A beginners guide to understanding internal link building

As a small business owner trying to manage as much of their digital content themselves, the concept of internal link building might appear mind-boggling at first glance, but it doesn’t need to be as complicated as it first looks. In our previous post, we highlighted the importance of link building when it comes to your site structure, in this post, we’re taking a more in-depth look into linking the content on your website.

What is website structure?

Site structure is about grouping and linking the content on your site. Internal link building is often referred to as contextual links. These links are the internal links within the copy on your pages that refer to other pages on your website. For example, if you link a previous blog post into a new blog post, this would form an internal link.

What is classified as contextual links?

So, what qualifies as a ‘contextual link’. It’s pretty simple really, for a link to be contextual, the page that it links to should contain relevant information to the user reading the current page. Internal link building allows your users to learn more about what they’re interested in and find relevant information and pages with ease.

You can also use navigational links that make it easier for users to navigate around your website, you should aim to use these across the posts and pages that are most important to your business. When using links for navigation, if you’re linking to pages that you don’t want to show up in search results such as login or sign up pages, you should give them a ‘no-follow’ and a ‘no-index’ tag to do so. The ‘no-index’ tag should ensure that the search engine doesn’t render the page, meaning it won’t show up in the search results.

When it comes to determining the most important pages on your website, it’s often the case that there is a handful of them. You can link to those most often so that they will rank higher in search engine results and provide users with the most relevant content available. Naturally this is your homepage, but with the correct strategy, you can rank your other important pages by linking to them more frequently.

What’s the best approach for link building strategies?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach with link building strategies, these will be specific to your business and the type of site you own. For example, if your website is a blog you will want to link between related articles and posts, whereas if your website is e-commerce store, you might want to use link building in a ‘related items’ or ‘customers also bought’ section to encourage higher spends. Your link building strategy is totally dependent on the nature of your site and what you want to achieve with it.

Top tips for successful link building strategies

When you get down to the nitty gritty of it, link building strategies take time and patience. Our top tips for a successful strategy are:

  • Clearly define the purpose of your site
  • Determine which pages you deem most important
  • Clear up any outdated content
  • Streamline the information on your pages so that it’s both useful and relevant
  • Avoid keyword cannibalisation (using keywords that are too similar)
  • Keep in mind when defining new content, how it could be relevant and make sense for a a link to existing content.

If it’s all a little too complicated for you still, fear not, we’ll be back soon with more posts so that you can learn and understand the importance of SEO for your website.