How you structure and set up your website plays a BIG part on how your website ranks in the Search Engines. In this video we discuss the importance of Internal Linking and how you can you can either have amazing results or have your site crash and burn if you ignore these basics.
Hello and Welcome, David Judge here and in this short video I’m going to talk with you about Internal Linking and share the Do’s and Don’ts of internal linking.
Ok, so lets presume for a moment that you haven’t heard of the term Internal Linking and I’ll briefly explain what an internal link is.
What is an Internal Link?
An internal link is when you link from one page on your website to another page on your website. Internal links are usually found in your navigation bar (at the top or side of your site) and they’re used to help visitors look through your website.
In our last video we covered Supporting Content and If you consider people visiting your website and how you would use internal links to improve their experience, supporting content is a form of Internal linking that gives people an opportunity to delve deeper or get more information around a specific topic.
This has a 2-fold effect.
1- The first is to allow visitors to get quick access to content that will improve their experience and keep them coming back
2- Actually pass Authority (or link juice) onto these other pages of your website
This all sounds nice, natural and is the way links should be set up on a site.
Unnatural Internal Links
Where this all starts to come unstuck is when a website owner tries to link internally in a way that simply does not make sense or to force the passing of link juice onto pages that aren’t relevant.
Let’s cover this off in an example.
The Chocolate Mudcake and Internal Links
Imagine you’re visiting a massive cake shop that has every variety of freshly made cakes along with cake recipes, utensils, baking products, and in general all things cakes.
You walk in through the door and you crave the taste of a chocolate mud cake. There’s a person standing at the front of the shop and they tell you chocolate mud cakes are in aisle 22. You walk to aisle 22 and there is a freshly made chocolate mud cake ready for you to pick up and take home.
Sounds great and exactly how it should be right?
Ok, lets look at this again, but from a different perspective.
This time you walk in the front door and you’re told mud cakes are in aisle 14. When you approach aisle 14 you see it’s not what you’re looking for and in fact there are strawberry cakes. This isn’t what you asked for!
You go back up to the person at the front and you ask why they sent you to the strawberry cakes when you wanted mudcakes and they tell you although you wanted a mud cake they actually prefer to sell people strawberry cakes as this is their specialty.
A question… if you really wanted a mud cake and you were directed to a strawberry cake how would you feel? Would you consider a strawberry cake even though the person deceived you to try to sell what you wanted instead of what you actually wanted?
Is there a chance you would go back and ask the person or would you aimlessly walk around guessing where you may find mud cakes and eventually give up and never go back to the store because of the bad experience you had?
Although this sounds like common sense it is amazing how often we see this with internal linking.
Artificial Internal Links and Bad Link Juice
Many internal links are set up to artificially pass link juice and they stop thinking of actual visitors. One of the most common examples is to add blog posts and within each blog post offering 2 preset in context links (these are links that are in the body content of your blog post) that pass onto the homepage and one of your other services page.
The challenge is this model of internal link building is becoming outdated, especially as search engines get smarter and come closer inline with how things work in the real world.
Top 3 Tips On Internal Links
Now, before I finish off I want to touch on a few basic hints around internal linking:
1 – Make your internal linking is really clear and logical. Make it clear where to find your mudcakes and easy to find
2 – Offer supporting pages. If I go to your mud cake page, offer additional pages that speak about mud cake recipes, cooking utensils for mud cakes
3 – If a visitor clicks on an internal link, make sure when they visit that page that and not something totally different… like we said, if they ask for mud cakes, don’t give them strawberry cakes
Finally, make sure you have a sitemap. This is like an information booth in a shop where you can see where each page is listed. This also helps the search engines to understand how your site is set up.
Make Your Internal Links For Your Visitors
To summarise… Internal links should be used to make it easy for visitors to find what they want to on your website. You should also use internal linking to show those visitors you are an authority on your subject by offering them other supporting content that allows visitors to learn more about your business.
This in itself will show people why they should use your product and/or service and by using this as a foundation will help your search engine visibility.
In the Next Video
Ok, great. in the next video we’re going to talk about ‘the basic elements every website should have’. We’re covering this from a User Experience perspective and will ensure you’re getting the most from your visitors.
If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.
As always this is David Judge talking online marketing and showing you how to grow your business online.