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Internal Linking to Drive Rankings

By Snap Agency October 6, 2017

We all know that links dictate a significant portion of your SEO success. But what you might not know is that internal links can often be just as important as external backlinks. They will help to drive ‘link juice’ to your posts and therefore improve your rankings.

In many cases, it can be difficult to create external backlinks because of the topic of the page or because it’s a commercial page that companies don’t like to link to.

In these circumstances, one of the only ways to rank the page could be with powerful internal links. This can be the difference between a page not ranking and therefore generating no sales, and a page ranking for a valuable keyword and bringing in revenue each month.

What are Internal Links?

Internal links are simply links from one page on your website to another page on the same website. These links help to direct your users to relevant pages and to allow them to easily navigate your website.

However, regarding SEO, they can be used to drive ‘link juice’ from pages that attract many links to pages that you want to rank but that don’t have many links.

Why are They Powerful?

Internal links can be extremely powerful because you can use the precise anchor text that you want and they can often come from strong pages. Both of these factors can make an otherwise irrelevant link into one that can have a considerable impact.

It’s widely known that the anchor text of a link can impact on the ability of the receiving page to rank for that term. It’s also generally accepted that you can use more exact matching anchor text with internal links than you can from external links.

With the link being on your website you have complete control over that link, and you can ensure that it comes from a strong page. To do this, you should be building the link from a page that already has a notable amount of links pointing at it. This is likely to cause a bigger rank improvement.

How to Use Internal Linking

There are two ways that we like to use internal links; to direct anchor text to pages that already rank and to direct ‘link juice’ to pages that are struggling to rank or attract links.

In the first case, you might wish to do that to either dilute the existing anchor text profile for a page that is too heavily optimized. On the other hand, you might want to use an exact match anchor text to encourage a page to rank for a particular keyword.

While you often have little to no control over the anchor text of external backlinks, with internal links you can craft the backlink profile more precisely. The right anchor texts can help to push you to that coveted #1 position while the wrong ratios could even lead to a penalty.

With so much importance placed on your anchor text profile, it’s extremely beneficial for you to have some control over the link texts that you’re using.

Secondly, some pages are especially difficult to build links to, and this can often make it tough for you to rank the page for the keyword that you desire. In this case, it’s best to focus on creating secondary pages that can attract backlinks and then to internally link from them to your ‘money’ page, i.e. the one you want to rank.

For example; if your keyword was ‘best builder NYC’ and the page was a sales pages then you might struggle to build powerful links to it. However, you could build external links to a page about NYC building restrictions and then internally link to your sales page.

This will cause a portion of that ‘link juice’ from the building regulations page to be sent through to the sales page, helping it to rank for your target keyword.

Improve the Power of Your Internal Links

To make your internal links more powerful, you need to link from the strongest page possible. This is often why SEO’s will create pieces of content that are extremely easy to build huge volumes of links to and then use that article for internally linking.

It’s best to pick a topic for your post that you know has the potential to attract not only a lot of links but also authoritative links. For example; you might do a roundup or top 100 list, featuring the best blogs, or companies in your industry.

These pages attract more links on average than blog posts or generic articles. As with external backlinks, the links higher up the page have more value, so you should try and insert your internal link as the first link on the page. This will drive the most ‘link juice’ to the page that you want to rank.