Search engine optimization depends on multiple factors. One of the most important ones is link building. However, that is also the one where people can make some mistakes. That is especially true for internal linking.
The process may look easy. You take some internal links and add them to your page. But, there are many pitfalls and common mistakes to avoid. Here is everything you need to know about the internal linking strategy and how to make it right the first time!
1. Not using SEO-friendly links
When it comes to link building, it is essential to understand good and bad practices. Let us start with an easy one. When we talk about using the right link, we mean using links that will benefit your SEO. You cannot just put any link thinking it will add value to your search engine optimization. The four most common bad types of links are:
- Broken links
- Temporary links
- Redirect links
- Masked links
Broken links happen due to poor website maintenance. The link itself was operational at one moment, but you failed to notice when an error appeared. The link does not work, and you must either fix or replace it.
Temporary links lead to a placeholder page, telling your users that the page is out of use due to an issue. They usually convey the “404 Page Not Found” message. While they serve a purpose, keeping actual page URLs and fixing them fast is much better.
Redirect links do as they say. They take a user to a different page. If you create a chain of emails that takes the user on a rollercoaster ride from one page to another, they might decide to leave your website.
Masked links, or cloaked URLs, may seem deceptive. Because of that, they are not considered the best SEO practice. They mask the real URL by showing something different. A visitor might think they are on one website, but they are on a whole other domain.
2. Using the no-follow attribute
When adding a link, you can edit its code in the backend to achieve a specific thing. You can assign two attributes to a link: “do-follow” and “no-follow.” While the first tell Google to crawl your page and inspect the link, the second tells it to ignore the link.
No-follow links help your page to get essential referral traffic. But they don’t contribute to your SEO. That is why keeping both types of links in balance is essential.
3. Not linking to relevant pages
Every internal link should add value to the page it sits on. If you are writing an article about a specific topic, your links should be tightly connected to that topic. You add value to your readers by creating reader-friendly SEO content. If you add links with irrelevant pages, that might seem spammy, and it will negatively reflect on your SEO.
4. Adding too many links on one page
Link stuffing is never good for your website. Like with keywords, you want to use an optimal number of internal links to achieve the best results. Furthermore, you want to spread them out evenly, do not put links close to one another.
The idea is to keep the user on that page for some time and give them another source of information they can follow. However, if you keep all the links closely grouped, the user might leave the page and never return. Also, too many internal links seem forceful to Google, and they do not contribute to your SEO.
5. Wrong link placement
We mentioned how you should spread links evenly on the page. There are specific rules about placing links in an SEO-friendly way.
For example, bad practice is turning your headers into links. Crawlers will not look at your headers correctly, affecting your search ranking.
6. Using wrong anchors for link
An anchor is a phrase that you link to another page. The clickable part of a sentence will take the reader to the linked page. These anchors are important because they should tell the user what to expect if they click on a link.
Using anchors that trick the users or don’t describe the destination page accurately will result in a bad customer experience. As a result, users will leave your website, affecting the traffic and the bounce rate.
7. Not using keyword research to create anchors
Even though you might use a descriptive anchor, if it does not contribute to keyword relevance, it will not be as impactful on the SEO. Every page must have a purpose, and that purpose reflects through keywords. The anchors you use should contribute to the URL of the page they link to and the main keyword for that page.
8. Not structuring your website properly
Navigational links are also part of your internal linking strategy. The navigation menu helps the users navigate your website to quickly find what they need. If you want that your navigational links play an essential SEO role, you need to structure your website properly. Everything needs to be categorized and in a logical order. A website map is an essential element of SEO.
9. Be mindful of the crawl depth
Crawl depth represents the number of clicks the visitor must click to reach the homepage. That is a crucial element of website architecture. The bigger the depth number is, the less important page seems to the crawler engines.
10. Not naming your links properly
You should name all links by using relevant descriptions. A visitor should be able to tell what is on the page by inspecting the URL. The naming convention for URLs is also significant for SEO because it gives meaning to your pages.
Always descriptively create URLs, so Google can tell what is on every page. Avoid using random words or combinations of letters and numbers to name your links.
That is how to create a bulletproof internal linking strategy
You have nothing to worry about if you follow these internal linking strategy rules. Be mindful of these potential mistakes, and try to avoid them as soon as possible. Remember to regularly maintain your website to ensure all links work. Once you use these best practices, your website will quickly reach the first page!
Lewis Archer is an SEO expert with over 12 years of experience. As a professional writer for Movers Development, he wants to create valuable content that will bring the topic of SEO closer to his readers.