SEO Intralinking Strategy for Blogging

This article is more than half a decade old, but it’s still relevant.

Let’s say your SEO maven hooked you up with well-optimized SEO landing pages, but they’re relatively orphaned. (Nobody’s linking to them much, not even you, from your own site.) Should you link to them from your site’s other pages, like from your blog? Yes. …Carefully.

Intralinking Case Study (Hypothetical)

Keyword: blue widget

SEO Landing page: …/blue-widget/

Obviously, you mention “blue widget” on other pages too. (If you don’t, get on that. You’ll never rank for a keyword if you only mention it on one page; Google can quickly suss that you’re trying to game the system by optimizing a single page for a keyword.)

Are you selling widgets? Presumably, you have one or more “blue widget” product pages, too, whether or not you’ve opted to make them text-rich pages. (Content is king. Your product pages should be troves of information, but unfortunately some brand identities don’t allow for that.)

So you blog.

You should blog. Demonstrate expertise in your field, publicly, often.

You mention blue widgets in a blog. …Hell, you write a blog post about blue widgets. You’ve used several variations on your core “blue widget” keyword in that blog. How can you best use those keyword iterations as link anchor text to other content on your site?

Head to Google.com

Type this in the Google search field:

site:[yoursite.com] [the keyword you’re working on]

…Swapping for your domain and your keyword for the [bits in brackets].

Screenshot_2Hit Enter on your keyboard.

Screenshot_1Or click “Google Search”

Or the little magnifying glass icon.

e.g. site:dandreifort.com SEO
gets you a list Google’s favorite SEO themed pages on this site, in order. (Top is Google’s favorite.)

If your blue widget SEO landing page is new, it probably won’t be toward the top of that list yet. You should then definitely link to that blue widget landing page to get it some traction. But what if your landing page is #4 on the list, and a few of your product pages take the top three spots?

Make link targets natural

Often, link to the blue widget landing page. Sometimes link to one of the appropriate product pages. We want to tell Google that our whole site (or at least considerable chunks of it) are good pages for them to consider for blue widget Google search results. Though you should usually link to the primary blue widget page, whichever that is.

Use descriptive anchor text

We’re past the days when [click here!] was acceptable anchor text, but [some variation on your keyword] isn’t much better. In this sentence: “The prevalence of tan widgets is understandable because they’re inexpensive, but rarer blue widgets are more valuable because they’re easier to see in the mud.” You might be tempted to make [blue widgets] your link. That’s lazy. Use more! [blue widgets are more valuable because they’re easier to see in the mud]

It should be immediately obvious to both human and Googlebot what’s on the other end of any link,

So, I should link to several of my pages from my blog post?

Blogs shouldn’t be salesy or pitchy. Blogs are for engaging, not selling. Maybe link to a couple of your assets. Sometimes just to one. Often, not at all, unless you have a good reason to.

With rare exceptions, do not link to a single resource multiple times from a single page. Nor should you cram your article full of links to every imaginable related product and page.

Why?

It’s ham-fisted. If your content is overstuffed with links, people can quickly see that over-stuffing; they’ll likely feel like they’re being “advertised at” so to speak. …Google’s even more keen at that assessment; Google knows when you’re stuffing all of your content with links. Keep it natural. (Somewhere between zero links and ‘too many’ links, on average—that’s your goal.)

Anchor Text Variation

Mix it up. Don’t always use “blue widget” verbatim to anchor the link to your other “blue widget” content. “Our blue-tinted widgets…” is fine anchor text. Do you use a synonym for “widget”? (whatever your ‘widget’ is!) Using that synonym as part of anchor text is a great idea! Not everybody searches the same way, and the more ways you’re able to describe your products in ways your audience might be searching, the better.

Linking to third party URLs?

Yes. If your brand manual allows it, definitely link to relevant third party content sometimes, or even often. Just don’t link to your direct competitors. No need to help them!

Most of my clients’ blogs do NOT intralink to their own content from their blogs, but they do link to interesting content on other sites from their blogs. That’s best practices, if you can afford it.

In short:

  1. Be aware of your keywords when you’re blogging.
  2. Note that most of your blog posts don’t need to link to your own content, but if you’re a brand-strong blog, (i.e. an inbred blog, or otherwise unwilling to link to other sites from your blog,) and that works for you, (lucky,) you can err on the side of always linking to your own supporting content.
  3. site:yoursite your keyword – is the syntax to find out what pages Google likes already. Don’t fight Google, just nudge them.
  4. Don’t always link to the same page; pick a few to regularly reinforce. But leaning mostly on one is okay.
  5. Mix up the anchor text, too, which should usually be more substantial than just a keyword phrase.
  6. Linking to other sites is fine. But consider adding “nofollow” to sites you don’t want to help. Better yet, don’t link to competitors.

Dan Dreifort consults on SEO and UX. He also likes making noise with other musicians.

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