  5. Link only between pages that are related by keyword.
  6. Make sure that every page links to at least one other page.  This will help search engines crawl your site faster.
  7. Avoid using JavaScript, Flash or other plug-ins with internal linking.  Plain HTML text is easier for search engines to crawl.
  8. Don’t become a victim of excessive internal linking. It’s annoying to read a page with hundreds of links and search engines will get suspicious.  Tip: Try internally linking about every 100 words.
  9. Don’t link to pages that aren’t useful.  While you might spot a great opportunity to slide another keyword into the content and link to another page on your site, you still need to provide value to your reader.  Ask yourself if it makes sense to lead the reader there.
  10. Avoid nofollow links unless absolutely necessary.  These will block spiders, which defeats part of the reason why you’re internally linking to begin with.

With these tips in hand, your internal linking efforts can improve how search engine spiders crawl your site, build internal relevancy, help users navigate your site and effectively pass your page rank throughout your site in the most beneficial way.  Find out more ways to improve your search engine optimization efforts.

*Image provided by Larixk on Flickr

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