Internal Links Blogging Best Practices
The idea for this article came to me after reading Scott's post from two weeks ago. It was excellent as usual, but I noticed that he didn't include any internal links. Internal links are links to other articles on your blog - like "Scott's post" above.
They're important because they help Google better index and rank your website. They also help keep readers on your blog and sifting through your content for a longer amount of time, which is a Google ranking factor.
So when I read Scott's article, I texted him.
His response was curt. He said that he had tried but didn't have any. Didn't have any? I was surprised because, personally, I just force them in, even when it isn't natural to do so. I find a way to have at least two or three internal links per article no matter what. But Scott knows his stuff, especially when it comes to SEO. Sure enough, when I did some research on Backlinko, I discovered some important internal link best practices.
Use keyword-rich anchor text.
This means that you should use keywords that rank for your blog and match the topic of the article you're linking to. You shouldn't use - and this was eye opening for me - unnecessary links that don't help the user navigate your site. Once again, focusing on the reader's experience makes Google happy.
Link to important pages.
When you link to other pages on your website, you're sending them link authority. Link authority helps with your Google rank. The idea is to help boost the pages on your blog that bring in the most visitors by linking to them more often.
Place your links high up on the page.
Putting your links higher on the page - preferably above the fold - is more effective in getting readers to click on them, thereby keeping your readers longer on your website. This can also reduce your bounce rate, which is when a reader visits your blog but quickly hits the back button.
Use links to help Google index.
Google will easily find your most important pages, especially if you don't have a lot of content. But if you have a site like Smart Classroom Management that has many hundreds of articles, then Google may not index them all. Internal index helps ensure that they do.
Link from your homepage.
This one is new to me. But it does make sense. Your homepage has the highest authority on your site, so it stands to reason that it will provide a greater boost of authority to other pages. Your navigation bar does this naturally, but you may also want to put your archive navigation on your homepage. A "Popular Articles" widget in your sidebar also seems like a good idea.
I've been blogging a long time, but I'm always learning something. I suspect Scott knew I'd dig deeper on my own after his response to my text. Scott is like that. One reason we're good friends is because we talk up to each other rather than down. We trust that we don't have to explain every detail, that it's on each of us to get up to speed.
It's fun and intellectually stimulating to have friends like that. So, to Scott, I get it. Thanks for the push. I will adjust my internal links accordingly. And to you, our readers, I hope you learned something too.
Until next week . . .