Driving traffic to your website is every business owner’s priority. Through a steady stream of website visitors, we can build exposure for our business, and it acts as a fantastic marketing strategy.
With a solid SEO (search engine optimization) strategy, you’re able to gain visitors as you sleep. This can then lead to sales, which will generate passive income. That’s the goal for all of us, right?
So, SEO is essential.
But that much was always evident.
The rest of the information out there that surrounds SEO is a lot murkier.
Most website owners have some basic knowledge of SEO and can do keyword research (to an extent) by themselves.
They understand some simple SEO tactics to help them boost rankings and traffic (if not, check out this post).
At the very least, they understand how to optimize their headings, meta-descriptions, and content with keywords. And, they’re also familiar with the concept of ‘link building.’
But, like so much in the SEO minefield, the ‘what’ is understood, the ‘why’ is sort of grasped, but the ‘how’? Not a chance.
With so much conflicting advice out there about link building, it’s understandable that business owners either guess or give up.
But link building is a lot easier than you think. Let’s dive in.
What Is Link Building?
Our focus today is on internal linking. But, for you to understand how it works, you need to know the basics of link building as a whole.
SEO stands sky high, balancing on three sturdy pillars. Those pillars are crucial to developing a solid SEO strategy.
While content development and marketing (pillar 2) and technical SEO (pillar 3) are carrying as much weight as link building, pillar 1 is a great place to start.
In its most basic form, Link building is the method of getting websites to use your website as a link in their content.
For example, if I were to reference Amazon, they’d be expanding their link-building strategy.
How Does Link Building Work?
Search engines like Google consider you a trustworthy brand by other websites referring to your site in their content.
The search engines demand that all the content that is displayed on the first page of the SERPs (search engine results page) is credible and trustworthy. If a high-value website quotes you and provides a link to your site, the search engine’s criteria are being met.
When we say high-value websites, we mean sites that are relevant and reputable. Usually, they’re higher up in the SERPs themselves. They follow links and the anchor text uses relevant keywords.
Think back to when you went on vacation. When you’re in a new place and don’t know where to eat, you generally head to review sites like Tripadvisor. The more votes a restaurant gets – the higher their average number of stars – the more confident you’d feel that you’ll get a decent meal.
This is the equivalent for Google and other search engines.
However, the way search engines digest ‘star ratings’ is through the number of links.
So, when you’re making it a priority to build exposure for your site, you should make sure that you’re always trying to drive links back to your website.
Your content is strictly yours. On social media, however, it belongs to the social media platform, although you created it. That’s why you must work on driving strength to your website.
The takeaway? It’s simple. Aim for hyperlinks from other websites to yours.
Easy? Not always.
What Is An Internal Link?
Nothing is frightening about this technical term. It is what it sounds like.
An internal link is any hyperlink on your site that goes to another page on your website.
That’s all it is. Nothing more complex than that.
Internal links are links that go to another page inside your website. Your menu, for example, offers options for lots of internal links.
If a visitor is on your homepage and they click the menu, they may choose to go to the ‘About’ page. That’s an internal link, as your ‘About’ page is a page inside your website.
External links, however, come from other websites. These are called ‘third-party websites.’ (And, for the record, they’re a lot harder to build.) These links can come from resource link-building campaigns, Digital PR strategy, and other forms of link-building strategies.
Why Is Internal Link Building So Important?
Your website, unless you have a single-page website, is more significant than just your homepage.
Essentially, many websites offer a range of products or services, and there are several promotions or offers that the website owner wishes to promote within their one site.
So, each offer or product/service will have its individual page that’ll need focus, strategy, and effort to rank in the SERPs. If not, they may be crafted to perfection, but there’s no point in it being a perfect page if no one will see it.
So, for SEO purposes, each page will need an optimization strategy for those unique offerings.
And that’s where internal link building comes into its own.
Despite the links being different for each offering, the concept of link building is multi-dimensional. It’ll work regardless of the specific offer. So, it’s valuable and diverse.
Using internal link building means you can have several pages and chunks of your site that you stand a higher chance of ranking for, rather than your homepage exclusively.
Internal Linking With Blog Posts
Your homepage will always be the number one place to try to rank for because this is your central hub. Plus, by its very nature, the home page naturally builds internal links.
But the limit doesn’t stop there.
The first and, arguably, most effective place to build links is within your blog posts.
With over 600 million active blogs on the internet, savvy marketers and business owners understand the value a blog can provide. Not only can it build trust between a visitor and a brand, but blogging is the best tactic to improve your B2C or B2B SEO strategy.
You’ll need a solid content library with a range of blog posts that reference your offers. If you have this, you can use them as links to refer to within your content, thus building your internal link count.
It’s also a fantastic method of topic generation for your content.
With so much content out there, it can be tricky to find new ideas. So, turn to your internal linking strategy for inspiration.
Imagine you owned a kitty modeling agency. You want to rank for the word ‘cats.’ But you also want to rank for the words ‘modeling’ and ‘pets.’
The answer is simple. You write blog posts about modeling and pets:
- ‘How To Turn Your Pampered Pet Into A Model’
- ‘Pet Models: Are They Truly Divas?’
- ‘Pet Modelling Is The New Fashion’
Do you see? This way, we’re collecting keywords within our field, and we can then use these posts to build internal links into the new content we produce.
It’s a win-win.
So, Is Internal Linking The Key To Driving Traffic To Your Site?
In our opinion? Absolutely.
Link building, whether it’s internal or external, is fundamental for boosting your SEO.
While you should strive to strike a healthy balance between the two, internal linking is the easier option and can be just as effective.
It’s essential to use it strategically, though. The keywords need to lend themselves to the content naturally, without it sounding forced.
Internal Linking: Worth It?
Internal linking can increase traffic on your site, help your brand gain trust and authority, and make search engines fall head over heels in love with your website. Once they do, they’ll push you to the top of the SERPs to reap the reward for your efforts.
Jason started freelancing in SEO back in college, sold his first agency, and now is the founder of Zupo, an SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long-term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends, catching up on reading, and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.