Using your internal link strength to great SEO effect

Posted on April 15, 2010

 

The links that weave the pages of your website together are one of your site’s major assets. Although they aren’t as powerful in SEO terms without first acquiring some decent inbound links, the links between your pages can help to support your overall optimisation. They can only do this however if you’ve constructed your internal link structure in a way that supports search engine optimisation.

The internal link strength of most websites can be improved fairly easily. A lot of the work will involve making your link structure more accessible, to both search engine spiders and to your site users. This can be achieved in a number of ways:

Text-based navigation: Your navigation will be the central point of navigation on your site. Usually, the navbar sits at the left-hand side of the page. This is because user attention tends to settle more comfortably on that side of the page, and because the search engines read information from top to bottom – and the left is usually before the right in the source code.

Site map: This is the touch that should cap off your site structure efforts. Featuring a site map means that search engines and site users can find their way to any page on your site.

Hyperlinks: These can be invaluable in boosting the relevance of pages, because it’s much easier to anchor a hyperlink seamlessly to a keyword when it is in the middle of content. This also gives the link more relevance for the search engines.

Header navigation: Some companies take advantage of the top-to-bottom, left-to-right nature of search engine analysis behaviour by putting important links across the top of the page. This means that they get more attention. However, featuring navigation in such a promising place can sometimes distract your site’s users from the information on the page. It’s a good idea to consider header navigation very carefully before putting it into practice.

Footer navigation: Footer navigation can be a good way to boost your internal links in a subtle way, but don’t overuse it as website users will most likely miss it – and too much navigation in your footer can look like spam.

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