by Kim Niemi
We hear a lot about optimization these days, on all fronts – landing pages, mobile vs. desktop, SEO… but what about link optimization? Worrying about internal link structure might seem like a low priority, with everything else that could make your list – but actually, you need to get this right. Here’s why.
Internal links, for those less well-versed, are the ones that link to other pages and posts within a single website. To put it more technically, “the source domain and target domain are the same” (thanks, Kissmetrics!). So everything in your navigation menu falls under this category, but you want to think beyond that for best results.
Sounds obvious, right? But you’d be surprised how often websites miss the mark. Or they have a great desktop site, but the mobile site loses all functionality, rendering navigation next to impossible. And that’s not going to help your bounce rate.
The more important reason has to do with Page Authority and rank – and making it easy for Google to help you (which you want). There are a number of things that come into play with regard to page rank, but number and quality of internal links pointing to a page are two of them, according to Brian Dean at Backlinko.
But it’s not just about having as many links as possible – they need to be organized. As Searchmetrics tells us, “If a website is internally linked like a labyrinth – or completely overwhelmed with links – users and The Googlebot will get lost. It is hard to recognize what is important, as there is no clear structure and visitors will bounce.”
Moz has a great image that makes this easy to understand if you’re not tech-minded.
And what about Page Authority, speaking of Moz (who developed it)? Here’s their definition: “Page Authority is Moz’s calculated metric for how well a given webpage is likely to rank in Google.com’s search results.” They admit it’s not easy to directly influence Page Authority – and this is intentional. “The best way to influence this metric is to improve your overall SEO.”
Link optimization is one way you’ll do that.
Making internal link optimization easy
But of course – like all things web – there are a lot of moving parts to manage here, and of course, they all take time to suss out.
One easy place to make use of internal links is within your site’s blog (if you have one), linking back to a few relevant previous posts within every new post.
The challenge? You have to have a sense of what’s in your blog’s archives because you want to use the OPTIMAL links to get visitors to spend time at your site. But are you sure you know which those are? This is exactly why link optimization doesn’t happen.
So how DO you set up the right internal links, without spending every minute of your day researching them? You use technology to do it for you.
There are companies emerging constantly to handle all aspects of website optimization, like UnDelay – which specializes in mobile landing pages and easy, affordable testing. And Searchmetrics now offers internal link optimization services designed to make online marketers’ jobs that much easier. They even offer role-specific reports – since CMOs need different information than CEOs or CIOs.
The point is, you don’t have to fumble through SEO endeavors – or worse, not bother with them because they’re too time-consuming, or difficult to understand. We live in amazing times, where technology offers new solutions every day. You just have to be able to find them – and internal link optimization helps ensure whoever needs YOUR business’ solution can find it.
This post originally appeared on Commpro
IMAGE CREDIT:INDIA7 NETWORK