Internal Link-Building Strategies
When most website owners think of link-building, they picture links from other websites pointing to their own. And with good reason.
Links from other websites bring customers, and that is always a good thing.
Links from other websites boost search engine rankings, which also bring customers. So, that is also a good thing.
But internal links can also be powerful when used correctly.
Your Website Goals
Most websites have two goals.
The first goal is to attract more visitors. Without visitors, websites are useless. The only time you would not want more visitors is if you run an exclusive, by-invitation-only website.
The second goal is to convert more visitors. There are many ways to convert visitors. You can sell to them. You can collect leads. You can sign them up to a mailing list. You can have them sign a petition. Or you might want them to take out a membership. Whatever action you want them to take, that’s the conversion.
There are other possible goals. You could have a website that is purely meant to entertain or to spread God’s word or to promote a political cause. But in most of those cases, you’ll probably also want to convert your visitors in some way.
Internal links can help you attract more visitors and convert them at the same time. Here are five strategies to power up your internal link-building:
Link from Content Pages to Sales Pages
Often, people land on your content pages. Those might be blog posts or videos or infographics. These are information-rich pages that aren’t trying to sell visitors anything.
Link from these pages to your sales pages, where your products and services can be found.
First, people interested in your content might also be interested in your products or services. A link makes it easy for you to point them there, helping boost conversions.
Second, when somebody moves to a second page on your site, it reduces your bounce rate. It also increases their time on your website. These are both powerful signals that the search engines watch.
In other words, linking from content to sales pages:
- increases the likelihood that visitors will convert
- increases the number of visitors, who then might also convert
Link from Content Pages to Related Content Pages
Another useful internal linking strategy is to link to related content. After all, people interested in one article or video might be interested in similar content, too.
If that content also links to a sales page – a product or service page – you might convert the reader from that second page, even after missing them on their landing page.
And, of course, if somebody clicks through to a second content page, it reduces your bounce rate. It also increases their time on your website.
Linking to related content is not as powerful as linking to a sales page, but it is useful. And it helps the user, as well as your image as being a helpful website, rather than just a make-a-sale machine.
Create Content Based on Product and Service Themes
If you plan to link to sales pages, to drive potential customers to your products or services, it helps to have…related content. But this time, I mean content related to your products or services.
For instance, if you sell fine tableware, you might create a number of articles and videos related to wine, and link those pages to your wine glasses sales page.
Focus on the Money Pages
Not all sales pages are created equal.
One product might sell better than others. So build links to that product’s page more than to others.
Another product might bring a great profit, just because of price or profit margins. Build links to that product’s page more than to others.
Some products are there primarily as upsells. People are not looking for them, but they might often buy them along with what they are looking for. Don’t make much of an effort to link to those product pages.
Vary the Link Text to the Context
As with external links, you don’t want all internal links pointing to a page to have identical anchor text.
It’s OK to use “Click here” sometimes, or “Click here for [name of product].
It’s also OK – and even good – to vary the anchor text to best fit into different sentences on different pages. This makes for a more user-friendly linking pattern, which also looks more natural (so you make both users and the search engines happy).
Place Internal Links at the Top of the Page…
It is well-known that links near the top of the page carry more weight than those at the bottom. So use this principle also with your internal links.
These are your links. You control the placement. Hold them up high!
To move traffic for conversions, near the top of the article is ideal. Convert them while they are still reading. Not everyone will get half-way or even a quarter of the way through your content.
…and at the Bottom!
Don’t be shy to add a link also at the end or near the end of the article.
Although a second link is unlikely to bring search ranking benefits, it will prompt readers who do get that far to check out your products and services.
That extra link could sell an extra bed, hosting package or tour of Namibia. So why not add it to your content?
The Power of Internal Linking
Internal linking doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It can help convert your visitors and it can help attract new visitors. It hits both the key strategic goals. Follow these 7 internal linking strategies for a more robust and effective website.