Since you’ve already optimized your pages with metadata, now you want to focus on link building.
The more high-quality backlinks you have from high ranking websites, the more Google likes your page. However, this section isn’t about getting other sites to backlink to yours (an off-page SEO strategy), this is about internal links.
Internal linking is about improving the link equity of your own content.
Link equity is like Google’s vote of confidence in your link building strategy.
But when it comes to internal linking, you can create your own links that help your SEO.
Internal linking can help in a few different ways, including:
- Aiding in website navigation
- Defining the hierarchy of your website (for Google’s bots)
- Offering more ranking power by making more content accessible
The best type of internal links are those that refer to other relevant content.
For instance, linking to other blog posts from a blog post is better than linking to your home page from them.
As Dave Davies said in a Search Engine Watch article, “When you link in your content you’re telling the engine that the target of your link is so relevant and important that you want your visitor to simply be able to click a link and go straight there.”
Anchor links are the most common (and easiest) way to create internal links in your content since they will appear naturally to the user as they read.
But other types of internal linking, like a sidebar navigation menu on your blog, or your regular navigation menu, can also help.
The goal is to create enough relevant links so Google has something worth noting, without creating so many that it feels like “link stuffing.”
Like keyword stuffing, Google frowns upon too many links. They also frown upon having the exact match target keyword in the anchor text too many times, as this is associated with over-optimization.
A guideline we try to follow is to find 2-5 quality internal links for every 500-1000 words in a blog post, in addition to any other navigational internal links that already sit on your landing pages.
Another thing to watch out for are broken links (links that don’t work) on your page, whether internal or external. If you accumulate several of these, it can harm your SEO.
There is a WordPress plugin called Broken Link Checker you can install to monitor broken links on your site.