Let’s get right to it. In the mystical and magical world of the internet, there are basically two types of links: external links and internal links.
An external link is a link that points from an external domain towards your domain. These are usually a favorite among SEO’s since these types of links can funnel link-juice towards your site and help it garner greater authority by leveraging another site’s authority.
Then there are internal links which are links that point from within your own domain towards that same domain. While internal linking does not always seem as exciting or rewarding as an external link, when used properly they can help you achieve some amazing results.
I’ve once had links described to me as the ‘money of the internet’, meaning the more links you have the more your site gains authority and ranking potential on the web. While this is very true, this doesn’t mean that all links are equal. Moz provides a great article on the different types of links that you will encounter in the SEO world and I highly encourage you to read it if you need a little more information about these link types.
In this blog post, I’d like to share with you my go-to strategy for building an effective and relevant internal linking strategy — specifically to help you rank for a key term you’re trying to target. If your website has some domain authority to throw around, this strategy can have a huge impact for your website rankings — just see the results below!
We had a client where we employed this technique alongside some healthy link-building and the impact made me realize just how powerful internal links can be. Once we powered up the internal links, the rankings continued to soar.
To begin, I first determine a keyword topic that I’d like to begin ranking for. I do this by performing a little keyword research to ensure that there is a good amount of search volume for this term. My favorite tool for this is SEMRush because of their Keyword Magic Tool which allows you to cherry-pick your favorite keywords and then compile a list that you can later export.
Once you do your research, you need to identify a target page that you’d like to build these power-packed internal links to. Let’s use a page on Catster.com, and pretend that it was created specifically for a keyword that they would like to rank for (which in this case would be “cat toys”) for the page http://www.catster.com/cats-101/cat-toys.
The first step you need to take is identify all of the internal link opportunities that can point towards this designated page. I do this by using Advanced Search Operators in Google like so:
site:[insert domain here] “[insert keyword here]”. When you’re done, it should look like this image:
Wham! Look at all the places the word “cat toys” is showing up on the site. Depending on your site and keyword, you can have hundreds of opportunities for internal links.
For this ‘cat toys’ keyword, we’ve got 10+ search engine ranking pages showing us possible opportunities for internal links.
My next advice to you is to go and download the Chrome extension called Linkclump. This handy tool is going to allow you to grab all those links from the SERPs and copy and paste them all quickly into a spreadsheet at the same time. Trust me, you’re gonna love it.
Next it’s time to analyze your opportunities. I’ve found that a quick way to do this is to do a Ctrl+F (brings up a page search) on the page with the link opportunity and then search for your key term. This function will then highlight every time your term is used.
How handy is that?! I then take the url and anchor text and place it in a spreadsheet to remind myself where to add the links later on. (Side note: only add one link with your key term back to your targeted page — adding more is spammy and Google hates it.)
And that’s how you find and create some great internal links for your site! If you really want to pack a punch with your internal links (and I don’t know why you wouldn’t) use Moz Open Site Explorer to help you determine your pages with the most authority. When you point internal links from a page with a higher authority, this will give your internal links a little more of a boost and you’ll most likely see your rankings for your targeted keyword go up. Good luck!