You’ve done the hard bit.
The only thing left to do this week is to add the internal links to your content.
This will connect your main content and the supporting pieces and it’ll also give a huge boost to our overall SEO efforts.
Why Is Internal Link Building Important?
Internal links give you control over the flow of human traffic and search engine traffic which can be used in different ways.
Not only that:
But Google used to publicly state–
And more recently than that…
…Google’s John Mueller went on record to say-
“The context we pick up from internal linking is really important to us… with that kind of anchor text, that text around the links. That’s really important to us.”
So don’t sleep on internal link building because if it’s important for Google, it should be important for you as well.
Let me show you a quick example with my Google penalty checker page which has internal links from various pages-
These links are using the exact anchor text “Google penalty checker” which is helping the page to rank #1 in Google for the same term-
This is just one of the ways we can take advantage of internal linking!
But we can use them for so much more than just SEO-
1. Internal Links Help Google To Discover Your New Content
Google’s discovers new websites/pages in a number of ways, although most pages are almost certainly discovered via crawling.
Matt Cutts explains more about the crawling process in this video-
Here’s a practical demonstration of how Google uses crawling to discover new web pages:
Right now, Google has 495 pages from my blog in their index
I know my blog pretty well (obviously)…
So I know that 495 pages = pretty much all the pages on my blog.
Great, so that’s Google’s work done right!?
Not so fast.
Google knows websites change all the time.
For example, you may periodically change the content on your ‘about us’ page or write a brand new blog post every few days.
So they have to constantly re-crawl websites/web pages to look for new content.
This is where internal links come in.
Google relies on internal links to discover new content.
This works because whenever you add a new page/post to your website it’ll almost always be linked-to from somewhere on your website.
For example, whenever I publish a new blog post it automatically apears on my homepage-
Because Google has already indexed my main blog page (and category pages), their crawler will follow that internal link to discover my latest blog post.
Like I said, most content management systems (e.g. WordPress) add internal links to new pages/posts automatically but these aren’t always in the best location for SEO purposes.
This is why you need a smart internal linking strategy (more on this later!)
2. Internal Links Help Google To Rank (And Better Understand) Your Web Pages
Google uses the number of internal links to figure out how important that page may be.
For example, I link to my SEO portalfrom within my main navigation bar… (Which is present on every page of my website)
This tells Google that I deem this content to be of high importance.
And if I think this page is important, chances are that other people will too.
It passes more ‘link juice’ meaning that it’ll be more authoritative in Google’s eyes.
Here’s a good video showing how ‘link juice/flow’ works:
Another important aspect of internal links is the anchor text used within the link(s).
This helps Google to understand what that particular web page is about.
For example, in one of my income reports…
I link to my SEMRush review with the anchor text ‘SEMRush review’.
In Google’s eyes, this helps reinforce what that page is about (i.e. a review of SEMRush) and helps them feel more confident about ranking it for SEMRush-related terms.
I dont like to leave any room for misinterpretation-
In simple terms:
The anchor text you use for internal links is an important ranking factor.
And if you’re worried about being penalised by Google for manipulating anchor text like this you really don’t need to worry – I’ll update you if that ever changes!
3. Internal Links Help Make You More Money (Yes, Really!)
Internal links provide a navigational aid for real-life visitors to your website.
The links in your navigation menu provide perhaps the most obvious example of this…
They funnel visitors to the most important pages on your website.
But this is also true for internal links within your content.
I funnel visitors to download my keyword & link building templates using an internal link in my keyword research template post.
But why do I do this?
Because it makes me more money.
Not only does it drive new email subscribers while providing a ton of value for my visitors…
(Or at least I hope it does!)
Plus the manual to use it contains affiliate links.
Strategically sending my traffic to that page results in more email signups, affiliate conversions and therefore more money!
Especially when it ranks for it’s target term-
Here are a few ways you can use internal links to make more money:
- Funnel people towards high-converting pages
- Funnel people towards pages with affiliate links
- Funnel people towards relevant products/services
Note: The use of strategically placed internal links will help reduce bounce rate.
This can have some serious SEO benefit and indirectly increase revenue.
Because a type of bounce rate is likely used as a Google ranking factor if people click back to the SERPs after visiting your site.
So while bounce rate is not a direct ranking metric…
It indicates people may not be engaging with your content.
A lower bounce rate may mean you rank higher and therefore lead to more organic traffic.
More traffic usually = more money.
How To Internal Link Your New Content (The Right Way!)
There are lots of different theories on how to add internal links. But I stick to 2x rules:
- If it’s relevant, add it
- Only use the exact target anchor text
It’s that simple.
Just use the site: command in Google along with your broad keyword to find opportunities to add internal links.
For example when I published my WPX Hosting review, I did this search–
Then I went through each result looking for opportunities to add internal links because if Google says it’s relevant, it’s relevant.
Repeat this process for each of your main and supporting pieces of content using their target keyword.
How To Add Internal Links “Naturally”
You may need to adjust the text slightly to add internal links. You can add sentences, add paragraphs and rework phrases to make the keyword fit:
You can add extra words where necessary:
You can also use some tricks like adding questions:
Find a way to make the keyword fit as naturally as possible!
Before And After Internal Link Examples
Take a look at this in action.
Here’s a section of my supporting content without internal links:
And here’s the simple sentence I added to make an internal link work:
I took this standard sentence:
And added the word “drone blogs” to make it super easy to add an internal link:
Before you move on:
Do this search in Google for your site and the target keyword of your main piece of content and the supporting pieces of content.
Then add internal links using a 100% exact match anchor to pass instant authority and hopefully, quick rankings to your new content.
…I’ve only got one more thing to say at this point!