Internal Links are arguably the most underrated SEO strategy. You don’t have to ask anyone to link to you, it’s completely free with a 100% success rate, and internal links can actually help you rank higher in Google. So today, I’m going to show you how to use internal links to rank higher in Google. Stay tuned.
If you’re new to SEO, internal links are simply links from one page to another on the same website. And they’re important for three main reasons. First, they help search engines like Google discover new pages so they can be added to their index. Second, internal links help pass PageRank around your site, effectively “powering” other pages. And if you’re unfamiliar with PageRank, it’s a mathematical formula that tries to determine the “value of a page.” And Google themselves have said that after 18 years, they still use PageRank to rank pages. And third, internal links help search engines to better understand what a page is about. And they do this by looking at anchor texts and the text that surrounds the link. So with these three things in mind – crawlability, authority, and relevance. let’s go through a few ways you can boost your rankings with internal links.
The first way is to create a logical hierarchy in your site structure. Think of site structure as a mindmap. At the top, you’d have your homepage. Then you’d probably have main topics that branch out from your homepage like your services page, your blog, and About page. Then from these main topics, you’d probably have even more branches to other pages. Structure helps search engines to understand the relationship between these pages, where branches are created using internal links. Now, this mindmap is pretty basic and doesn’t really give that much information to search engines. So let’s build onto this example using an internal linking strategy called content hubs. Content hubs are interlinked collections of content about a similar topic. Basically, you create multiple pages on a topic and its subtopics, then interlink between the pages. So if we zoom into the link building guide, you might add more pages, like the one about broken link building, resource page link building, guest posting, and blogger outreach. And to create relationships between these posts, you could link to these posts from your link building guide and also link from your posts to your link building guide. Not only does this help to create relevance between pages, but as each of these pages get backlinks, PageRank will flow to and from each page within the hub, helping all of your pages rank higher in Google. We have a full video on how to create and use content hubs, so I’ll link that up in the description. Now, content hubs aren’t for everyone. And if you’ve already created a ton of pages without any kind of structure in mind, there are three easy and free ways you can find internal linking opportunities. The first way is to use the “site” search operator in Google. So let’s say we wanted to add internal links to our guide on search intent. I’ll go to Google and search for site:ahrefs.com/blog and then add the phrase, “search intent” wrapped in quotes. And now we can see all pages on our blog that mention this phrase. So I’ll click on our buyer’s journey guide, and do a find for “search intent.” And it looks like it’s unlinked, so it could be a perfectly good place to add an internal link. The second way is to use the Link Opportunities report in Ahrefs’ Site Audit. All you have to do is sign up for a free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools account, verify your site, and then you can run a free website audit. After your audit is complete, head on over to the Link Opportunities report. This report shows you internal linking opportunities based on keywords your pages rank for. So we show the page we recommend you link from, the keyword that’s mentioned on the source page, which is also the keyword that the target page ranks for, and the page we recommend you link to. On top of that, we show the context of where the keyword appears on the source page. Now, looking at an entire site’s internal linking opportunities can be overwhelming. So let’s add a target page filter to our search intent article since that’s where we want to add internal links to. Hit Apply, and now you’ll see 23 internal linking opportunities. And unlike the Google search method, the internal linking opportunities aren’t dependent on exact match phrases. One other cool feature about this report is that we only show internal linking opportunities where the source page isn’t already linking to the target page. So you’ll find the suggestions to be quite good. If you’re new to Site Audit, we have a full video on our free SEO tool called Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, so I’ll link that up in the description.
The last method is to look at your site’s power pages. Naturally, some pages will earn more links than others. So they have more so-called “authority” they can pass to other pages on your website. Again, if you have an Ahrefs Webmaster Tools account, you can do this for free. Just go to Site Explorer and enter your domain. Then go to the Best by links report. Here, you’ll see the pages on your site ordered by URL Rating, which represents the overall strength of a page’s backlink profile. Just skim through your pages and see if there are any relevant pages where you’d want to link from.
Now, whichever method you decide to use, the most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to force internal links. So I wouldn’t bother linking from irrelevant pages. And that also means that you don’t need to overdo it. Now, if you don’t have any pages with link authority, then I highly recommend you to stay tuned and wait for the next post on internal link building.
In addition to that, Evertise Digital provides you a complete link building solution that can fit in nicely within your internal linking strategy and the two, if executed in synergy can augment your overall SEO efforts.