Importance of correct internal linking

Make sure your content is accessible. After all, if Google can’t reach a webpage, it has no way of indexing that page. If your page is not indexed, it has no way of showing in search results. In this chapter, we discuss accessibility, ways to improve your site speed, and ways to avoid duplicate content issues.

The Importance of Correct Internal Linking

Making sure your site is accessible is as simple as 1) correctly linking your content, which we’ll cover in this section; and 2) making sure that nothing funky is happening “under the hood,” which we’ll cover in the next section.

Using Anchor Text when Linking Internally

Anchor text is the clickable text of a link that is displayed to the visitor. So when you click on a link that says “click here,” the phrase “click here” is the anchor text. The code might be something like this:

<a href=”http://www.somedomain.com”/>Click Here</a>

In the example above, the “http://www.somedomain.com” is the destination URL and the “Click Here” is the anchor text, the only part of that the reader actually sees.

When linking from page to page on your own website, use the keywords of the destination page as the anchor text. This helps Google understand the content of the destination page and helps the page rank in search results for the keywords used. Let’s go over a few examples.

In Content Linking

The following image shows an example of using keywords as anchor text when linking to other internal pages from the home page.

seo-links

These pages feature two target venues, one for the Huntington Beach Hyatt and one for St Regis Monarch Beach. Using the keywords of the destination pages as anchor text will help those pages rank for those keywords.

Footer and Sidebar Linking

Link to important content directly from your Footer or Sidebar using specific keywords for anchor text. In the example below, notice how each link is a specific keyword that closely matches the title/keyword of the page.

seo-linking

“Next” and “Previous” Post Linking

At the bottom of each post, many website themes link to next or previous posts. This is excellent practice because it gives both your users and Google bots a relevant page to visit after the current page. Make sure your theme uses the titles of the posts, rather than the words “next” and “previous.”

The following image shows you how the SLR Lounge WordPress Theme links to “next” and “previous” posts at the bottom of each post. Notice how the anchor text is the actual titles of the posts.

seo-tips

This helps Google understand the content of the destination pages, which helps those pages rank for the keywords in the titles.

While this example is for WordPress, other content management systems, like Squarespace and Wix, have themes with a similar method of linking between posts. Whatever theme you choose, try to find one that uses the titles as the anchor text. Of course it’s up to you to make sure those titles include keywords!

When You Might Not Use Keywords as Anchor Text

1. When Linking in Menu – Menu space is limited and good design rules often inhibit your ability to include keywords within menu items. For example, the menu item for your home page should be “home,” even if the main keyword for your home page is something much longer than that.

In the example below of our own website, we use “home” in the menu instead of our main keyword for our home page, “Los Angeles Wedding Photographer.”

home-page

2. When Using Linked Images – You can also link from page to page using linked images. In these cases, the image serves as the clickable part of the link, so there is no anchor text. However, you should still include keywords in the Alt Text of the image.

html-link-image

Prioritizing Content

Now that we know HOW to correctly link our pages, we need to determine WHAT pages to link and WHERE to link them. To make this determination, we need to first prioritize our content so that we give our important pages the proper internal link support to do well in search results.

Determine Your Important Pages – To determine your most important pages, consider your business objectives. For example, if you’re looking to book events at a particular venue, then a page featuring that venue should be high priority. If a particular type of photography is more profitable for your business; and you’re aiming to book more of that particular type, then a page featuring that service should be prioritized. Every business is different, so think hard to come up with your own list.

After you have your list, it’s time to use your internal link structure to help those important pages rank well in search results. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Place Important Links on Home Page – Pages that are one click away from your home page will typically rank better in search engines than pages and posts hidden deep within your site. So link to your most important pages directly from your home page.
  2. Place Important Links Near Top – Pages that are linked close to the top of a page will typically rank better than pages linked far down the page. So put whatever links you feel are most important to your SEO strategy closer to the top of your pages or in the menu (which is at the top of every page).
  3. Link Often to Your Important Links – Pages that are linked to often will rank better than pages that are linked to rarely. So be sure to find ways to reference your most important pages throughout your website.

Note: So far we have only talked about internal linking, but it’s important to note that external link building is also important. In fact, proper external link building is arguably more important than internal linking. So after you’ve taken all of the proper steps to support your important pages with internal links, the next step is to find ways drive links from other sites to those pages. We will cover this in detail in Book 2. For now, let’s continue on with our discussion of site structure.

CHAPTER 1.01 – INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 2: 1.02 – SEO BASICS & KEYWORD STRATEGY

CHAPTER 3 1.03 – CREATING CONTENT

CHAPTER 4: 1.04 – SITE STRUCTURE

Chapter 5: 1.05 – ACCESSIBILITY, SPEED, AND DUPLICATE CONTENT

Chapter 6: 2.01 – LINK BASICS

Chapter 7: 2.02 – LINK VALUE FACTORS

Chapter 8: 2.03 – NOFOLLOW, RELATED LINKS, & ANCHOR TEXT

Chapter 9: 2.04 – LINK BUILDING STRATEGIES

Chapter 10: 3.01 – THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Chapter 11: 3.02 – MAXIMIZING SPECIFIC SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS

Chapter 12: 3.03 – MASTER LOCAL SEARCH

Chapter 13: 4.01 – Initial Decisions

Chapter 14: 4.02 – WORDPRESS AND SQUARESPACE

Chapter 15: 4.03 – GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Chapter 16: PAID DIRECTORIES

ACCESS TO INDUSTRY-LEADING EDUCATION

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