ANCHOR TEXT INTERNAL LINKS SEO

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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PORTFOLIO

You could slap these links onto your site willy-nilly. But given relevance is another huge driver of rankings, the biggest gains will come when you link with unique anchors from other topically relevant content. You can see how to find relevant pages on your own site to build internal links from here.

Hardcore link builders know this. You know this. I know this.. and execute it whenever requesting links. But, if you’re anything like me, you often forget to apply the same logic when structuring your own site!

Popular among those keywords are variations such as ‘google keyword ranking’, ‘keyword position tracker’, ‘seo rank checker’ and 100s of other permutations.

But how can you see which pages are the most deserving of your time in creating new inbound links?

So powerful, in fact, that they have created numerous penalties for those that have abused anchor text by creating 100s of links to their sites. ( We don’t do that here. Lesson learned, a few too many times to mention!)

More anchors, Broader rankings.

The top pages returned are perfect candidates for adding new internal links to.

To find great prospects, follow these simple steps:

Using diverse anchor texts when linking to your pages is crucially important – not only does keeping it natural greatly reduce your risk of a penalty, but by using a range of synonyms and modifiers to link greatly increases your ability to rank for long tail keywords.

The more internal anchor diversity you can add, the broader you can cast my net and catch even more of those long tail variations. Just as each external link helps.

When SEO Scout crawls your site, we keep track of which pages link to each other, what anchor text they use, and how many unique anchor texts are used to link internally to a page.

What. A. Waste .

But by using a single anchor to link to a page that can be described in so many weird and wonderful ways by searchers is a colossal waste ! At the time of writing, my Rank Tracker page gets impressions for a whopping 3,271 unique keywords:

By comparing the range of keywords a page gets impressions for to the terms you’re actually using to link to a page, you can quickly see opportunities to add new modifiers and synonyms to the anchor text of your internal links.

It’s not uncommon for some of our most important pages on our sites to only ever being linked to using a single anchor text. This is usually due to content being linked to in a site’s navigation or footer (see our features tab above!), or due to the title of a blog being used as the sole anchor due to listings on category pages and in places like ‘Related Posts’ sidebars.

Internal links deserve unique anchors too!

Among all of the ranking factors Google consider when looking at a link to a page, anchor text is undoubtedly one of the most powerful. If a link is a vote for a page, the anchor text used to link is one of the clearest signal of why you are linking to that page: what is this page actually about?

Frequently pages with a low number of unique anchor texts will rank worse than those with more diverse anchors, and significant gains can be made in increasing the diversity of anchors and the mix of long tail variations you use to link to a page.

By only ever linking to my page using the phrase ‘rank tracker’ I might see a minor lift for that head term, but I’m not giving myself any credit for phrases that include words such as keyword, position, checker, google, tool or tens of other phrases.

Find good candidates for pages to build internal links from. On the Recommendations tab you can see other content on your site that is a good topical match for the current page’s content that does not already link to this specific page – or pages that only link in the nav, not content.

By combining a campaign tweaks to my page title and heading tags to add missing modifiers and synonyms with one that diversifies the incoming internal anchor text you’re not just signalling to Google that your page is relevant for all those tasty variations, but waving a gigantic red bull flag at the Googlebot.

Granted, there is a difference between inbound internal links and backlinks from other sites. Google aren’t going to take me to court because I link to my ‘Rank Tracker’ page using the anchor text ‘Rank Tracker’ from all 100 pages of my website, thank goodness.

How to find target content to build new internal links for.

Get to work refreshing your content, adding in internal links to your target pages naturally and within the content. At times you may simply be able to link existing text to the article and naturally include your target anchors. At others, you may want to add a short sentence or paragraph that allows you to introduce your related content and use your most valuable keywords.

You will find them in the main menu of a site:

Consider how you can use your campaign landing pages to pass authority to other related pages on your site.

One of the Thematic Reports available through the Site Audit tool is the Internal Linking report:

3. Internal Links Help Users to Navigate Between Relevant Pages.

It might also make sense to employ some cross-linking between pages on the same level of a topic cluster.

Internal Link Issues : You will see any issues (broken down as errors, warnings, or notices) relating to internal links reported here.

Expert Tip : Aim to point at least two or three internal links to every new piece of content. These should come from an authority page as well as from those within the relevant topic cluster.

If you are working with a site that has earned a high number of good quality links, this can be pretty straightforward.

A common question here is whether or not you should always use your main target keyword as the internal link anchor text.

The main Site Audit report also includes insights that will help you improve your site’s internal linking structure:

Step 6: Using Internal Links to Optimize Fresh Content.

Here is what we will cover:

Expert Tip : If any of the authority pages you have identified don’t contain related content, don’t link to them. Create that content from scratch instead, if it makes sense to do so as part of your wider content strategy.

It is still, however, very much part of the ranking algorithm, so understanding how it works helps to map out a solid internal linking strategy. If page a , for instance, has authoritative external links pointing to it, it will have built up a PageRank score. This authority can then be passed to page b by way of internal links.

From increasing average time-on-site to nudging users down the paths to purchase, internal links can be leveraged to improve your UX and, in turn, your overall search performance.

How to Audit Your Site’s Existing Internal Links.

In this example, you will see that the “car finance for bad credit” page links further down the silo to “CCJ car finance” and “IVA car finance.”

If you want to leverage internal linking to have a real impact on your SEO, though, you need to dig a bit deeper to know why it matters.

There are two main types of internal links: navigational and contextual. Let's look at both.

An understanding of the functions of these different types of links and how they appear to users can help you get the most out of your internal linking strategy.

Once you have identified these, you can use your site’s authority pages to improve the rankings of others.

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