Earning quality, relevant links is one of the most important elements of digital marketing. In the dark days of SEO past this led to companies setting up link farms to cheat the system. Today this is bad practice and Google takes a very dim view of it.
Modern SEO is about ensuring your site earns links from high-quality sites that are relevant to your industry. These are usually external links, where a third party website sends traffic to you. This offers credibility and tells Google that you’re important – great for your reputation and your organic search rankings too.
The Neglected Link
With all the attention on External links some marketers neglect the internal link. An internal link directs traffic to a different page on your website, as MOZ explains here. This can help readers find more information from you, and allows you to generate more interest. As we mentioned in an earlier article, great content is vital, but useless if no one is finding it.
Internal links are not just about helping readers though; they can also help Google properly index your site.
The Guardian Trumps the Daily Mail
Graham Charlton, @gcharlton, gives an excellent example of this in his article. Charlton shows the difference in the linking strategy between the Guardian and the Daily Mail, and how internal linking allowed one newspaper to succeed in FIFA World Cup coverage while the other failed. Read more in his article here.
Help Google Out
If you have lots of pages on a certain topic, Google will index the pages. However, because the pages are all related to the same content, the pages indirectly compete with each other. In other words, your content ‘cannibalises’ itself.
This is where the internal link comes in. By linking to other pages on the site, you can show to Google which are the most important pages. Establishing this hierarchy can help your pages rank in search results.
Have a Strategy for Links
This shows how important it is to establish a clear internal linking strategy. Having a main page for each topic, and linking to it from all subsidiary content will bring loads of benefits.
Not only can you show readers new content and a convenient, easy to navigate resource, but you tell Google where your most important pages are.
So, when writing for your blog or creating a new product page, show the internal link some love.
If you’d like help with your internal linking strategy the SEO team here at Mitra are on hand to help.