If you’re not a believer in internal linking helping with SEO, I’m going to make you one shortly by giving you these 7 big reasons on why it works.
Very recently I decided to go through an old site that’s a few years old (that I’m still active on) and use my updated SEO knowledge to help the old posts I wrote on that, to site rank better. One of the things I started doing was going through just about every single page and post I had, and simply linking it with other, newer and older posts.
This is so far showing me positive results, and throughout my time doing it, I began to appreciate this SEO strategy far more than when I first heard about it’s importance. Because I now know so much about ranking websites, I can tell you that this strategy HAS to be on your list (here’s 10 overall that when combined make for great results).
Update: This list has now upgraded to 15! Here they are.
Oh and if you’re not already clear on what internal linking is, here you go:
Now these 7 reasons I’m going to give you are not exclusive perks…
In other words, when you simply start using this strategy, you aren’t just getting 1 benefit out of it, you are actually getting 5. I’m just giving you specific reasons as to why this is happening and why it’s good!
1) It allows Google spiders to crawl your content/site better.
Imagine writing a 3,000 word article (nice job by the way if you can do this) and including 0 links on it. When Google visits this page, it will ONLY crawl that page and it may very well rank it high because it has so much content.
But consider what would happen if you JUST added 10-20 links on that same article to others you’ve written on your site. Now when the crawlers come (how often does this happen?), they’ll not only crawl that same 3,000 word article, but they’ll also visit the other 10-20 you’ve shared on that same page.
That allows for BETTER crawling throughout your whole site (better to crawl multiple pages than one!) and that itself already helps Google appreciate and rank your site better. Just make sure they are labeled as dofollow.
Note: If you have a new site and are unable to interlink a lot, don’t worry. Focus on creating more pages of content on the site and then later going back to old posts and sharing those new links on them, that’s what I did and it provides the same benefits.
And also in general, doing this stuff improves link juice across the site as a whole, which is a MAJOR plus for your SEO.
2) It speeds up both indexing and ranking.
The faster Google crawls content you put up, the faster it’ll index it and you DO want that.
Suppose you have an article you put up that shares other articles you’ve written which haven’t been indexed or crawled by Google yet.
By simply pointing to them on the same article, the crawlers will visit it and index it faster. This means you’ll be seeing faster rankings in the long term process.
Note: This is not 100% mandatory to do by the way, but it helps. You can actually index your NEW content within hours by using Webmaster Tools.
3) It allows your traffic to appreciate your site better.
While Google itself appreciates this strategy for crawling purposes (and ranking too), when you get organic traffic to your site, and they see these links within the content, some of that traffic will click on it and visit those pages.
The very act of traffic clicking to other posts you provide within your articles itself is already a positive attribute of SEO. Why? Because it allows for several things to happen simultaneously:
4) It allows for users to stay on your site longer.
This helps them read and enjoy more of your site and if you don’t know, Google likes it when a user stays on your website longer (they do track this). The more they explore = the more they like it or at least find it curious.
5) It gives users the option to share your content.
If you’re a good writer and can put out articles that get people reading and commenting on it, then there’s also good chances that they can share that. Giving people more reasons to read your other articles through the art of interlinking makes this even more possible and if you don’t already know, sharing content on social media is also a positive way to improve SEO.
6) It revives, old, dead articles.
The more you blog on a site, the more odds are that overtime, you may have articles that were crawled, but didn’t really see or get any improved rankings. This happens to pretty much every site.
Now one of the ways these old pages that were forgotten by Google can get revived and possibly still see great traffic and ranking improvements is by having other pages on your site point to them, thus sending crawlers, and traffic to them to leave comments, shares and at the very least, have them get read by people who would not have seen them had you not pointed to them.
In the process of this happening, that same “dead” post can get revived and see higher rankings and that original effort you put into it can still see great results from. It literally requires very little effort on your part to make this happen…
Just link other articles on your site to it!
You will WANT to do this for dead posts which target good, valuable keywords. Through this act, those posts can still see results.
Note: Keep in mind the 10 optimization tips I included here too. That can also help these dead posts arise again.
Remember my old that I mentioned? Read this:
On my old site, as I went through my old posts, I counted at least 100, yes 100 posts that weren’t getting any traffic and since I’m still optimizing my site, that number could grow higher.
That means that as of right now, I have at least 100 articles (which have OK content) lying around, and not attracting ANY traffic. That makes all the combined effort I put into them USELESS.
But that changes once I start interlinking to them. And even if those posts see no improvement and rankings, I will know without a doubt that I did everything I could.
Either they stay the same in rankings or they rise, it’s a win either way for my SEO efforts, because interlinking itself is appreciated by Google and that may help other parts of my site if not directly those dead posts. But look at this:
7) It can get more people to more parts of your site to comment on it.
This is even better than sharing on social media, because comments from people get a lot of positive points from Google. Your goal of course is to make content that gets people to visit those other pages you point to and comment on them.
If you can do that and can get comments, a lot of that content production handles itself because the people who visit your site will be putting in their own, individual effort to write the comments, that’ll count as content and raise your rankings without you lifting a hand.
Just imagine 1 person who visits your site, who is very enthusiastic about the things you write. It would be in your best interest to have that 1 person go throughout your site and leave comments on various posts.
But you’ll want to make that process easier them. Rather than making them manually browse your site and look for content they like, simply point them to it on the article/s they land on, so they can enjoy it would pausing their reading experience.
If you write good content, you WILL eventually be getting 1 or multiple people browsing your site and leaving comments or at least browsing around and that will be picked up by Google and awarded positive SEO points.
And by the way, here’s a quick question…
What do comments allow you to do more of?
They allow you to interlink even more. I do this on many of the comments I get and it only improves SEO.
For example, some comments ask me questions on the article I wrote and in many cases, I can respond and point them to another article to answer that question.
This is an awesome way to expand the ways you can share stuff with people on your site. And trust me, as you go through my site, you will see my actively doing this within my comments section.
How does one intelligently use this strategy?
One of the best ways I can suggest that you handle this is by reading this very article and seeing where I personally provided links to. Notice how the articles I share with you throughout this article fit into the context of each point I make.
You should aim to do this too. Don’t worry about structuring your articles the same way I do. But at the very least, keep in mind the structure I have in this particular article (or others on this site) and try to do that on yours.
It WILL get a lot easier and you will find MANY opportunities to share your older and newer content on posts you write. And by the way, you can also practice this strategy on IMAGES you put on your site. It has the same potential benefits 🙂