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5 Fast Tips to Improve Internal Links

This guest post was written by James Hay, Social Media Coordinator for Fasthosts Internet Ltd.

Playing to your strengths is an important part of SEO, and before going out and spending all day endlessly pursuing external links, it is important to look at your own site.

You control what is displayed on your site and the SEO tips below provide a number of ways to increase your rank strength and improve your blog’s internal link architecture.

Just in case you’ve not come across the phrase “Internal Linking” before, here’s a quick definition from SearchPath:

The process whereby words or phrases within a web page are linked to other pages in the site. Internal links are considered important in SEO terms, as they are often spidered and displayed by Google.

So here are my top five tips to help you improve your internal link architecture.

1. Use keyword-relevant anchor text

Ensure that the keyword(s) you’re trying to get ranked for is used as your anchor text (the text within the link). For example, if the phrase you are trying to get ranked for is “Internal Links”, and the page you want people to find for that phrase is your article “Guide to Internal Linking”, then use that phrase as the anchor text for your link. The search engine spiders will then understand what your target page is about, and it will increase the content’s ranking strength for that phrase.

2. Use absolute URLs

Although there is no empirical evidence to say that search engines spiders prefer absolute URLs (i.e. http://yourdomain.com/pagetitle.html) over relative URLs (i.e. /pagetitle.html), it is good practice to use absolute URLs. It help spiders determine exactly where the page is located on your site, and if your content gets copied, then at least the links will point back to your website.

3. Improve your site’s speed

The speed at which your pages load certainly affects your page rank. I recommend using Google Webmaster Tools and adding a sitemap to your blog. You can then look at your site performance and how quickly your pages load. Google seems to regard 1.5 seconds or less as a good load time. Compress any large images and refine unnecessary code to help speed up your site.

4. Use text menus

Although search engines are improving all the time, the search engine spiders still have difficulty crawling non-text navigation menus. It is advisable to use text menus rather than those that require Flash or JavaScript.

5. Clean up your links

It’s important to keep in mind that search engine spiders love to move freely and quickly through your site, which is why I’ve provided the tips above. But one thing that spiders really dislike is hitting a dead-end, and broken links are the cause of this. The Google Webmaster Tools can also identify broken links on your blog. Go through those links and either remove them, or change the anchor text and redirect the link to a valid page.

These are my top tips for improving internal links on your blog. What others can you add?

This article was written by James Hay, Social Media Coordinator at Fasthosts Internet Ltd and the main contributor to the Fasthosts Blog which provides advice on everything from B2B Marketing to Social Networking.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips, James. I’ll definitely try to incorporate that advice.

    I couldn’t, unfortunately, find the Google Webmaster Tools from the link provided. It just sends me to Google Adwords. So not sure if that is right.

  2. Tgrrr says:

    This is a great post James, It’s amazing how much the little tweaks can make a huge difference.

  3. Mike Lopez says:

    Ok, ok. I’m back to tweaking my site now. Great post.

  4. Although I know the importance of relevant anchor text, sometimes I still use the “Click here for” anchor text for usability. It increases clicks pretty significantly and sometimes that’s more important!

  5. Pumama says:

    I like making “archive page” and writing a serie of post and make a page for this serie

  6. How do we find the broken links? I cannot find where to do that?
    Thank you

  7. Useful points.
    But, is anybody getting 1.5 or lesser loading time in Webmaster tools with ads and social networking buttons?
    Its a tough job, I guess.

  8. Rajeesh Nair says:

    Its a good post regarding internal linking which is very useful in building links for inner pages wisely and this way one can maintain good PR flow too.

    And yes I agree with Marie.. I also found the URL to be wrong. Please change it.

  9. Great tips but I think you may want to watch closely on #1 and don’t take it too far and/or too often the same anchor text.

  10. Brad Harmon says:

    When I first started out blogging, I would use a lot of “read more” or “click here” links not knowing any better. I was surprised when I finally found out about Google’s Webmaster Tools and all of these as my anchor texts. They weren’t very useful.

    It’s the same for external linking as well. It’s great to pass on some link juice to other bloggers by linking to their posts, but remember to give them a good anchor text when you do. Keyword link juice is much better than “click here” link juice.

    Thanks for the tips, James.

  11. Also make sure you in stall an plugin that notify you of broken links..this can be a big problem when the spiders com around..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  12. These are awesome ways to improve internal links. Site speed helps is many ways.
    I’m using W3 Total cache and maxcdn to speed up my blog.

    Anyways, Thanks for sharing this great post.

  13. Checking for dead links on my site is something I’ve been meaning to do, so thanks for the reminder. If I were super-organized, I would schedule a time each month to check for dead links. Maybe I’ll do that.

    Thanks for a helpful post.

  14. Bash Bosh says:

    Great tips James.

    I absolutely agree these tips may improve overall internal link quality. Internal links are important for every website owner and a blogger out there. It is one of the most important SEO factors for sure.

  15. Jane says:

    I have not heard about using absolute URLs. Thanks for the nice tips James.

    I know that Google penalizes sites for slow loading speeds. But I am bit skeptic about 1.5 seconds. Isn’t that too strict?

    Jane.

  16. These are great tips, James.

    Here’s one thing I would advise when it comes to internal linking: don’t go overboard. Don’t pack your pages with internal links. Instead, look to make your internal links FLOW with your content. Make it enticing and relevant so readers are inclined to click on them.

    Another great pluton to include would be related posts. This is a great way to incorporate some internal links under each post and keep visitors on your site.

  17. Sorry plugin** not pluton lol

  18. Bogdan says:

    Thanks for the tips, I especially consider the first tip, the one about anchor text, to be important. There are a lot of bloggers out there who like to be cryptic about their anchors :)

  19. Great post! It’s funny because I just finished writing a blog post about boosting blog’s speed with 5 easy tips. Just to recap: 1. optimize images, 2. use caching plugin, 3. make sure your gzip compression is on, 4. eliminate flash and use html5 players, 5. use sprites in themes.

    Thanks for sharing your tips James.

  20. Jon says:

    On my WordPress blogs, I use the “Broken Link Checker” plugin which notifies me whenever it detects a… wait for it… broken link. :)

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/broken-link-checker/

  21. Nice tips, thank for sharing

  22. Akos says:

    Great post!
    I think absolute URLs are the most important.

  23. James says:

    A very resourceful post. Internal linking is sometimes over looked. It’s important to include anchor text hyperlinks that are absolute throughout your content.

    Google wants to see natural hyperlinks. Wikipedia is an excellent example of Internal linking and more importantly, you are making the blog more user friendly for your readers.

  24. Great advice will def put these into action. Thanks

  25. Great tips, especially Tip 4 about using text menus rather than those that require Flash or JavaScript. I’d figured as much in regards to Flash but not JavaScript. Good post. Thanks for the info.

  26. The last piece (Cleaning up your links) is easily the most overlooked tip on here. Nothing ruins a blogger’s credibility quicker than a broken link in their post… especially if that link is only taking you to another page on their site!

    Great advice!

    • Totally aligned with this Dave – Thinking about it, the first thing that goes down the drain is the bloggers credibility when I’m on a site that has multiple broken links. One here and there, ok, mistakes happen, but many, not good!

  27. Thomas says:

    Great tips. Adding this info to my admin blog time tomorrow!

  28. wasim Ismail says:

    Archives page is a good idea, i they to keep mine updated regularly, also once a month, going through my past months articles, and just making sure that all the links are updated.

  29. Greg says:

    Thank you for these tips! I already implement several of them, but others were new to me. I’ll definitely be adding the new ones to my SEO arsenal!

  30. Julian says:

    how many internal links allowed inside one post?

  31. Rob says:

    Although there is no empirical evidence to say that search engines spiders prefer absolute URLs (i.e. http://yourdomain.com/pagetitle.html) over relative URLs (i.e. /pagetitle.html), it is good practice to use absolute URLs.

    Surely if there is no empirical evidence that search engine spiders prefer absolute URLs, then absolute URLs aren’t best practice, almost by definition.

    It help spiders determine exactly where the page is located on your site,

    Nonsense. Search engine spiders are never going to have a problem determining that a link to /pagetitle.html on the site yourdomain.com is refering to http://yourdomain.com/pagetitle.html

    and if your content gets copied, then at least the links will point back to your website.

    At least this argument make some limited sense. It really is extremely weak, though.

  32. Wallpapers says:

    My tip is simple. Interlink posts with targeted anchor text within the content ~ specifically for blogs.

  33. Good Data James! I didn’t know that fact about Absolute URL’S but it makes total sense. Definitely with you on watching your links – simple but huge.

    Great post, as usual.

    RC

  34. Phill Turner says:

    All great stuff

    The only challenge I have is if you use the full URL all the time the browser jumps rather than just refreshing the page so it kinda gives a jerky effect on the reader.

    All of it really has helped me though cool stuff.

    Phill

  35. Hi great tips

    We will surely implement all of these. We are new in virtual assistant services and really need to build links for our site and sure that these tips will be helpful.

    Thank you
    Lakshmi

  36. dp-mall.com says:

    Google webmaster tools is a must have.

    Great tips though ;-)

  37. PJ says:

    Thank you for this post. The most important thing that I agree with in this article is the point of speeding up your site. It amazes me sometimes that leading blogs do not enhance their upload speed.

    A great web tool I use to compare my site with other blogs on speed is http://www.whichloadsfaster.com.
    As the name implies its just about comparing sites but you will be amazed at the results. Try to compare yourself with some of the big boys.

    well done

  38. Stuart says:

    I think No.3 and No.5 are big problems for me, they can potentially upset a lot of traffic. It’s best not to annoy those spiders, especially if your links are left unattended from negligence.

    Thanks for sharing!

  39. I don’t know if speed optimization has got something to do with internal linking :) But I have managed to rank higher only by reducing load time. Page speed for Firebug is valuable thing in speeding up load times.

  40. It’s something that I have been looking to do a lot of recently but I also find that trying to write the content is hard enough without thinking about the links. I know how important it is but just that it takes nearly as long as the actual post somtimes to get all the right links in place and when you are trying to churn out content every day of the week as well as actually running a business it’s tough. Having said that no doubt how important they actually are.

  41. gneesham says:

    Thanks for the post James. Internal linking is something that I am concentrating more and more on. I use Webmaster tools to identify broken links, but another useful tool is the plug-in Pinger. It only works on a page by page basis but it looks for and identifies broken links on the page and highlights them for you.

  42. iwwh says:

    Good post, but Here every body following Google Webmaster Tools, no need to advertise Webmaster Tools features again.

  43. Chris says:

    On improving your sites speed I would also recommend using gmetrix.com (I am in now way affiliated with them). Once you test your website they give tips on things you can improve. I’ve done it on a few websites now and have shaved a lot of time off the total loading speeds. Definitely worth doing.

  44. Internal Links are very important for SEO.Quality Internal Links can affect you Page Rank .These are really great ways to improve Internal Links.Thanks for your nice post.

  45. seenu says:

    Listed grate tips.

  46. Nick Begin says:

    Those are great tips. Thanks for sharing.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but how does one add a sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools?

  47. David Telbat says:

    These are just the tips I need! I’m about to get my site up and it’s posts like this that keep me coming back to ProBlogger!

    Thanks for the great help, James (and Darren), and the helpful commenters too.

  48. Post with clear, concise information that is immediately useful are perfect for my clients. Thanks for another post that I can point to.

  49. James,
    Just when I thought it was safe to venture out into the Deep Blue Internet Waters, An SEO Internet Guru like you comes along to remind me to wear a life vest and stay in the kiddie pool. Seriously, I appreciate Your Article.

  50. Nice post about the blog links.