The Importance of Internal Linking

Have you spent too much time chasing inbound links to your site when you could be focusing your efforts elsewhere?  Are you focusing too much effort in an area you have little or no control over?

You’re not alone.

Now it’s time to take matters into your own hands and concentrate on something you control – your site’s internal linking structure

We’re all taught the value of an inbound link in everything we read on SEO.  It becomes a blinder to other more important aspects of building our sites.

When another webmaster decides to link to your content you rarely have any control over any elements of that link.  Yet every single one you obtain counts as a popularity vote for your site and influences how well it ranks in the search engines.

The more external sites providing inbound links, the more authority your site is given by the search engines.  Google refers to this as its PageRank while SEOs often use the term link equity or link juice.

Regardless of what you call it, how do you distribute this throughout the variety of pages on your site?

This is where internal linking comes into play.

Inbound links from other sites gives your site authority.  Internal links allow you to move this around within your site.

Most external sites will link back to your home page.  This means all the authority or “link juice” will be passed to that one single page on your site.  You need to share this around your site and this is where internal links become a crucial element for SEO.

What kind of internal linking strategy should you use?

There is no one strategy that has proven to be more effective than others.  However, following these few pointers will help guide you:

  • Point your site’s main menu to the most important pages on your site
  • Use internal links to point your readers to your most important pages on your site
  • Link to your own content where possible when illustrating a point
  • Prevent pages from becoming orphaned on your site (not linked from any other page)

 Take some time to examine your internal linking structure.  This is time well spent on an SEO activity you have direct control over!

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About Barry Wheeler

Barry Wheeler is a blogger, novice SEO, geek and passionate Newfoundlander. Operating several successful websites and online communities, Barry has started exploring the social internet and its impact on all facets of society including personal life and business relationships. Find Barry on Twitter @barrywheeler and FaceBook or on his website Barry Wheeler - Blogging for Success.
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