Image courtesy of righthatseo.com
It cannot be stressed enough that the importance of internal linking structure is a key component to success. With one-way links we can use a variety of methods to improve our rankings but when it comes to internal linking we often fall short of the mark with creative ways to improve our architecture. Far too many webmasters do not think about the importance of strong internal linking as much as they think about grabbing as many external links as possible. There simply are not enough good, solid resources online that teach us how to improve the quality and quantity of internal links we have.
We have gathered together some excellent tips regarding how to improve on your internal links. Normally, websites will start out with internal links in the form of a navigation bar – this is a familiar site for most. You can take that effect of the navigation bar on internal linking up a notch or two by using keywords as the linking text in the navigation bar instead of some random text that has little real value or impact. The navigation bar should always be plain HTML, and there should not be any image links to the inner pages. That is little more than wasted space.
One of the best things you can get in the habit of is having the navigation bar on the left hand side, so that the search bot will crawl the navigation bar as first. It cannot be stressed how much of a difference this alone makes. When they visit your website, if that is the first thing they see it is a great win for you. Do NOT stuff the navigation bar with the keywords. That is among the biggest sins you can commit – you will be penalized for this over the long haul. The navigation text link should reflect closely the content of the page it is linking to, for continuity of keyword optimization.
Next you should consider concentrated effort for getting internal links in the footer of your website. It may not sound like a big deal, but to the spiders crawling your site it is. The function of the footer navigation link is a lot like the regular navigation bar in almost all respects. For the purposes of SEO, they can be used as another way of gaining more internal links. For footer links to be highly effective, you cannot have too many footer links as this will dilute the effectiveness of individual links. A little bit is good enough – don’t get a reputation as a spammer You should make sure that your footer always has a link to your sitemap. The sitemap will of course have links to all the pages of your website arranged in logical order.
Finally, textual content in the web page will let you create strong contextual internal text links. If you have a well thought plan regarding content, you can have a number of in-line links, utilizing anchor text for greater visibility and keyword optimization. Making sure your internal linking makes your site user friendly helps just as much as making it SEO friendly!