Search engine optimization (SEO) involves more than just keywords and phrases. Optimizing your website ranking is a process in which you must use all of the tools at your disposal to ensure that the search bots see every page of your website for maximum exposure. A vital part of your SEO strategy is employing internal links that lead from one page to the next within your website to give those web crawlers the grand tour each time they touch down on your homepage. Orphan pages — those that are not internally linked to any other page on the site — cannot be indexed by a search bot and therefore cannot be found when someone searches.
ABCs of Internal Linking
Internal links are far easier to establish than external links from other websites because, as the site developer, you have complete, immediate control. Linking your pages internally is one of the simplest and most effective SEO strategies, because it multiplies the number of phrases and keywords on your site that can possibly appear in search results. Also, because you understand the structure upon which your site is built, you can establish links that lead search crawlers as well as visitors through a logical progression of pages.
The simplest way to link all of your web pages is to select a key phrase or keyword on each page that connects to the next in order of SEO importance as well as site relevance. You should take care to avoid cross-linking pages because that might cause backtracking and confusion.
The keyword or phrase you choose will become your link’s anchor text. It could be part of an existing headline, text or even an image on the page that keys in to text, a headline, or image on the next successive page.
For example, on a homepage for your business, you could tag the phrase “customer service” as anchor text for linking to your services page. While your web creation software may enable linking automatically, knowing the HTML code for creating links comes in handy in all sorts of ways. Here is the format:
<a href=”http://www.mybusinesswebsite.com/services”>customer service</a>
In the above example, you would use enclose the entire link in angle brackets. The first “a” begins the link tag, while the /a closes the tag. “Href=” introduces the location where the link will refer the reader; the URL within the quotation marks is the address for your business services page. Finally, the phrase, “customer service” is the link anchor that will be highlighted for clicking.
Suggestions for Optimizing Internal Linking Network
Supercharge your SEO through judicial placement of internal links. The first place a search crawler creeps is the site navigation bar. Select your navigation tags so that at least some of them contain keywords or phrases for optimum results. Page footers are an effective spot for a sitemap link, where every entry is linked to its corresponding page on your website, offering wayward web bots another well-lit pathway.
WordPress SEO Pager facilitates navigation through the pages of your website for visitors and bots alike. It overrides the need for using “back” and “next” buttons to find a particular page, streamlining navigation even for creepers. SEO Smart Links, another open source, WordPress gadget, automatically establishes links between new blog posts and comments with relevant content on other pages of the website.
By knowing the right HTML code and having the right tools, linking your pages for SEO is simple. You can boost your website’s search engine rankings and keep visitors on your site longer by following a logical internal link strategy.
About The Author:- Matt is runs an SEO and Web Design agency, along with Pet365 – an online pet supplies store. He also has a passionate for motorsport and blogs at Kart365 about pretty much anything karting related.