As a digital marketer, you may have come across various publications, and also different forms of recommendations all pointing to the importance of building links. As a diligent marketer, you realize it is essential to try and understand what all this is.
As you may, or may not, have learned, there are various forms of building links. These links are what Google and other search engines will use to determine the value of your website. This article will take a look at one form of link building.
What is internal linking?
In simple terms, this is the process of linking pages to each other. These pages should be on the same domain. For example, you could own a business directory. You would then write a blog post that explains the importance of a business owner putting their business on a directory like yours.
Somewhere at the end of the article, you will put a link that takes the reader directly to the sign-up page, or a page where they could add their business listing. Adding that “Submit Your Website” link to the blog post is a form of internal linking.
Why is it important?
Before your pages and content can appear on search results, they need to be linked in one way or another. Linking is what Google and other search engines will use to determine what are the most critical pages on your website and that they can present to searchers.
This form of linking is also an excellent way to show Google the hierarchy of your website. The pages with more links on your site are considered to be more important. Google will then pick these as they deem them to be more valuable. If a page does not exist anywhere on your site map, and has not been linked to any other page, Google will find it difficult to know that page exists.
Even Google themselves do state that they do not have a central database to which they place all pages. For this very reason, they have to go through domains to find new pages. This process is known as crawling.
They also state that some pages are known because Google has gone over them before. New pages are discovered when the Google bot follows a link from a known page to those new pages.
Set up an internal link strategy
It is possible to grow your site entirely as a result of internal linking. As such, heavy emphasis is placed on employing the right strategies. The wrong approach could also end up hurting the performance of your web properties.
Developing a strategy and consistently reviewing it will also help Google understand what pages are relevant to your website, how those pages are related, and what value those pages hold. Whether you are an SEO agency doing it for your own website and clients, or you’re looking to hire someone, make sure that this part of the strategy is clear before executing.
One good example is to think of your website structure as a pyramid. The pages at the top of the pyramid are those that are most important. All related pages will then be placed under the pyramid in order of importance.
Let’s say you have several pages about household appliances from TVs to fridges to microwaves. One thing you could do is group these appliances according to the type of appliance, by manufacturer, and product model.
So, at the top is the page about household appliances. Then below it, you link the pages to TVs, Microwaves and AV receivers and others. Now, in one category, say fridges, you will then list the available refrigerators by manufacturer, and the by specific fridge product models.
Internal linking is not a challenging undertaking. It just needs a well thought out structure. Planning is crucial if you want Google to index your website pages properly.
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