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If you have Yoast SEO installed, you’ll also get a handy tool in your post overview, called the text link counter. This tool counts the internal links in a post and the internal links pointing to a post. This visualizes which posts should receive more links. This will all help you work purposely on your site structure.
There are many plugins and modules that add complete related posts sections to your posts. If you use one, we recommend testing whether the related posts actually are related posts. If you’re not sure, linking to posts manually is probably best. That’s what we do on Yoast.com – we select a related post manually (or with a little help from our internal linking tool – more on that later) and place a link to that post at the bottom of the article.
If you have hierarchical pages on your website, link parent pages to their child pages and vice versa. Also, don’t forget to link sibling pages to each other. These pages should be related on a well-organized site, and connecting them like this will make perfect sense.
On a post level, the Yoast plugin helps make sure you give internal links some thought. In the plugin’s metabox, the internal link assessment of Yoast SEO checks whether you’ve created links to other pages on your website in your text. It also checks if these links are followed or nofollowed.
The last option to mention is creating internal links to your website’s most popular or newest posts. Preferably create these sections in the sidebar or the footer of your website to have them appear on all pages and posts.
The cornerstone approach internal linking workout.
Internal linking is an essential factor for Google and other search engines. But why? And where do you start?
If you over-optimize anchor text you might hurt your website. And by over-optimizing, we mean keyword stuffing. Previously, you could give all anchor texts the same keyword and Google made your website rank higher for that keyword. Nowadays, Google is smart enough to understand that the content around the anchor text says more about the relevancy of a keyword than the anchor text itself. So make sure the anchor text looks natural in your copy: it’s fine to use keywords but don’t add the exact same keywords to every link’s anchor text.
You also probably have links that aren’t important for SEO on your website. If you have a login link for your clients on the homepage, for example, you don’t want to leak link value to your login page – that page doesn’t need to rank high in the search results.
Taxonomies, like categories and tags, help you organize your site and help users and Google to understand what your content is about. If you have a blog it could be beneficial to add internal links to the taxonomies the post belongs to. Adding links to the category and tags helps Google understand your blog’s structure and helps visitors to navigate to related posts more easily.
Getting your internal links back in shape is important because that helps you rank with the content you want to rank. That’s why we’ve introduced the cornerstone content internal linking workout in Yoast SEO Premium. You can use this workout to improve your internal linking based on the cornerstone approach we discussed earlier. In six easy steps, you can improve your site structure by learning where to find your cornerstones, how many links they have at the moment, and how to add links pointing to these important posts.
When you get the concept that links pass their link value on, you’ll understand that more links to a post mean more value. Because Google deems a page that gets lots of valuable links as more important, you’ll increase the chance of that page ranking.
To set up your internal linking strategy, there are several things to take into account. How you go about it exactly, of course, depends on your site and your goals, but the following steps are a good rule of thumb.
Every website consists of internal and external links. Internal links connect pages and posts on your website, and external links connect your pages to other websites. In this post, we focus on internal links and what they mean for SEO. See our posts on link building if you want to get more external links pointing to your site.
To make it even easier to find posts that aren’t linked to, Yoast SEO Premium has the orphaned content filter. This feature allows you to see which posts and pages aren’t linked to at all, by other posts and pages on your website. Using the filter, finding important posts that need more inbound internal links is a piece of cake!
Then, you should determine what your most important content is. If you’re not sure, please read our article on cornerstone content. In short, it’s your best and most complete content; it’s about the core of your business. It’s the content you want people to find when searching for topics or products you specialize in.
7. Add links to your taxonomies.
The first step in the orphaned content workout in Yoast SEO Premium.
Unlock our internal linking features and get free access to all of our SEO courses with Yoast SEO Premium:
As Marieke explains in the video, Google follows links to discover content on websites and to rank this content in the search results. If a post or page gets a lot of links, this is a signal to Google that it’s an essential or high-value article. This counts for internal as well as external links.
When you’ve written various articles about a certain topic you should link them with each other. This will show Google – and users! – that those articles are topically related. You can link directly from sentences in your copy or add links at the end of your post.
(Psst! Want a hand with setting up your links for your cornerstone content strategy? Try our new Internal linking SEO workout feature in Yoast SEO Premium!)
There are several types of internal links. In addition to links on your homepage, menu, post feed, etc, you can also add links within your content. We call those contextual links. Contextual links point your users to interesting and related content. Moreover, they allow search engines to find out what content on your site is related and determine its value. The more links a significant page receives, the more important it will seem to search engines. Therefore, good internal links are crucial to your SEO.
So we’ve added links from other relevant articles, such as ‘7 keyword research mistakes to avoid‘, ‘ What is keyword research‘, or ‘Focus on long tail keywords‘ to the main article. And we link back from the main article to these posts. In doing so, Google will understand that the ultimate guide contains the most information about [keyword research]. So, in the end, Google will rank the ultimate guide above the other, shorter posts about keyword research.
6. Try adding navigational links.
Besides linking from topically-related posts and pages, it’s possible to make your cornerstone content more authoritative by adding links to it from the homepage or the top navigation. You should do this with the posts and pages that are most important to your business. This will give these posts or pages a lot of link value and makes them stronger in Google’s eyes.
Moreover, you want to show Google which articles are your cornerstone: your most complete article on this topic. You have to add a link to the cornerstone in all of the articles on this topic to do so. And don’t forget to link back from the cornerstone to the individual posts.
In addition to understanding the relationship between content, Google divides link value between all links on a web page. Often, the homepage of a website has the most significant link value because it has the most backlinks. That link value will be shared between all the links found on that homepage. The link value passed to the following page will be divided between the links on that page, and so on.
Another feature in Yoast SEO Premium is the internal linking suggestion tool, which helps you to find related posts to link to. When you’re writing a post, you can immediately link to a related post by dragging the link into the editor. You’ll see the suggestions in the Yoast SEO sidebar on the right-hand side of your screen:
Therefore, your newest blog posts will get more link value if you link to them from the homepage instead of only on the category page. And Google will find recent posts quicker if they’re linked to from the homepage.
We always advise website owners to imagine their website as a pyramid. On top of it is your homepage; below that there are some sections or categories, and further down, there are individual posts and pages (possibly with subcategories in between).
For example, you’ll see links to the ‘Content SEO’, ‘Internal linking’, and ‘Site structure’ tags on top of this post. We make sure Google understands that the content on those pages is related to the content of this post by adding these links.
Before your content can rank, it needs links. Google finds your posts and pages best when they’re linked to from somewhere on the web. Internal links also connect your content and give Google an idea of the structure of your website. They can establish a hierarchy on your site, allowing you to give the most important pages and posts more link value than other, less valuable pages. So using the right internal linking strategy can boost your SEO!
Internal linking boosts your SEO and UX! By adding internal links to your website you increase the chances to get ranked higher on the SERP (search enginge result page). Through internal links you can also spread link equity and establish your site architecture.
Boost your SEO: Internal links also important for search engines. Through internal links you can spread link equity and establish your site architecture.
The specified keywords on your website are now provided with the corresponding link and settings.
It´s simple. It saves time because you don’t have to set links manually anymore and makes setting up an internal linking strategy a lot easier!
Improve your UX: Give your users the opportunity to discover relevant content with one click. Link important keywords with an related link. Your users stay longer on your website and get relevant information. As a side effect it improves your bounce rate, which is one of Googles ranking factors.
Why are internal links useful?
You simply provide a keyword and an URL. Whenever the keyword appears on your site, it sets links automatically to the given URL.
No. If you have already created a link manually, the plugin will not overwrite it.
Here is an example: You have written a blogpost on “How to learn guitar”. Now you want the URL “yourdomain.com/how-to-learn-guitar” to be automatically linked whenever the keyword “learn guitar” appears on your website. You simply navigate to “Add link” within the menu and provide the requested parameters (mainly keyword + URL).
You can report bugs and provide us with any other feedback within your WordPress-Backend. You will find a green feedback-button at the right side of every plugin-page.