Is Bigfoot (Sasquatch) the missing link? Not according to Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D., the blogger behind “Mysteries From Beyond the Other Dominion.” No sir, The large forest-dwelling creatures are actually aliens living here as advance scouts, or under some form of exile from their home world.
If we were to discover that there are extant evolutionary links with our ancient ancestors, it would be a remarkable find indeed! Many are the dollars and hours we spend finding links to our past, or dreaming up possible links to our future.
Links are also of utmost importance when you’re concerned with getting found on the internet. The idea of the “hyperlink” was coined by one Ted Nelson in 1965 after reading Vannevar Bush’s 1945 essay about a machine called the Memex which linked microfilm pages in a way that allowed a reader to access related information without having to endlessly scroll back and forth through a roll of microfilm.Then came hyperlinking inside a digital document which enabled the reader to jump from a table of contents directly to the topic they sought. In 1991 “The Gopher Protocol” was unleashed on internet users, superseded in 1993 by the Mosaic browser’s HTML technology.
Related: Get a Free Website Audit
Which brings us to internet marketing Savannah GA (see what we did there? An inlink to a page on our site!). Getting found by internet searchers is a bedrock of modern marketing. Imagine trying to find a local plumber without links! Clicks have replaced calls for the most part, so how can you help your business strengthen its links to search engines and customers?
Link building is not the most exciting part of internet marketing, but it is a critical component. We’re not just talking about linking to a global audience through links presented to customers by search engines, but also the often overlooked idea of internal linking, or inlinking.
Search engines have a Sherlock Holmesian ability to deduce incredible amounts of information about your website in a very short amount of time. When a search engine like Google meets your page, it wants to get acquainted. Google’s goal is to return the closest possible match to a searcher’s query, so naturally the better it knows your site and what you are talking about, the more accurate the search results will be.
Inlinking directs search engines to the high-priority pages and interrelated pages on your website. The signals gathered by inlinking are extremely helpful for search engines in ranking your pages. If you fail to time to manage these signals appropriately and systematically, your website will put the search engine in the awkward position of guessing what you’re about. In the limited time that search engines spend on your website, you don't want them to be confused about where you should be ranked and which pages are priority.
Don't think of internal linking as a vortex of links all pointing to the same page on your website. It’s a mistake to think that this magical page is the one you want Google to index and rank. It might be tempting to link to this page from every other page on your site whether it makes sense or not. The results is a complete mess, both for search engines and those who visit your site. This is especially true if you link from hundreds or thousands of pages.
Backlinks or outlinks are the two species of links that most of us think about when building relationships with authoritative websites to boost your site rankings. However, don’t miss the power of internal linking. Inlinking has three main purposes:
- To evenly distribute page authority and ranking power across your website
- To facilitate further navigation of your website
- To define the structure and hierarchy of your site
Internal links create distinct paths for search engines to explore. You can consider internal linking as a map of URLs and pages that create an easy-to-follow route for search engines to navigate. Inlinking also encourages visitors to your site to move from one page to another, resulting in higher page views, a lower bounce rate and a greater ranking among search engines. Visitors who move from one page to another increase the average amount of time they spend on your site and are exposed to more calls to action.
Inlinking requires skill and knowledge to be done correctly. Some best practices:
Create Quality Content
A strong internal linking structure is impossible without having quality content at the end of each link. Fresh and relevant content is important to search engines, therefore, it should be important to you! Guest blogging is acceptable from time to time when you need it, but your business will be healthier and happier if an insider publishes insightful written thought leadership on your blog at least once a week.
Be Generous With Internal Links
A blog post should contain at least two or three internal links. While you don't want to overstuff the article with links, there is really no limit to how many links you can include. If you have a lot of content on your site, strive for 10 to 15 links per post, remembering that you are giving directions to search engines as they tour your site. You may need to lengthen your posts to allow for a greater number of links. As long as the information linked to is helpful for your guests, it will be beneficial for SEO.
Related: Audit and Assess Your Marketing Plan
Use Contextual Anchor Text
Anchor text (the text that carries the URL, usually a different color and/or underlined) is not something you can toss off. The anchor text should tell the reader what they will see when they click on it. For example, if your anchor text says "how to improve SEO for your site," please don't link to a page talking about stock market trends. You also need to word your anchor text carefully to achieve the best results. Don’t write “Learn more about internal linking by clicking here,” and use the word “here” as your anchor. Instead use the entire phrase as the link, or at least the words “internal linking.”
The Three-Click Rule
In the world of SEO, there is an unspoken rule that states: Thou shalt not have a page on your site more than three clicks away from the home page. While this "rule" is not a requirement, it is a good tip to follow. In so doing, you will develop a remarkably strong SEO structure that can search engines like.
Link Deep, Always Follow
Lots of us figure that we should always link to the home page of our business website, but think about this: is that really where the reader wants to go? Instead of linking to pages found in the menu of your website, link to the posts and pages that are three levels deep. Oh, and make sure that your internal links are always html coded 'dofollow,' not 'nofollow.'
Link From Product to Product
You e-commerce sites out there, internal links can also lead to a direct increase in sales. If your product is sold in a different style, brand, color or model, make sure that each of these pages references one another. You want to make it easy for undecided shoppers to find all the varieties of the product you sell without a lot of hassle. Consider using breadcrumb navigation links to e-commerce sites to make it simple for customers to see what you have to offer.
Now you know why you’ve never been able to find The Gopher Protocol in the John Grisham thriller section at the library. You’re welcome.
A strong and solid internal linking strategy goes beyond linking to your most important pages with keyword-rich anchor text. Consider the intentions of those you expect to visit your site. By meeting those needs and maintaining a consistent approach, your strategy will be natural, intuitive and sure to pass the inspection of the most snooty search engine indexer.
United WebWorks Internet Marketing Savannah GA is a full service web development and design group with a focus on more than just fantastic graphics and whiz-bang website gimmicks. We know what you really want is more revenue, and we’re here to customize a solution for you. Combining superior web design with measurable marketing innovations is what we do here in Savannah GA and nationwide.