How to Improve Internal Linking for SEO

Internal linking is an area of SEO that has been under optimised but it is very important. Dixon Jones, Chris Green and Maret Reutelingsperger gave us useful tips on Tea Time SEO that we can all go and implement straight away. Read Dixon’s three ways to improve internal linking below:

The reason we started inlinks is because of the move towards semantic search. Some of the old WordPress tools was exact match linking all over the site and there was no real context. There are three ways I recommend to improve internal linking for SEO:

1. Think (and link) in topics not keywords

Google is moving forever towards using its Knowledge graph to be the central reference point for ideas. The Knowledge Graph looks for relationships between topics, rather than simple keyword links. To do this, you will need to think in terms of concepts. (This is why builds out a knowledge graph for any site before it starts building internal links). If you do not think this way, all your links will be using exact match anchor text, which can convey some meaning, but if that exact anchor text is not a defined entity, then the context will be weak, and you may miss more subtle but useful connections.

The Google Search Team is headed up by two people who have come from the AI part of the organisation. This show that Google is moving over to the idea of topics instead of keywords. Cindy Krum did an event at Mobile Moxie about the fact that entities are feeding everything now in Google. Therefore build entities and topics and then link by topics instead of keywords, you will be in a better place.

2. Avoid Keyword Cannibalization

In niche websites we tend to talk about the same topic a lot, that is because we want to be knowledge leaders in that topic. However that leads to a problem which is that there is still just one winner for each term. Even if all the results are your website, you can see that there is just one page per term shown in the SERPs. It is, therefore, a smart tactic to decide what is the cornerstone piece for any topic and then stick to this, linking other mentions of the topic through to the cornerstone piece as a reference. You should spend time associating one page with one topic, decide which one is the right page. Google is then given an explicit indication on which one is the right page and the authority for that topic.

3. Google is now happy with Javascript links

I went out to Google’s Webmaster conference in December and Martin Splitt went through how Google now crawls Javascript really well. This means that Javascript can now be an SEO’s best friend, because (with a bit of thought) you can build out and optimize the internal link structures without having to continually go back to the developers. (Inlinks makes this easy to do). Everything can be controlled from the Javascript side, we can inject links there and inject schema into there too. There is a lot we can do now with Javascript than before when Google could not understand Javascript.

In case you have missed the internal linking and content structure talk you can watch it any time on our YouTube channel or have a read through their slideshow. Mark, Maret and Mike also shared different internal linking tips on Tea Time SEO last month, be sure to check out Mark’s blog post on his internal linking recommendations.

See you Thursday at 4pm BST on our YouTube channel.

Image Credit: Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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