If you want to boost the performance of your blog, internal linking is one of the most popular pieces of advice you will get. Why is internal linking so important for your WordPress blog or website? For starters, internal linking improves on-page SEO. As the readers are guided to the right content with internal linking, user experience also boosts. Site structure improves, and crawling becomes easier. In this article, we will explore how to boost internal linking in WordPress. These are some of the best practices you can utilize to benefit from internal linking.
Let’s get started.
1. Create an optimized Content Strategy
You need to have lots of content to generate significant internal links for your blog. What to do if you don’t have a good amount of content? Well, you can begin right. Begin with a good content strategy.
Consider what content you want to serve to your audience. What are the areas where you can add value through your content? Which keywords should you focus on? What is the volume for the keywords you are targeting? There are many questions that you need to answer as a part of creating a great content strategy. You need to give targeted content to your audience.
You can take the help of experts to create a content strategy for your website. There are many keyword research tools available to help you in your quest for the right keywords. Create a content strategy and follow it for the best results.
2. Do not stuff keywords with internal links
While you may think it is useful to include as many internal links as possible, it is not so. Do not overuse internal links.
It is not a good idea to spam your own content with multiple links. Google penalizes such content, and your SEO may be affected.
What types of links should be there? Build organic links. Add value to the reader with your links. Also, it is important to avoid using the same anchor text for multiple links.
Keep these things in mind when you create an internal link.
3. Use Alt attributes for images
Image Alt attributes are often neglected part of a blog post. Yet, they have significant SEO benefits. With every image that you include in your blog post, you have a chance to write ‘Alt text.’
Alt text is short for Alternative text. This text effectively tells what the image is about. Since it is useful for many disadvantaged users who cannot see the image, it carries significant value when accessibility is considered.
SEO plugins like Yoast point out when you do not provide Alt text to your images. It is essential that your focus keyword should appear in your Alt attributes.
4. Use Blog pages for internal linking
You may be tempted to give an internal link for the Contact Us, Pricing, or Home page for your website. However, we would not recommend it. These pages have a different linking structure, and they have their own value. Linking to these pages does not add to either SEO or user experience.
Instead, we recommend that you use your blog pages for internal linking. Blog pages have valuable content that you can organize effectively with internal linking. Also, adding internal links through web pages boosts user experience as users can find the right content for the right context.
There are many benefits of linking blog pages with each other. The traffic for a particular blog post is routed organically to other pages that you link. This helps both the posts. For this reason, we recommend internal linking for blog pages.
5. Go Manual Instead of Automatic
While there are advantages of SEO plugins that help in automatic internal linking, it would be more helpful if you make it a habit to put internal links every time you publish your blog post.
There are several benefits to this method. First of all, as you manually link to your earlier posts, you may get an idea about other keywords as well. Second, while you search for the keyword ideas, you end up reading your blog posts. As a result, you may realize if the content is readable or not. You will also spot the golden places where you should link.
WordPress provides a very simple way for manual internal linking. Just select the keyword to add a link. Once you do that, you find a few options along with the link button.
Click on it, and you will find a search box. You can type the link URL here or just search for the content you want. If you search for a particular keyword, WordPress will show you relevant blog posts that contain that keyword.
Once you provide a link, you get more options from the menu. These include open in a new tab, do follow, and sponsored links. You can switch the toggle button to activate these options.
6. Choose the Do Follow option
One of the important reasons for using internal linking is that you can pass on the SEO value of one page to the other page. This happens because the links are ‘do-follow.’ By default, WordPress assigns the ‘do follow’ attribute to each added link. However, you should be careful not to switch these to ‘no follow.’
7. Focus On The Value You Add To The Reader
It is tempting to use internal links for the SEO benefit they give. However, this can backfire if you add too many internal links that do not really add any significant value to the reader. If you stuff in too many spammy internal links, your readers might not even follow it. This also sends a spam signal to search engines, which ultimately affects the SEO value of your pages. Therefore it is important to keep in mind the intent for which you want to use internal links.
There is nothing wrong with desiring SEO benefits. However, you need to understand that in today’s world of organic SEO tactics, stuffing rarely helps. What should you focus on then? Think about what other content is relevant to your current page. Link pages that add value to the content. If these pages are on your blog, you will get the benefit of SEO, and users will have a chance to explore the other content on your site.
There will be times when you will come across an excellent piece of writing on some other site. This content may be relevant to your blog post. Should you link it? Absolutely. It is perfectly healthy if you give external links sometimes.
8. Let The Links Be Relevant
Suppose you are reading an article about photography. You like the article, and just as you are about to finish, you stumble across this link that says, ‘great photography tools’. You click on it, and instead of anything related to photography, you are taken to a page that talks about fitness. How would you feel? Angry? Cheated? Frustrated? Exactly. You do not want your audience to feel the same way. Make it a habit to link only the relevant content and nothing else!
Don’t be greedy to link any content you want just because you want a specific number of internal links. Poor linking does more harm than no linking. What if you don’t find any relevant content? Should you still link? No. Do not give an internal link if you don’t have relevant content. Instead, you can add them as “Related Links” at the end of the post.
9. Use Words That Inform Users Where They Are Heading
While it is essential that you target the keyword for which you want to add an internal link, it is important that users know where they will land if they click on that link. Keywords sometimes are not self-explanatory as they are just a small group of limited words. You may want to overcome this limitation.
How to do that? Write about the post you are linking to. Give your users an idea of what lies for them if they click on them. You don’t have to spend too many words, a sentence or two can do the trick. Once your users understand what they get by clicking on the link, chances are they will click it if they are genuinely interested in it. This means good organic traffic and a low bounce rate for your website. Not to mention the improved site experience for the user that follows.
So these were the nine points we wanted to convey about optimized internal linking in WordPress. Internal is an essential factor in the SEO of your website. We hope this article inspires you to start internal linking with the best results. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us in the comment section. We are here to help.