Are you aware you need an internal linking strategy?
You know you need internal links in your blog posts.
You know because the Yoast SEO plugin tells you.
You know because you’ve read on blogging tips sites you need both internal and external links.
You know because linking to older posts is a way of repurposing your content. You’ll get new traffic to older posts when people click those links.
How do you choose your relevant internal links?
Suppose you have many relevant internal links, how do you pick?
Do you use them all?
Do you play Eeny, Meenie Miny Moe?
No. I have a secret internal linking strategy. I am able to choose internal links that are not only relevant to the content of my posts but will also improve my Google rankings.
Following this method has improved my organic traffic so much, I can’t even multiply that high and won’t have to.
This post will show you screenshots full of stats that show these methods work.
Why are they secret? I haven’t read them anywhere and I haven’t told anyone.
I’m telling you my secret internal linking strategy in this post.
By the end of this post, you will be able to make an informed decision about which internal links to use in your blog posts, learn about free tools to help you make that decision, know where to place internal links in your articles, and choose the anchor text to best optimize your article for search engines.
This strategy involves the use of 4 tools: Hubshout, Ahrefs, SpyFu and Google Analytics. I don’t pay to use any of them
Consider these comments from a blogger sharing her feelings about SEO in a Facebook thread:
“I love to write and I love my blog, but I have to admit, the mechanics of it intimidate me. Do you have a post like SEO for Dummies?
What are Internal Links?
An internal link is a hyperlink going from one page on your website to another page on your website.
Internal linking is a part of on-site optimization.
On-site optimization includes more than internal linking, but your internal linking strategy is what this post will center on.
After 4 years of blogging and over 1,000 articles, how do I decide which internal links to include in each article?
How do you?
You need an internal linking strategy.
Why Do You Need an Internal Linking Strategy?
If you take a post that’s doing well in the Search Engine Results Pages and put it in another post, that post will do well also.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”If you take a post that’s doing well in the Search Engine Results Pages and put it in another post, that post will do well also. ” quote=”If you take a post that’s doing well in the Search Engine Results Pages and put it in another post, that post will do well also. “]
Therefore, if you deliberately select relevant internal links that are ranking well in the SERPs, you can help your new post rank on Google as well.
Also, your traffic will increase by including internal links in your articles. When people click the internal links to get more information about a related topic, you’ll get new traffic to older articles.
In addition, your bounce rate will improve. People dwell longer on your site when they visit more than one page. Therefore, your bounce rate improves since people aren’t “bouncing” off your site so quickly. Bounce rate is one of the factors considered in the Dwell Time algorithm that determines whether Google gives your post visibility.
Make sure when you put your internal link in a post, you click Open Link in a New Tab, so people stay longer on your site.
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 1
Step 1: Go to Quora.com. Look at the questions in your niche.
At Quora, you are allowed to put relevant links in your answers. Putting links at Quora helps your blog posts rank on Google. It’s like talking to Google and pointing at your article. “Here, look, Google, I have an article I want you to show to your search engine users.
Frankly, I have about 1,000 articles (at the time of this writing) with content that answers questions at Quora. I want to pick articles that stand a chance of moving up and increasing in visibility at Google and other search engines.
Step 2: Click this link: http://report.hubshout.com/?p=Research#.
Enter your blog’s URL where you see “Your URL.”
Click “See details.” Notice: We are looking to link only our top ranking content to our new posts. This will move them even higher on Google into visibility despite all that competition for readers on the internet.
Look at the screenshot and notice what I see when I go into My Top Ranking Content on Hubshout.
My post about the best backlink builder strategies is in Position 19.
I realize there are better numbers. I have other posts closer to the top of Google’s Page 1. However, look at what is on this page (and there are many pages. This is Page 1. My Top Ranking Content is listed in alphabetical order starting with numbers. These are keywords people typed into Google.) There are 590 searches each month for the keyword term “backlink builder!” I want those 590 people to find my post.
Position 19 puts it at the bottom of Page 2. If I continue to point links at it, by going to Quora and other sites that let me put my links in my answers, I can keep pushing the post up. I will also put it in my blog posts about link building and other related content. Pointing links at posts move them up in search engines whether they are internal links from your site or backlinks from other sites.
Did it work?
Look what I see at Hubshout now:
This deserves a closer look:
Not convinced? Let’s go to Google and check:
There I am. My article is fifth down from the ad on the top of Page 1. The post moved up in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages 14 positions!
By making a concerted effort to link to this article internally and externally, I was able to boost the visibility of my post from Page 2 to Page 1 in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages.
Did you notice what link I put before the page break? It’s true! I linked to the backlink builder post. Now you know why I did it. It’s part of my internal linking strategy. This is an easy tip for you to follow!
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 2
You could even do it in reverse. Go to Hubshout first. Type the keyword you need a Top Ranking Post for into the Search bar. Then go to Quora and put the link to your post in a question.
For example, my post answers the question, “How do you build links to your site?” That question is asked repeatedly at Quora. Google Page 1: Here my post comes!
Look at the top of this screenshot. Where you see Search, put in the keyword for one of your articles you want to boost in the SERPs.
Look at the top selection in the Keyword and URL columns. My post, How to Make Money Fast, 13 Ways, answers the question, “How do you make money fast online?” As you can see from the screenshot, my post is currently in Position 6 on Page 1 in Google’s SERPs. If I wanted to boost the position, I would go to Quora, type the question my post answers into the Quora search bar. I would explain to someone how to make money fast on the web and be sure to link to this relevant post in my answer.
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 3
Hack 2 explained how you can get your post to move higher in Google’s SERPs. This hack explains how to keep your post at the top of Page 1.
According to Hubshout, my post about blogger tricks is in Position 3 on Google’s Page 1. By following the methods in Internal Linking Strategy Hack 2, you can keep your post at the top of the SERPs.
According to the screenshot, there are 70 searches a month for the term “easy blogger tricks” that brings up my article. I certainly want to keep my post at the top of Page 1.
By selecting my post about blogger tricks as an internal link in my blogging tips post, I was able to move the post up in the SERPs.
By intentionally choosing my post about blogger tricks as an internal link, I moved it from Position 3 to Position 1.
I follow this tip at every question and answer site I’m allowed to leave my link. I answer the questions that are in good position in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Note: If you go to Hubshout.com to see if your posts are ranking, you may have to play with the wording you use.
For example, I wrote a post offering 50 ideas for free optins to entice people to opt into your email list. At Hubshout, I typed “optins” into the search bar. My post didn’t come up.
However, when I searched “free blog followers,” I found my post ranks at #8 on Google (at the time of this writing).
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 4
Once a month, Ahrefs sends me my articles that have moved up, into scoring position if you will. (I’m a huge baseball fan.)
Although Ahrefs charges for their keyword research tool, they will send you analytics for free with an account.
Look: These posts are in Position 4 through 10. I want to boost them high on Page 1. I will definitely choose these as internal links to relevant posts.
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 5
You can also use SpyFu to choose posts to link internally.
SpyFu offers you lists of your links grouped into these categories:
Most Valuable Keywords
Newly Ranked Keywords
Keyword Rank Gains
Keyword Rank Losses
Page One Keywords
Almost There Keywords
Keywords on Pages 2 through 5
Keywords That Just Made the First Page
Keywords That Just Fell Off the First Page
You can use these metrics to get your posts where you want them in Google’s SERPs. Just follow Hacks 1 – 3. Go to Quora, find questions your posts on these lists answer. Answer the questions at Quora and include a link to your article in the post. Make sure your answers are thoughtful and in-depth so it doesn’t look to Quora as if you’re just trying to link drop.
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 6
Go to Google Analytics. Change the date.
Your analytics come in only a week at a glance. I change mine to a month.
This is where you change the date range.
These were my top pages for the month of August. I could push the visibility of these pages at Google by linking to them.
Where Should You Put Your Internal Links?
Now that you know how to select your internal links, you need to know where to put them in your blog posts.
Knowing where to put your internal links is part of your internal linking strategy.
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 7
You need to put your internal links in anchor text.
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is clickable text. Your internal links are placed in the anchor text.
Where Should You Put Your Anchor Text?
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 8: Having a link in anchor text is better than just having a link in the source at the bottom of your blog post.
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 9: Having a link in anchor text is better than having a link in anchor text anywhere else in the post.
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 10: People recommend having a link in anchor text “above the fold.” This equates to above the page break at the top of the post.
Internal Linking Strategy Hack 11: What should the anchor text say? SEO experts used to advise having the anchor text be your keyword. Today, the trend has changed to using LSI keywords as the anchor text. These are synonyms for your keyword. Rationale: This helps avoid keyword stuffing and still tells Google’s bots what your post is about.
Wrapping Up: Internal Linking Strategy
In closing, I included many internal links in this article. All of them rank on Google. By intentionally choosing to link to them in this article, I potentially boost their rankings in the SERPs. That is my internal linking strategy. As you can see, my choices for my internal links are deliberate and calculated.
Follow all these tips and your SEO will improve.
This post shared my internal linking strategy. What’s yours? How do you decide which internal links to put in your articles? I look forward to your answers in the comments.
Readers, please share so other bloggers discover my internal linking strategy so they can have an action plan to boost their blog posts in Google’s SERPs.
This post shared an internal linking strategy. If you’re looking for methods to build external links back to your blog, read How to Get Free Backlinks: 4 Tested Ways to Get High Authority Links.