Internal links are an important part of on-page SEO. They are included in your content and point to other pages on your website. Internal links are important for the search engines and humans. The search engines use them to crawl your website and discover the most important pages. Humans use them to navigate your website.
Like other aspects of SEO, there is an art to internal linking. Simply dropping a bunch of links into your content will not deliver the benefits you’re looking for. If you’re not confident in your internal linking strategy, it’s possible that you may be making a few mistakes.
Below we share five bad habits you’ll want to avoid, and if you are making them, how to fix them.
Let’s dig in!
1. Not including links in your web content.
The best way to spread value around your website is to add internal links. To build a strong internal linking strategy, make it a habit to include a link in every blog post. To do this, consider a broad topic that can be used for several blog posts. Each post can link to the next. Of course, it’s also good to revisit old posts and link them to new posts so that all of your content is being viewed.
2. Adding too many links in your content.
It’s possible to have too much of a good thing. While Google has made improvements and can crawl through thousands of links, readers will probably get annoyed if you have to many links in your content. Each link should add value to the visitor journey, so be smart about what you’re adding and where.
3. Using over-optimized anchor text.
There was a time when websites would link to other pages using the same exact anchor text as the pages they wanted to rank for. The problem was that the text didn’t make sense and created a disjointed experience for the reader. This is why Google started penalizing websites with over-optimized anchor text.
Still, some websites revert back to these practices because they think it benefits SEO. It doesn’t. When linking, don’t worry about adding specific keywords. As long as your content is relevant, it will make sense to users and the search engines.
4. Using unnatural internal linking.
Another thing to avoid is using unnatural internal linking techniques. One example is linking to internal pages any time a particular keyword or phrase is used. This creates an unnatural backlink profile, as you’ll end up having many links with the same anchor text. Google penalizes sites for this, which hurts your SEO.
5. Linking to the same pages.
This is an easy mistake to make. You may find that one of your posts continues to be a great addition to your content, so you link to it often. While it’s fine to link to quality pages more than once, you want to avoid doing it all the time. Again, this creates an unnatural backlink profile. If you find yourself linking to a page because of the content, create fresh, on-topic content and send value to all of the pages.
Internal links are important, so be sure to include them in your content. Link to both new and old content and make your anchor text conversational. This is how you build a healthy, robust internal linking strategy that your users and Google will love.