Tara Struyk provides a comprehensive guide to internal linking strategies and practical tips for writers and content creators.
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Name: Tara Struyk
What Tara Does: VP of Content at Janalta
Noteworthy: Tara is a writer and editor with several years of experience in online media. She specializes in writing about personal finance, real estate, and health and wellness.
Connect with Tara;
💡Significance of Internal Linking in SEO
Tara discusses the importance of internal linking for SEO, drawing connections between the World Wide Web’s foundational concept and Google’s algorithm evolution. She explains how internal links serve as votes for page importance, aids in navigation, and helps search engines better understand content.
💡Usng Links at the Top of the Page
Tara suggests leveraging internal links strategically at the top of an article or page to enhance user engagement. By placing links within the initial paragraphs, she asserts that it not only contributes to SEO but also encourages visitors to spend more time on the site. Tara links this practice to improved site performance and increased trust from both users and search engines.
💡creating a Systematic Linking Process
Tara advises establishing a systematic linking process, particularly relevant for those writing for publications with specific guidelines. She encourages a continuous effort to build links over time, linking new content to existing related pages and vice versa. This systematic approach, according to Tara, ensures consistency and alignment with the publication’s goals and SEO strategies
💡Caution Against Excessive Linking
Tara warns against excessive linking, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a balance between providing useful links and avoiding overwhelming readers.
She advises writers to exercise common sense and judiciously select one to three relevant links per paragraph. Tara asserts that a measured approach to linking ensures a cleaner, more reader-friendly presentation while retaining the effectiveness of internal links.
Tara Struyk 0:05
All right. So today we’re going to talk about internal linking. I had lots of requests for this, this topic, idea. And it’s, it’s something you won’t always have control over as a writer.
But it’s a really important thing to understand when you’re working on the internet, because linking is sort of everything right? It’s what makes the internet, the internet. And even if whatever publication you’re writing for, doesn’t require internal linking, I personally never hate it, when a writer makes an effort to do some of this on their own. It’s helpful.
And it’s something you can certainly do better and better as you understand the site better. There are some case studies and things that get really technical on this topic. And I’m going to keep it fairly basic. I think a lot of the sites that I have worked on and built have relied really heavily on internal linking, could definitely get more refined with it.
But to be honest, just doing a really thorough job of interlinking, even if it isn’t super technical, still works really well. So I’m just going to sort of make that assumption. Some people get really geek out on this. I haven’t taken it that far myself. So the first thing we’re just going to touch on is the assignments. Before I kind of go on my kind of tell you what I was seeing, does anyone want to jump in and sort of talk about some of the challenges that they saw here?
Tara Struyk 1:51
I’m not seeing my Zoom console here. So I’m just gonna have to let you guys tell me, he got by? Yeah, go for it. I think I hear Phillip. Okay.
Philip Maigida 2:04
Good evening, everybody. Hello, Tara. So I actually had a had from from the comments I got from the comments you made on my assignment.
It looks like I didn’t really get the date get the question. Correct. Because I actually wrote a post a, an article that I believe can be posted by my quote unquote, employer. Okay. So it looks like I didn’t really get the, the question correctly. I don’t know.
Tara Struyk 2:49
It might be I mean, what I was trying, I was trying to sort of say is, if it may be many of you don’t have a blog yet, but let’s assume you are creating one. And this is a piece of content that you want to have on it.
So whether this is a way that people are going to find you or something that they’re going to see when you submit an application or anything like that, then, you know, why are you choosing this content?
Like what are what are your what are your goals? Is it for the right audience? So I don’t think there’s a one right answer to that. I just kind of want to see what’s the thought process? In choosing that, and, you know, who do you hope will see it in? And what will they?
What do you hope that they will do as a result or sort of feel about you? Right? Because ultimately, if it’s on your blog, you are hoping that what they see there helps push them to hire you for something, right. So that’s kind of where I was trying to go with it.
Philip Maigida 3:56
It’s okay, so one major challenge I had with the assignments was putting up the call to action. I realised that I was just, I realised that I didn’t really have a call to action to something to maybe teach my reader so I can help with something I know you went through my my distance, so maybe you could help me with that.
Tara Struyk 4:29
Yeah, and that’s a good one. I mean, we could probably do a class around just around that, or at least a few slides. Because that’s an important part and and something that probably a lot of you will see in your writing is like you’re writing and you’re hopefully trying to get that person, that reader to take a certain action.
What is that and how do you kind of nudge them in that direction? I think that that’s a good point. Probably worth, like covering in a in a class or a few slides. So I can think about that as well. Anybody else want to jump in on the assignment? Yes.
Chidinma Nnamani 5:09
Good day everyone, Hi Tara.
Tara Struyk 5:12
Chidinma Nnamani 5:13
So you commented on the article I wrote that I should mention, like, the way that the blog can attract business as a writer. But I was a bit confused, or let’s say challenged here. Because let’s say if I’m starting a blog now, and like, that’s the first post, so let’s say, I have a series of content, that would be the first post, am I starts pushing forward for business or just try to drive traffic first, before adding any other business ideas to the post. What do you think about that?
Tara Struyk 5:52
Um, yeah, I mean, I think that can be a strategy. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with one, knowing what that action that you want them to take is like, contact you get on an email list. And kind of setting up the content that way. So I think, even from the first piece of content, it’s helpful to be thinking, like, when people come to my site, how am I thinking that they’re gonna get here?
And then what? What am I wanting them to do? Or take away from it? So it’s hard, because I’m only seeing one piece of content, not necessarily all the thinking behind it. But I think it’s a good idea to kind of be thinking in that direction.
Chidinma Nnamani 6:38
So for something like the email list, would it be in the main content? Of course, like, check websites, like other competitor blogs? And I see like that email list, like the subscription form is merely like a pop up and not necessarily begin the article. So is it really important, to put it within the blog, still.
Tara Struyk 7:01
it depends. I mean, a lot of you see a lot of different things on different sites, and we don’t necessarily have information on how well that’s working for them. Right. So there’s a lot of different ways to do it. I think pop ups, at least from what I’ve seen, tend to convert pretty pretty well.
But so does in text, calls to action if they’re well placed. And you’ll see that on, you know, sites that really have mastered that sort of thing. Like HubSpot is a huge one that does that really well, and really builds the call to action right into their content. So it’s not like there’s one right way to do it, for sure.
But it shouldn’t sort of be like, I’m gonna write this content and stick the call to action somewhere. I mean, it kind of needs to be part of that, right? You’re kind of trying to nurture someone towards that. So it’s got to be a little bit more thoughtful. But yeah, it’s true. Like, and if you have your own site, you can test it yourself.
Does it pop up work better? Does it work better when I put it in the middle of the content? I mean, that’s what people are doing all the time with those sorts of things that they want to convert, right is changing the messaging, moving it around? And just seeing which, which way works better? And the answer is probably different on different sites. So anybody else?
Nina Camara 8:25
Hi, yeah, I also have a question. Thank you for your comments on my assignment. And so you mentioned that I should try to live in like a reference to Monzo a little bit more, so I’m just gonna post it in the comments so that he saw what I’m talking about. Okay. Then you see it, yeah, you should be able to see.
So basically, what I’ve done there is that I included two references. So, in the end of the posts, there is a call to action to like find out how to basically runs a business account.
So I was thinking whether instead of this if you want me to like include Monzo as a solution and whether it will be better to like add more references to the to monzo ports projects and then at an does reference to an actual accounts, for example, or would it be better and what I’ve done there because if you go a little bit further up in that post, you will see that I included reference to Monzo ports earlier on, precisely because I wanted to you know doing could include it like in the middle of the articles.
APB will do it people don’t just keep it so that it was still part of like you know, of the advice or just just go right after the advice but I was wondering if repeating it further are down, but in the end be better?
Tara Struyk 10:02
Well, I think the big thing is like weaving it in. So anytime that you’re, if you can, if you’re talking about a product, so you know, Monzo, I think is providing, like, sort of
Nina Camara 10:15
Tara Struyk 10:16
yeah, banking, but also budgeting sort of capabilities in an online banking from what I could kind of see at a glance, right. So it fits very well with the topic. But you, I think you can really weave it in as a solution.
So instead of like, you know, you have all these points, like you can, you know, separate out your accounts, and you can, you know, do your budgeting and all these different, like, pieces of advice.
But there was a lot of those actually tied directly to capabilities that Monzo has. So I think, like two things, it would be, give the advice, try to provide some kind of backup for it.
Like, even if it’s a freelancer or something saying, like, this was so hard for me to manage, or it was really hard for me to manage my money, because one month I made this and another month, I made this, and then sort of putting in Monzo as part of that solution.
So you know, you’re saying like separate, separate out your, your budget for different allotments or whatever, like, show them how Monzo can do that, that’s a lot more convincing than just giving me advice, and then mentioning Monzo.
So that people can actually see specifically how that solves their problems. And you’ll definitely see better engagement and click through on that, because it doesn’t, it doesn’t resonate as much to put it beside, like, for me, I have to go to look, look at the site and kind of understand what it does.
If you lay that out exactly as like, here’s the solution. This is how this product can help you do what what is being recommended. That’s where you’re gonna see kind of better benefit.
Okay? It’s a thing, right? Like, even you could even have screenshots like, look like, here’s what it looks like, inside you can divide out, you know, your budget, or whatever it is that it does like that kind of relate to those points, even if it’s not every one of them.
It’s a lot more convincing, where people are like, wow, I can really see myself using this to, to, to better manage my money as a freelancer.
Nina Camara 12:25
Okay, thank you.
Tara Struyk 12:28
Again, yeah, and I think we’ve got four more weeks, I think on the on the course. And what I’m hoping is like, we can continue to polish these pieces.
So that by the end, everybody’s got something that’s like, you know, the best that they can do, and I can give them as much feedback as possible, then I think you’ll kind of get to understand like that whole process of, of getting it there.
And all those things that you personally can improve on whatever it is, I mean, everyone has different areas that that they’ll need to work on.
But that’s kind of what I like to do for the next few weeks is just continue to work on and refine those assignments so that on the last day, we can kind of say like, these are as good as we can get them right now.
And I think that’ll be kind of cool. And then if you do have a blog that you are posting to are going to start one, then you’ve got a first piece of content for that as well, which is kind of cool.
Okay, any other comments? I got maybe time for one more before I jump into my slides and stuff here.
Itoro Abasi 13:35
Hi Tara good evening, good evening everyone. Yeah, so I was going to ask if in the event where you finally get to publish, is substack a good place to look at? or between substack or medium? Which one do you think? Which is a good place to start publishing with?
Tara Struyk 14:00
I think substack you’d have to have subscribers, right? It’s not just a It’s not just like, a place to blog, like, medium is a little bit more of a blogging platform. Correct?
Itoro Abasi 14:17
Tara Struyk 14:19
So I think if you don’t have subscribers, then a substack is going to be maybe not the best choice. I’m not I haven’t used a substack myself, but I’m pretty sure that it’s like it’s for email subscribers.
So yeah, medium can be good. I mean, there’s lots of options for blogging for free or relatively inexpensively that you can kind of use as a portfolio. personal blog, so I could maybe I want to do a class on sort of building that out so I can maybe look at some of the options there. And later out, but medium could be one for sure.
Itoro Abasi 15:02 Thank you.
Tara Struyk 15:03
Yep. Okay, so I’ll just kind of run through some of the things I saw. And some of you already mentioned this. So the audience that you’re trying to attract to your blog, I think that’s something that maybe some of you a lot of you haven’t fully thought through enough, like, Who do you want there?
How will they find it? How is that going to translate into helping you, you know, build business make money. So I think that’s worth thinking about. Because just because you know, when you write on tech, or you write on SEO, or whatever, it’s not necessarily what your employers are reading about.
So it’s worth thinking about, I mean, it can be fine, just to have some quality clips are in the area that you want to write about, on your blog, so that when you reach out to, you know, editors, and, and people who are hiring, they can see like, okay, they’ve done, they have some, some writing here, they’re invested in the space.
And I think you just have to think that through, right, because even writing for your own blog is, is time for you it’s effort. So you just want to make sure that you’re, that you’re thinking through how you want to present yourself and how that’s going to work for you.
And how you want to position yourself. And then the other thing I’m still not seeing much at all is enough sources and quotes in the writing. You really just can’t go on your own research and knowledge.
If you want something really unique and high quality, you really need to get get quotes from people get sources, I know that this is you know, for a personal blog, it’s a little bit, you’re probably not going to be able to reach out to a CEO or something and get their time.
But even just making the effort to go into the FCDC channel, find some other freelancers, like other people that would be willing to help you out and just get used to that exercise of putting in those codes and, and sort of seeing where they need to be.
Because for me, that jumps out to me, like, you make a statement. And I think okay, but why should I believe that? Right? Like, how do I know that’s true, that’s where we really need that, that backup. So just being able to see that and getting those, getting those quotes, or statistics or kind of whatever you can find.
That’s one that I that I think everybody can, can still improve on. So those are kind of the big ones. So keep those in mind with the comments. And then for any comments I put in, I’ll, and I’ll kind of reiterate this at the end.
But let’s continue to work on these and kind of like improve them going forward for the next few weeks. So I’m going to share my screen. And we can talk about internal linking. Alright.
Tara Struyk 18:07
The internal linking, so kind of the key things we’re going to run through is why is it important? How to search engines look at internal links, and people, I mean, search engines and people, you can kind of almost look at them the same way.
Because more and more what the algorithm is trying to do is look at the page like a person. So it’s good to kind of keep that in mind. And then we’ll go through some specific tips that you can use when you’re writing for liking your content. So first up, why do links matter?
So it’s important to kind of understand the context of links. The World Wide Web, I mean, no one really calls it that anymore. But as a concept, it was developed around the idea of being able to link documents together. And if you think about, I mean, we’re so used to it now, right?
I mean, you guys are even younger than I am, you probably have had the internet for a lot of your life. But just think about before that, anytime you wanted to go to another resource, you probably had to, you know, find that book, look up that page number flip through.
Now we can just click something and get directly to that spot. And that’s actually pretty amazing in terms of navigating through information, right? That’s kind of the key innovation that really made the internet better than sort of anything before it in terms of sharing information.
It’s why it’s called the web, right? Everything is linked together. And we can link it together infinitely and move from any place to another place, right? It’s why the internet is what it is is why it’s so useful.
It’s what makes the web web. So the next sort of piece of the puzzle around internal linking is Google. So when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin made their original patent they kind of started Google for PageRank.
In 1996, their idea was to rank web pages based on the number of Link’s pointing at them. So prior to that, and this is hard for me to even conceptualise, right, because this is I was still young and sort of just starting to use the internet around this time.
But before that, links were actually ranked by human editors. And people would find them through directories like Netscape or Yahoo that later became search engines.
So if you wanted to read about like cars, you would go to this directory and like scan through to the section on cars, and like some human editor went through and picked top web pages for that topic, right? Crazy, crazy inefficient.
So the Google algorithm was looking for a way of doing this, you know, algorithmically, without people sitting at a desk. And that that algorithm in the way it looks at links has changed a lot, many, many times since 1996. But links are still a key part of how Google assesses site quality.
It’s how crawlers move through the site, right? They look through everything, they see the links, they travel through the links. So basically, you need to understand that links are a key way the internet functions and the way Google crawls and understands the internet.
So when you’re linking, you know, it’s not a small thing. It’s it’s, it’s huge thing. And today, we’re focusing on internal linking, the Google linking patent is a little bit more around External links pointing to a site.
But internal links are still a really crucial part of any webpage or online content. And if your site doesn’t have them, it’s probably not going to perform very well. So we’re going to kind of go through why that is and, and help you understand that better.
And then every time you are linking, you’ll kind of this will come together. And you’ll see, we’ll go through the you know, the reasons why it’s important. And then when we go through the tips for linking, you’ll kind of understand why those tips exist, why we do it that way.
So ways to think about links. So links act and a few key ways, to some degree. And we’re talking about internal links. This is true, some of these are true for external as well, but they act as a vote for page. They act as navigational elements for people in crawlers.
So you know, if you are on one page, and there’s a link to another, that’s, that’s a page that you might not have been able to get to or fine without that link. So it’s navigation.
And it can help Google better understand the page both on its own and in the context of that page being part of a larger resource or web of resources, right, you want your site to be in and of itself, or the site that you’re writing for a web with things that are linked together.
So that’s kind of what internal linking is attempting to do. So let’s look at this. This is my very bad at doing these illustrations. So but this proves the point, right? So let’s think about a link as a vote. On the right, and on the left, you have a web page, so could be an article, whatever.
Let’s say it’s a post about content marketing, the page on the left has got eight other pages linking to it. So we’ve got the webpage in the middle, and then the other the other pages linking to it.
The page on the right has one. So which page would you assume? Or might Google assume is more important on your site, the page on the left or the page on the right.
We’ve talked a bit about External links and how links from trusted external sites can help improve a pages performance in search results. But internal links serve as votes to like, the tech site that I worked on for for several years was huge.
It had, you know, close to 15,000 content pages. So if group Google is crawling a site, links are a part of how it’s going to decide which of those pages are most important.
Right? So sites that want to boost traffic and conversions to specific pages often have a linking strategy that is trying to point a lot of links at those key pages. For that reason, right? This is kind of saying, hey, Google, this is a key page on our site.
This is also how content clustering works. And why it works is because you’ve got that resource in the middle, and all these things pointing at it or saying, hey, this, this bigger topic, and usually that bit, that page is like a higher volume, bigger, more important keyword focused around that.
Or parents pointing all these pages at it because we’re saying this is important, right? So that’s actually a strategy in terms of building traffic to specific pages. The other thing to think about is just strictly practical, like which page is easier to find the page on the left has eight other pages pointing to it.
That’s eight opportunities for people to find that page, whereas the page on the right only has one page pointing to it. So people are less likely to find it to land there.
So linking works or should work as a way of navigating the web, a web page, right, you read one thing, you find something else that’s related to that, you jump over there and read that.
And search engines work this way, too. They land on one page, and they’re going to crawl through to all the things that it’s connected to. So improving the number of links pointing to a web page internally can help people find it, it can also help ensure that crawlers find it and that it’s indexed.
And actually, in SEO, in like technical SEO, that’s something that that gets flagged that they’re looking for, as are their pages that don’t have any links pointing at them, or have very few links pointing at them, they have no links are actually called orphan pages, and they get flagged in you know, Ahrefs, or SEMrush or whatever, saying like, this is something you should fix, because they’re not that likely to be indexed.
If they’re not indexed, they can’t rank. Because they’re they don’t, they aren’t sort of woven into your webpage enough. So those internal links are really important for a number of reasons that actually found a study, this chart comes from a company case study done by a company called zippy, what they found is that more internal links tend to get more search traffic, at least to a point.
So at about 40 or 50, internal links. Performance kind of drops off, but they do say that, that, at that point at that 40, or 50, internal links, some of those may be coming from site navigation, which may not provide the same boost.
So when you put a link in your footer, or the top nav, top navigation of your site, you’re gonna, if you have a site with many, many pages, any of those pages linked, they’re gonna get a tonne of links.
But it’s believed that Google puts less emphasis on those links, they still they still help a page, but they don’t put as much emphasis on them as contextual links. So when you link directly in text, I mean, it makes sense, right?
The contextual links are ones that people deliberately chose, hopefully, for a reason, because they’re relevant and appropriate. So personally, I’ve had pages with way more internal links than 40 to 50.
That we continue to build over time. And it definitely did not drop performance. But these were all contextual links, not navigational links. So it’s not 100% correlation there, just some something, something to think about. So links help Google understand a page better.
So this is the other reason they’re important. So this is a page from a tech site called what is I know, they have very good SEO. And it’s it comes up for the query artificial intelligence.
So look at all the links here from this definition of artificial intelligence. If you look at this, from the reader side, these are all key concepts that a reader might find useful or not understand, right?
Natural language processing, machine learning machine vision, these are all, you know, if I’m learning about artificial intelligence, these are all terms that I should probably get to know.
So it’s helpfully pointing me over there, I can read about that. But it also helps Google see this page and remember the crawlers hitting this page and crawling through all the links that are on it, that this is actually a really good page connected to a bigger, deeper resource.
So it’s not just a single standalone page on AI. It’s an entire resource around AI with all these connected pieces. So for the from their perspective for the reader for the user, it’s actually a better resource than if this page was just standing here unlinked.
So this is what you need to think about in terms of your linking, in terms of building out content clusters. What are you linking to? And how are you going to make this one page that you’re creating part of a bigger, deeper resource? It seems like a like a small thing to put in links.
But whenever I update a piece of content, I try to even update the resources it’s attached to as well, or at least the key ones because if you improve that whole node or that hole, everything attached to that new piece, you tend to see a bigger benefit.
So the first thing you need to think about what that piece of content is it’s kind of like the tip of the iceberg for Google, right? What’s underneath it. What’s the tip Add to it. I mean, think of Wikipedia, right?
It performs really well, I mean, it is under Google, but it performs really well, because of that, right? It’s just this huge web of interlinked resources, where every page is going to leave the lead you down a rabbit hole of other pages that are going to help you understand whatever topic you jumped into better.
So that’s kind of what we’re looking to do on a website as you build out a website. And as an if you’re a writer of a website, right contributing to that. So now that we kind of see how linking helps, or how internal linking sort of helps improve a page, we’ll go through some of the tips.
So specifically, what you need to do when you are linking content. So the key, the key tips, so the first one is use proper anchor text. So anchor text is what is actually linked.
So when you highlight that word or few words, and you add the link, in a content management system, or in a word, Doc, that’s called the anchor text, right? So you want to want it to be sustained, you don’t want, you know, 10 words, or like a huge, unwieldy, you want to have keywords, ideally, you want to make those keywords relevant to the link to page.
And we’ll kind of talk about why that is you want to think of your reader. So how are they going to perceive that link, and you want to try to link to important or relevant, useful pages.
So we’re talking about anchor text, here’s three examples of anchor text. So the first one click here, super common. The problem with it is it doesn’t tell you anything about where you’re going, or what you’re going to find there.
And it also doesn’t have any keywords. So for the reader, it’s like, click there, maybe there’s some other text around it, that explains it. Okay. That’s, that’s better than nothing.
But it’s still not necessarily telling us what resource we’re going to what they’re going to find there. And then for Google, you know, this is the part that’s hyperlinked, it’s supposed to be providing them some information on the page they’re sending, being sent to, right.
So it’s, it’s a really, it’s a resource for Google to understand what you’re linking to. And also for those pages that you’re landing on, it’s looking at that anchor text to understand what that page is about.
So it can actually help having those keywords in the anchor text can help that page that you’re linking to, in terms of how Google interprets that page. So if you look at the second example, where the link is internal linking strategies, now we understand the page that we’re going to is about internal linking strategies.
So for the page we’re on, we, the reader and Google can see, okay, well, we’re linking out to something about internal linking strategies that’s related to the page that I’m on, that’s good, that that’s a good related resource.
And then for that page that you’re going to, it’s helping Google understand that page better, because if there are a number of links pointing to it, or that with anchor texting, internal link strategies, Link strategies, things like that, it understands that page a little bit better based on the links pointing to it.
The last one, there’s called a naked link, you don’t really see that too much on the internet anymore. Actually, when I was looking at this, I saw a case study that says that it doesn’t really hurt sites too much to have naked links, but it’s just pretty ugly.
Especially if you’re linking to a site with longer, longer URLs, it’s just not really something that’s done anymore, especially since we no longer have to, I think it kind of came from a time when we couldn’t use Google to find a webpage, we had to sort of type the www right into the into the address bar, we don’t have to do that anymore.
So don’t really use those. They’re just, they’re just kind of messy, not, not best practice. Then here, we’ve got a little bit more anchor text example. So again, click here. Or we can have check out this guide to internal linking strategy. So instead of click here, we kind of just kind of best practice to build it right into the phrase.
And I’ve actually seen some good case studies and people writing about how perhaps Google and of course, they probably do looks at the anchor text, but also the words around it to understand that resource. So kind of putting it into a sentence that describes where we’re going. That’s helpful. And then we’ve got the naked link. So next up, make relevant links.
Don’t link to just whatever, don’t link to anything. There’s a reason why Google says write for people not search engines, there’s a certain amount of common sense, I think is what they’re seeing that goes into this, like, use your common sense in terms of what, what is useful.
And what makes the page a better experience. There’s a few ways that you can find other related pages on the site you’re writing for and decide what to link to from there.
If it’s a site that you’ve worked on extensively, you’re probably going to be aware of some of their key pages. Content harmony can help you do this, I think you all got access to content harmony, if you build a brief there, and you put in the website you’re waiting for, it’ll comb through and try to find all the relevant links on that keyword, or that topic area and give them to you.
So that can be helpful. You can also use Google. So if you use a search operator, so this is how you look at search for a specific keyword on a specific site. So the use the FCDC site, and I’m looking for all pages about SEO or that use the keyword SEO, then you can get a sense of some of the relevant pages that you might link to.
There’s also some services like there’s some plugins for WordPress, there are some services like that can help you find internal links, relevant internal links. I think there’s a few free ones.
So I can post those in the in the chat later. But honestly, you don’t have to get super calm complicated with it. You just need to try to link to your best, most relevant pages. And think about how to make that page a better more useful resource for the people who are reading it.
So make sure your internal links are do follow. So do follow is something that you see on the code side on the HTML side, it doesn’t look any different for the user.
So do follow links are sort of in contrast to nofollow, so you’ve got a do follow link in the first example, and then, you know, follow link. In the second example, for both of them, what the person is going to see is the word anchor linked, or anchor text, the words anchor text linked, so they’re going to look exactly the same.
But what nofollow tells search engines is I linked to this, but don’t give it any credit, or I’m not giving it a vote or don’t pass it any link juice. We typically never use that for internal links. Because you want to pass juice between your internal links like you want you want.
Why would you discredit yourself right, you want to be want to give credit to your pages, mostly nofollow links are used for things like sponsored content, or affiliate links or something like that, where you’re linking out, but you’re not necessarily endorsing that site or giving an evoke, right, and for and for certain reasons, you don’t want to most content management systems will make links do follow just by default.
So you probably don’t need to do anything special. You just need to understand that you don’t want to click the option to make it nofollow. And that’s usually so it’s usually going to be an opt in to make it nofollow, just don’t choose that for internal linking link to your most important pages.
So we’re back to this image again. But these are basically topic clusters like these little web pages with little other pages pointing to them. Ideally, that page in the middle, if you want to get more strategic with internal linking is more of that pillar page, that bigger fish that high volume keyword.
Because again, by linking, we’re creating that bigger resource, we’re like building out that web. So by linking, we’re voting for that big page in the middle, and also showing that it has a lot of resources clustered around it. When you link you can and should link both ways.
And this is something that I’ve always had in my own sort of style guides and resources is we build a new page. We point existing links to it and we point it out to other pages, so that it’s woven in. And we just continue to do that as we build new pages as we update pages.
And that keeps everything kind of aligned. If we have certain pages that we’re trying to really boost, then we might have more of a strategy around specifically how to how to link to those. And when you you know, you can look at reports in SEMrush and stuff and see some of the pages on your site to get the most internal links.
What you’re gonna find is those pages are probably some of your top performing pages for or at least they’re certainly performing well, but links high up on the page. So here’s an example that we saw earlier. This is the first two paragraphs of this article.
It’s 1000s of words long like it’s a very in depth, and it has links throughout Good. So I think you should link throughout a piece, I’d recommend like one to three links per paragraph, assuming you have relevant things to link to.
But the links at the top of the page, do something besides just linking, they can actually help people spend more time on your site, which is good for you in terms of whatever action you want them to take, the longer you can keep them around, the more likely they are to take an action on your site, trust you.
And then also, you know, that time on page that time on site is something that Google is looking at in terms of performance, if people just visit your site and immediately leave. That’s kind of telling Google, well, maybe this isn’t useful.
Maybe people don’t like this page. So we want to try to keep people on the site and giving them something to click on the top can help do that create a linking process.
So there might be one, if you’re writing for a publication, they might have specific guidelines on how you do this, it will probably look something like what I’m mentioning, but you know, everyone has their goals and strategies.
And they might have SEOs who are testing certain strategies or trying to push traffic to certain pages, it’s best to have a system where you keep building links over time and link to older articles as well.
So I kind of went through this, but when I create a new piece of content, I link it to some other content I already have that’s related.
And then when I post the content, I immediately go to other resources and link back to that post. So any related pages, keywords, whatever, that I can link to that already are related to that, I will link it that way.
So it’s it’s every piece that goes up as well linked in both directions. Okay, then tip seven is don’t go crazy. Remember that links should be useful for people.
And I’ve literally seen this before, where someone will add, if you have a bigger site and a lot of opportunities to link, you might be tempted to link almost every keyword and phrase that you see.
No one’s going to click on that many links. And the more you have, it’s going to kind of diminish its importance, their importance, right? How can all of these things be important for the reader?
So use some common sense can be judicious in how you’re linking, choose carefully. And it also just looks messy, right? Like when I look at this as a reader, it’s like, you know, it makes me feel it gives me a bit of a headache, like, it’s too it’s too much, it’s too much linking.
So I usually tell people like one to three per paragraph, if they’re super relevant. You have to use your judgement and common sense on that. If you see a paragraph like this, it’s way too much.
And it’s just not doing anybody any good. So keep it, you know, use your common sense. Okay, so those are kind of the key tips around linking. Does anyone have any questions?
IfiokAbasi Okop 43:07
Hi Tara Yes. I have a question your talks about the to follow link. And the graphic that was on the screen had to link the heart no follow.
At that point, I think the network for me, it’s had a glitch. So I didn’t really follow the explanation of the do follow links, please. Could you explain it? For me? That’s the follow.
Tara Struyk 43:36
Yeah. So there’s there’s two following there’s no follow. So do you do follow is the typical kind of link that you’re going to see on a site? Or that you’re going to see on a web page, like, mostly we’re working in do follow links.
And what do follow means is you’re saying to Google, pass that whatever authority link juice, you know, if you have a page that has high authority is performing well pass some of that on to the next page, right?
When you say nofollow, you’re saying, I’m linking to this, but I’m not endorsing it, don’t pass any link juice onto it. The reason part of the reason that it exists is that there’s a lot of commercial interests online.
And what Google is trying to avoid is sort of the paying for link and passing link juice, right? They want that climb up in that climb in search engine ranking to be organic to happen, because that’s the best page because people are wanting to link to it.
So the nofollow exists, like a lot of it is used for for those commercial reasons. Like if I am, if my site’s being paid to endorse this product, and I’m going to be linking out to it. I’ll use a nofollow or LinkedIn sponsored that’s also nofollow.
Because I’m saying like I’m linking to this but I’m not sure trying to influence it search engine ranking, right? So that’s that’s kind of what it’s saying. Do follow is the default. When you add a link normally like on WordPress or or just in a Word doc and someone paste it into WordPress, it’s going to be do follow.
When you add a link in in a content management system, you’ll see the option to make it nofollow. So I’m saying just don’t make it nofollow looks the same exact same to the reader.
But behind on the code side, it’s doing something different. You don’t want your internal links to be nofollow. You want them to be do follow. Does that make more sense?
IfiokAbasi Okop 45:39
Okay. I can get you correctly, you said do-follow’s the default way the links appear to google. And that’s it passes authority to that page?
Tara Struyk 45:50
correct Yeah. And that’s
IfiokAbasi Okop 45:53
okay, that’s what we should go for.
Tara Struyk 45:55
Right? Exactly. Because that’s part of the reason that we’re doing it right. We especially like when I’m adding a new piece of content.
So I’ve made this new piece of content, it has no authority, it’s just going to be posted live today, right? It’s not even indexed.
Nothing. So if I’m linking all my existing pages, hopefully those pages are already ranking, they already have some authority on that topic.
They’re already being viewed as good enough to be ranked. So they’re passing some of that to the new page.
And also like helping the crawlers find that new page, we don’t want to, you know, we want that’s the process that we want. And in most cases, we want to do follow links.
On a website, it’s usually commercial reasons. Sometimes, if you’re linking out to something, for some reason, you don’t want to pass authority.
Some people, if they’re like, linking out to a competitor, they’re like, I don’t want to help the competitor, I’m not going to make it follow link, something like that.
Like there are some, some schools of thought like that. But in a lot of cases, like you’re linking to, you’re linking to yourself, you definitely want the authority, you’re linking out to like, a study and other site that you think is an authority?
Why wouldn’t you pass that like you want, that’s what the internet is about, right is kind of sharing that link juice between sites, and you should be linking out to good resources.
So there’s kind of just some specific reasons. And mostly, it’ll be using do follow. Phillips got a question the difference between contextual and navigational links.
So navigational links is like, you know, I have my website, I’ve got the navigation bar at the top, I’ve got the footer that usually has a bunch of links in it, you can depends on who you ask the navigation part definitely helps.
But by putting the link by putting certain pages, let’s say you have a page that you really want to send a lot of traffic to that you want to convert, you want Google to know what’s an important page on your site, you can put it in the navigation.
Now you have 5000 pages on your site, every single page has that link on it, because it’s in the navigation.
And so there’s now 5000 internal links pointing to that page. It helps that page, right. But it’s also super easy to do. And it’s doesn’t necessarily give Google a lot of information about that page.
So the navigational links are not as important to Google like they do consider them as part of how they view that page and how important it is.
But they’re not as important as contextual links. So I can have my page navigation. It’s going to be linked from every page on my site.
But I also need to have that page like in the articles that I write it with appropriate anchor text linking to that page. So those are contextual links. They’re manual, right?
Or at least there’s some more thought and sort of process that goes into it. And that’s part of the reason why they’re more valuable. Does that make sense? Phillip?
Philip Maigida 48:52
Yes, it does. Thank you. I get that.
Tara Struyk 48:55
Okay, I think I’ve got time for one more question.
Chidinma Nnamani 48:58
Okay. So Tara before now I used to think that adding links to the top of a website, or like to the top of your blog posts would increase the bounce rates. But now I see that it’s actually helpful. Like how do I really impact the bounce rate.
Tara Struyk 49:16
Sorry. Can you say that again? What about the bounce rate?
Chidinma Nnamani 49:20
Okay, like adding links to the first few paragraphs of a blog. I used think it would kind of increase the bounce rates from that particular post.
But now you’re saying that it will actually help your website like I really want to understand the bounce rate part and helping the website too.
Tara Struyk 49:42
Yeah, I mean, it’s something that you can definitely test. From what I’ve seen, like from case studies, and people who are testing this is having some links near the top of the page improves retention on the site.
I mean, I guess people have a shorter time. Should span so they might be trying to move on to another page. So it’s something that you can definitely test but I haven’t seen anything that’s that shows it as a negative.
And even when I’ve done content for conversion, we definitely want those converted those conversion links up top, because the thing that we know is that a lot of people, you lose people as you move down the page, right.
So your opportunity to keep them there diminishes sort of with every paragraph, even with a really even with a great article, like even ones that keep more people, you still have the largest audience at the top.
So I think it’s just a matter of giving the audience that opportunity to stay. If that helps. Okay. So I think that’s it for this week. If there are more questions, I would answer more, but I’ve got another meeting.
I’ve got to jump into here. But if there are more questions, you can definitely send them to me on Slack or email. For next week in coming weeks. I’d really like to see everybody continuing to work on their assignment and refining it.
If you need more comments from me or want to ask more questions, you can definitely do that. You can send it to me on Slack. Or we can even comment back and forth like if you if you tag me in your assignment directly.
I’ll get that. So yeah, just want to try to get like a really good piece by the end of it. So that’s what we’ll we’ll try to work towards. All right. Thanks, everybody.
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