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Using Internal Linking to Improve your Search Rankings

Where you land in a Google search engine ranking can mean everything for your business’ success. Just like a good location for a brick-and-mortar business, a good search engine ranking makes your online business easier to reach. The problem is there are just way too many websites out there for Google to search every site. If you want to make the list, you are going to have to find a way to boost your search rankings.

What are Search Rankings?

Simply put, search rankings are where websites are placed in a line with other similar websites. The higher, or better, a website ranks, the lower its number on the list. The higher rankings a websites’ number on the list, the lower in the search it will appear. In other words, when you google something, the websites toward the top of the page have lower numbers, and the websites at the bottom have higher numbers.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of making your website easier to find and increase traffic. The higher its ranking, the easier your site is for a searcher to find, whether the searcher is an actual person or an algorithm.

Going back to the brick and mortar example, SEO is like getting a better location for your storefront, taking out bigger ads, and getting more of your customers to talk about your store. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long play and is constantly changing, but one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO is with a good internal link building strategy or backlinking strategy.

What is Internal Linking and how is it Helpful?

Internal linking, also known as backlinking, is when you link together relevant web pages within your website. Much like putting toothpaste near the toothbrushes in a store, internal linking makes related topics or products on your website easier to find. The best part is the users do not need to leave your website to find them. This eliminates the risk of them navigating to a competitor’s website when they search for the next item.

Domain authority is an important factor in SEO. Domain authority is how respected or authoritative your website is perceived to be on a given topic. Just like your website as a whole, each page has its own page authority. Internal linking has you covered here as well. Similar to how external linking can increase your websites’ domain authority, internal linking can increase the authority of a single page, which means the service you are offering on that page rises in the rankings along with the page’s authority.   

Internal linking also helps give your website structure. Linking relevant pages together helps a user navigate your website and find what they need without having to look at a menu or return to a search engine. It also aids in providing order and hierarchy to your website. Each page within a website each has its own authority. Internal linking can help share one pages’ authority with another.

The Proven Method

So internal linking sounds great, but how do you put it into practice?

Marketing Land has a proven, three-step method for boosting search rankings with an internal linking strategy.

Page Depth

The first step in their process is to reduce page depth. Page depth is how many steps or clicks are needed to get from your home page to the page you want the user to see. More steps equal greater page depth. Page depth can harm your search results by adding to the amount of work Google or an individual has to do to find your page. You can reduce a page’s depth by reducing the total number of pages on your website. Try to find similar topics on your website and group them together on one page. Remember, if someone can find your product more easily, they are less likely to navigate to a competitor’s page.

Content Hubs

Content hubs are groups of related content with similar keywords linked around a pillar page. The pillar page is one that already has a strong page authority which can be shared with the pages internally linking to and from it. This helps with sharing page authority over time.

Focus your Efforts

One way to increase a page’s authority is by focusing on a group of pages with related content. Create a landing page and fill it with links to internal content related to a similar topic. This will drive more users to that page and to the subsequent pages in the group.

Follow these steps and you’ll be ready to start your internal linking strategy, adding to your business’ success while improving your SEO overall. If you want to do more to improve your SEO, check out these 6 key elements of SEO that influence your search rankings.

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About the Author: Alex Kirkwood

Alex Kirkwood

Alex prides himself in having strengths in copywriting, social media management and strategic development. He graduated from California State University Fullerton with a Bachelors degree in Communication and has held previous positions as account coordinators, assistant account manager and marketing communication specialist.