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Optimizing Internal Linking: A Guide

optimizing internal links

Optimizing Internal Linking: A Guide

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Mostly neglected, but a powerful SEO tool: internal links. They not only increase the usability of your website but also lead to higher rankings in search engine results. Optimizing internal links can give you a decent SEO boost. Read our guide on how to develop the optimal strategy for internal linking on your website.

Internal linking: how do you link properly?

Internal links are links within a website. Unfortunately, these are often neglected, as they are said to have little influence on the ranking in search engines. Completely wrong!

Internal links are an important part of on-page SEO: An analysis and optimization of the internal link structure improves user-friendliness, clarity, and thus also the search engine ranking of your website. Google and Co as well as potential customers can find your content more easily.

From a technical point of view, an internal link is a hyperlink that connects two content pages and navigates the user within a website. An internal link consists of the following three components:

  • Link Target: The content page that the person will go to when they click the link.
  • Link text : Clickable text (also called anchor text), which is an important indicator for Google as to which keyword should be linked to the landing page.
  • Title tag: This allows tooltip texts to be added when a person moves the mouse over the link, but only on the desktop.

The link target should lead the user exactly where they want to go. The link texts, in turn, are important to increase the ranking of the content page, because they make it clear to users and search engines what content they can expect on the target page. Therefore, the link text should be as meaningful as possible. The best way to do this is to use the focus keyword and the heading of the landing page as a guide.

Internal links can be either text or image links. Use a good mix of both internal link types on your website to add variety to the page. And: Make sure that links never get lost.

Especially after CMS updates or a revision of the website, you should definitely check whether all internal links are correctly linked or whether error pages have crept in somewhere that could leave a bad impression on users and search engines.

A few tips for the perfect internal link:

  • The internal link should be positioned at the beginning or, if possible, at the top of the page text, as this is where it gets the most attention.
  • The internal link is integrated in the running text .
  • The link text is easy to understand and clearly shows users where the link leads.
  • The link color matches the UI design of the website and stands out clearly from the rest of the text.
  • The internal link is unique and interesting .

Internal links serve your target group to obtain information on your website. In order to implement this optimally, you can fall back on numerous methods of the user experience tool case.

A customer journey can be used, for example, to visualize the touchpoint through which a person comes to your website and how they find the content they are looking for. Based on these results, you can put the right content in the right place with the right internal links.

What is the Link Juice?

Link Juice summarizes several evaluation factors that Google uses to evaluate a website. In general, link juice indicates how good or trustworthy a website is. This is particularly relevant for external links, as trust in a page increases when other websites link to it (backlinks). But what about internal links?

Internal links also inherit the link juice and affect the distribution of existing authority within the domain. The home page has the most link juice, which can be distributed to the subpages. If ten links are set, each linked page receives ten percent of the link juice. For this reason, you should use internal links carefully. Above all, link user-relevant content pages with good traffic.

Incidentally, internal links should never be set to no-follow links, as this will unnecessarily waste link juice, which can be better distributed to other pages.

Visualize internal links: how does it work?

Internal links require a certain amount of preparation and strategy so that they help your ranking and your target audience alike. With a so-called topic cluster, you can organize your topics, create a user-optimized internal link structure, and offer ideal user guidance.

Use the content clustering method to structure your content. To do this, write your core topic in the middle and then draw the corresponding subtopics all around. You can also work with special software for visualization. There are currently some products on the market, some of them free of charge, with which you can display internal links well, for example, Gephi or Linkurious.

What is the pillar and cluster method?

In the meantime, SEO is no longer just about selected keywords, but also about meaningful, clear structures and helpful content that cover a specific subject area in a solution-oriented manner.

It is particularly important to be able to answer users’ search queries comprehensively and to prepare and present all information on a specific topic in a user-friendly manner. The pillar cluster method is recommended for this.

In a pillar cluster structure, a central “ pillar ” is the main page, which is surrounded by several cluster pages (blog articles or subpages). The clusters are linked to the pillar page by hyperlinks, resulting in a clear, optimally networked construct.

The aim is to deal with complex questions and related topics. This topic is presented as an overview in the Pillar article and explained in more detail in separate, more detailed cluster articles. The internal linking of the pillar page with the clusters means that the topic and the individual cluster pages are recognized and highly ranked by search engines.

Conclusion: This is the best way to proceed with internal links

An optimized internal link ensures a better user experience and, as a result, an improvement in your ranking. Plan the topic clusters of your pages in advance and visualize internal links. Use the pillar and cluster method to present your subject areas in detail and in a well-structured manner for your customers.

Summarize the main topic on a pillar page in the form of an overview of the entire topic block. The subtopics can then be displayed on cluster pages. To do this, focus on your target group and analyze in advance what information your customers are looking for.

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