This is the final installment of six SEO 101 series videos on the fundamental building blocks that make up well optimized websites. To see all the SEO 101 series, you can find the list here.
In this SEO 101 video, we tackle internal links. Although a simple concept that beginners will easily understand, internal linking is as much of a craft as it is a method, and consistency takes discipline and experience. Therefore, SEOs at all levels can benefit from taking a look at their website’s internal linking strategy.
Learn what internal links are and why you need them, see an example of a strong internal linking strategy in action, and get a simple four-step plan for creating your own internal link strategy that will get you off to the races.
Transcript of the Video:
Today we’re talking about creating an internal linking strategy. Internal links are links from one page of your website to another page on your website, where the source domain and destination domain are the same.
Why do you need internal links? Here are three reasons:
- Internal links help your visitors and web crawlers navigate your site
- They help reinforce your site’s information organization
- They help distribute authority throughout your pages
If you look at Vertical Measures’ blog post on Local SEO for Small Business Owners, you’ll notice there are links within the content of this webpage. If we click on “local SEO strategies,” for example, it takes us to a landing page on VerticalMeasures.com that’s specifically about Local Search. So we’ve helped users navigate our site, and linked to other content that is contextually relevant and highly authoritative.
You can create a similar internal linking strategy on your website if you follow these four steps. Let’s say you have a website about Triple Crown horse racing. First, create lots of content. After all, you can’t have a great internal linking strategy without first establishing a content strategy.
Second, organize your content in a “hub-and-spoke model.” You have content “hubs” for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, each linking to “spokes” which are content topics for each race.
Third, create these pieces of “spoke” content. In this example, you have articles about Kentucky Derby horses, odds and results, and then you link each of these spokes back to the race’s hub and to each other where appropriate.
Fourth and last, use the natural context of the page and keywords that two pieces of content have in common when placing your hyperlinks from one to another. For example, you write a new page about the horse “American Pharaoh” and mention his run in the “Kentucky Derby,” the pre-race “5-2 odds” for him winning, and his resulting “2015 victory.” This piece of spoke content, in the natural flow of information, provides three natural places to link to the content hub and two other spokes on the site.
Although this four-step strategy is simple, it takes discipline and thoughtfulness. You should always keep the user in mind, placing internal links only when it’s helpful to the visitor, to avoid spammy over-optimization. Done correctly, the benefits of a strong internal linking strategy include: boosting or sustaining the authority and ranking of your hub pages, increased visitor traffic to your deeper pages, and improved conversion assists between related, linked content pages.