An effective internal linking strategy is important for a few reasons:
1) It helps to increase page views and encourage readers to stay on your blog longer by providing enticing links to content that may interestthem, and 2) it can help to improve the search engine rankings for yourposts and pages.
In this article we’ll take a look at ten easy ways to improve theinternal linking throughout your blog. Put these into action and you’llbe well on your way to creating a more user-friendly blog and alsohelping your search engine rankings at the same time.
1. Use a sitemap
Sitemaps are not only important for helping visitors find what they’relooking for, but they’re also an easy way to increase the amount ofinternal links to your important pages. I’m not talking about XMLsitemaps created for search engines (although they can be importanttoo), but rather a sitemap for your readers with links to all of yourposts, or at least your most important ones.
WordPress users can use the Sitemap Generator Plugin from Dago Design to automatically create a sitemap for their blog. This plugin creates a helpful sitemap page with links to your posts arranged by category.
2. Create a FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions pages can help you to get internal links toyour posts while using highly targeted keywords and phrases. Create some common questions readers might have that can be answered by your blogposts. Pose the question on the FAQ page and partially answer thequestion and provide a link to a particular post for more information.When phrasing the questions, use keywords that readers are likely to use when performing a search, as this can help to improve traffic fromsearch engines. Also use keywords in the anchor text of the links toyour posts.
3. Link to related posts
Linking to posts on similar topics can help your readers to findadditional content that may interest them. Just as importantly, it canalso improve the number of internal links to your blog posts. You canmanually create related links at the end of your posts, or you can use a plugin to do it for you. WordPress users can download the Related Entries plugin.
4. Include links to your most popular posts on your sidebar
Many blogs contain links to specific posts in the sidebar. Linking tothose that are the most popular is a good way to increase your pageviews and also to improve your internal link strength. This also caneither be done manually or with the use of a plugin. Doing it manuallywill require updates and changes whenever you want to feature new posts, whereas a plugin like MostWanted will eliminate the manual effort.
5. Write a series of posts
One easy way of building up the number of internal links going from onepost to another is to write a series. As the series is written andpublished each post can link to the others. If you have a very longpost, consider breaking it into a series. Be careful not to do this allthe time as your readers may start to feel like you are using them togain page views.
6. Do a weekly or monthly summary
Many bloggers wrap up each month with a post that links to some of themost popular recent posts on the blog with a brief description of each.This obviously gives you a chance to add some internal links, and it can help readers who may have missed some posts as well as new subscriberswho may not have had the opportunity to read some of your best work.
7. Place links on your 404 pages
Error pages are frustrating to visitors. Help make your 404 error pagesmore-user friendly and drive a little bit of extra traffic to some ofmost important posts. Most WordPress themes include a 404.php file thatcan be edited to include and content you want, including links. If youare using a WordPress theme that does not include a 404 file, see the WordPress Codex for instructions.
8. Include links in your footer
Depending on what blog theme you are using, your footer may be wastedspace that includes very little valuable content. Many visitors whohave read to the bottom of your posts or scrolled all the way downlooking for something will check the footer for relevant links ratherthan scrolling back to the top. Why not provide these visitors withlinks to other posts or pages on your blog?
9. Use text links throughout posts
As your writing your blog posts keep an open eye for opportunities tolink to older posts. If you have text relates to the topic of an olderpost, create a link. As you build more and more content this will beeven easier to do. It’s also a good idea to periodically go back through some of your older posts to look for linking opportunities to morerecent posts that did not exist at the initial time of publishing.
It may be especially beneficial to include links in the first fewparagraphs of a post, as some bloggers have reported highly increasedclick-through rates from RSS readers with links high in the content,