Many factors affect the ranking of a page in the search engine results.
These factors include the amount of content on your page, the use of keywords, and even the number of reference domains on your website all affect the ranking of your page (to name a few). each).
However, a factor that is often overlooked, and that you have probably guessed by reading the title, is the internal link! The ability to internally link your content is not only useful for site navigation, but can also strengthen your keyword rankings.
Throughout this article we will explain what is the internal link, how to use it effectively and examine the results of an internal link strategy already executed.
What is the internal link?
The internal link is the two-page connection of the same domain. Internal links are commonly used in the main navigation, but are also found in the content itself in the form of "anchor text". What anchor text can you ask for? The anchor text is a clickable text that leads to another page by means of a hyperlink. There are two examples of anchor text above if, like me, you are more of a visual learner.
But how do internal links have an impact on keyword rankings? That's all the purpose of the piece, is not it?
Well, let me tell you. Each internal link implemented through the use of a keyword-targeted anchor text places an important point on the keyword's landing page. Essentially, these internal links help Google understand the specific keywords that your pages are targeting.
When Google finds that a page contains several internal links pointing to it and using the same keyword placed in the anchor text, the function of this page is very obvious. Since the goal is clear and has several internal pages to meet this goal, Google will begin to take into account in its ranking.
How to establish an internal link
Now that we have established the benefits of internal links, let's move on to the tactics that will help you get the most out of this strategy. Below, we will describe how to use the tools provided by SEMrush to identify keywords for anchor text, use Google to search for link opportunities, and create spreadsheets to track your progress. Let's start!
Use bubble keywords to identify keywords for establishing internal links
When you try to start your internal link strategy, the first step is to identify the keywords / bubble pages that you should use to create these links.
But wait, what are the keywords of the bubbles? As an account manager and former SEO specialist at Directive, I learned to define "bubble keywords" as keywords for which the site is just outside the positions first-rate on the search engine results page or on the SERP. There are basically three types of bubble keywords:
Just outside position 1 (positions 2 and 3)
Keywords located outside positions 1 to 3 (positions 4 to 10)
Outside the first page (positions 11-15)
Fortunately, SEMrush has excellent tools that make it easy to find them.
Using the "Domain Preview" option, enter your site in the search bar. Once this is done and the search is done, the following screen will appear:
From here, in the left column, click on "Organic Search" to get all the information about your historical keywords. After placing the position filters to identify, you will then have access to all your bubble-type keywords that are designed to improve their rankings through internal links.
Ideally, you want to prioritize the bubble keywords you target based on the monthly volume indicated by SEMrush. In addition, pay close attention to the URL assigned to the keyword. When you implement internal links, it is best to target only one keyword per page.
However, the use of keywords and associated keyword variations can also prove useful when implementing an anchor text because Google is of increasingly able to understand the purpose of keywords and key phrases.
Use site search to find an opportunity on your site
Now that you've found your bubble keyword targets, it's time to look for occurrences of these keywords on your site. Finding these naturally-used keywords on your site makes them easier to integrate into your internal linking strategy. To begin, use one of Google's search operators.
Specifically, we will use the search operator "Site" to search for all occurrences of a keyword on your website. To do this, follow the format of the images below:
Here is an example of the format used with the results:
With the help of the search operator "Site", we are able to locate the occurrences of our target keyword on the entire site. Pretty cool, right?
As a result, we now have all our internal link possibilities for these keywords under the eyes; this eliminates the need to make assumptions and establishes which internal link opportunities are immediately available to you.
Implementation and Monitoring of Internal Links
Now that you have your keywords / pages targeted for anchor text and you know where you can place them, it's time to start implementing them on your pages. Regardless of which content management system you use, the process is largely the same. Just go to this page in the back-end of your site, highlight the anchor text, then click on "Insert Link".
Once done, it is essential to follow the internal link that you place. On the one hand, it helps you understand which pages are interconnected, but it also helps you to attribute progress to that tactic.
A spreadsheet formatted as follows is a good way to proceed.
You include the different pages on which you placed the anchor text to the left, followed by the anchor text of the middle connection, and end with the URL of the page that you want to energize right. This simplifies the process and makes it very easy to determine which pages are connected and with which anchor text.
This format makes it easy to find and edit existing instances of anchor text, if necessary.
Results Generated by Internal Links
Now that we've identified the way to effectively implement internal links, it's time to consider what they can do for your site. After all, it's the data-driven results that make the needle move!
In this regard, let's take a closer look at the data that shows the true effectiveness of an internal link strategy.
Open Doors USA, a non-profit organization, was experiencing a significant loss of keyword rankings as well as a significant traffic trough.
At their lowest point, they had lost a significant portion of their traffic and their losses should not stop.
One of their key words, "Christian persecution", also did not appear where they wanted it:
So, what has changed? You guessed it, internal liaison. Consistent internal links, fueled by strategic bubble keyword targeting, have yielded fantastic results that now allow our customers to get back on track. Internal links were placed and additional occurrences of keywords were also added to strategic positions across the site, which allowed us to create an internal link network. Looking at the results, you can see that keywords have increased, traffic is up and the cost of organic traffic continues to grow.
Today, "Christian persecution" ranks first, even beating sites like Wikipedia!
This really highlights the power of internal links. With this specific client, no influx of external links has been received, no new keyword-driven content has been produced yet and Google's Medic Update has no effect on the site's website. customer or his market.
The results, frankly, speak for themselves. A consistent internal link can and must make a difference. However, this is a tactic neglected by SEO specialists.
Like other SEO tactics, this one takes time and requires a good amount of positive momentum to give results similar to those presented above. However, persistence is the key!
If you take a targeted approach and plan in the future with internal links in mind, your site content will become a mine of opportunity with this great tactic.