How to do Internal Linking Correctly?

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Internal Linking Schematic

There are many debates about linking from other websites to your site and most web pages do not share about internal linking best practices.  Today I like to share with you about the importance of internal linking and linking them correctly so that you will not be penalized by Google.

A link is not a link. This simply means that any two links within a page is not treated as equally important as another. That is why you need to find out what are the different types of links within the web page that are important to SEO.

Different Types of Internal Linking

1) Navigational Links

These are the main linkages of the website. These are links to navigate other pages like “Home”, “About”, “Products”, “Services” and “Contact Us”. The rule of thumb is to have your most valuable navigational links to direct online users to relevant pages. In this way even if the visitor is reading a blog post and wants to go to another page, they will still be able to click easily without getting lost.

2) Footer Links

These are links at the end of the web pages. The links are usually the website brand name (link back to “Home” page), “Contact Us” link, “Sitemap” link, “Checkout” link. Footer links are best used for call to actions web pages.

Important: Google launched ‘Google Penguin’ algorithm in 24th April 2012, which is to get rid of websites that are over-optimized internally. Footer links are the main primary targets for over-optimization. If you are using the just 4 links then your website should be fine.

3) Side Links

This is the area where you will place links to some important pages or related information. If your site is a blogging website, then you may link back to some review posts where you will have affiliate links to that product. You can place your site navigation here too.

4) Body Text Links

These are links found in the content of the web page, also known as anchor text. It is where the important for SEO to analyse. Your link text to the particular page can vary such as “internal linking tips” and “tips on internal linking”.

5) Image Links

It is an image for you to link to another page within your site. Usually the image is a “call to action” signalling online users to check out what is being offered in the other web page. Adding of title, alternate text and description is highly recommended when using image links.

6) Breadcrumbs Links

Breadcrumb links are links that show you where you first started to where you are currently on the website. Breadcrumbs links are usually found just below the Navigation Taps of the website also known as archived links or Sitemap.

7) Recommended or Related Links

If you are using WordPress, you can use the “Related Post’ plugin to help you with internal linking. But I would recommend that you choose the content to link to on your own, rather than using the plugin.

Do’s For Internal Linking

a) Modify Your Link Text or Do Not Use The Same Text for The Same Link. You should not be using the same texts and links to a particular page too many times. I would only use once or twice of the same text to link back to another internal page.

b) Create Sitemap. There are 2 different sitemaps that every websites must have, one is a normal webpage and the other is a XML sitemap.

c) Use Image Link For Call to Actions. You would have some services or products that you are selling on your page. It is fine to use image and link to the page you want to bring visitors to. Remember to use different titles and alternative texts when linking to the same page.

Don’ts for Internal Linking

a) Do Not Direct Links To Open New Window or Tab. It will be very irritating if every time you click on the link it opens a new browser page or tab. This is not a good SEO practice for internal linking. Unless you are linking to other websites, then it is fine to direct the link to open up to a new browser page or tab.

b) Do Not Place All Important Pages Links On Footer. Since the date of Google Penguin launched, a lot of websites have been badly hit and lost their search rankings within a day.

c) Do Not Have More Than 100 Links In a Page. This is an outdated Google guideline. But Matt Cutts recommended to link only the important pages. According to the Google Page Rank formula, the number of links in a page will be shared equally within the page. For example, each link will have a lesser Page Rank pass to the particular page. If the page is a sitemap, it is fine to have more than 100 links as it helps the user to search within your site and Google has since upgraded their system to index all the links within the page.

I hope what I shared with you today helps you to understand the importance of internal linking and linking them correctly. If you like to find out about our Ascelade SEO services do contact us here to find out more. Do share using the social media buttons below if you find this article useful.

Cyrus Yung has been generating sales & marketing leads through Pay-Per-Click marketing via Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing & Bing since 2008. He used to be a naval diver before he left to join one of Asia’s largest seminar organizer company in 2006. Having worked and organized some of the largest seminars in Singapore, he left in 2008 to pursue his passion for internet entrepreneurship. With a proven track record of generating more than 20,000 qualified sales leads from 2008 to 2012, he helps companies in Singapore to build various online properties with high traffic & converting sales.

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