Internal Link Building Done Right for Higher Rankings

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June 6, 2024

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Internal Link Building Done Right for Higher Rankings

Internal Link Building Done Right for Higher Rankings

As an SEO consultant at MCR SEO, a leading agency in Manchester, UK, I’m often asked by clients how they can improve their website’s rankings through internal link building. It’s a common challenge, and one that I’m passionate about solving. In this in-depth article, I’ll share the exact steps we take to implement an effective internal linking strategy that can drive measurable results.

But first, let me share a quick story. A few years ago, I was working with the team at Exploding Topics, a fast-growing startup founded by the legendary Brian Dean of Backlinko fame. They were struggling to break through the noise and gain traction in their niche. That’s when we decided to take a hard look at their internal linking structure.

After conducting a comprehensive website crawl, we identified over 4,000 pages that were essentially dead weight – filter pages, pagination issues, and other content that had no business being indexed by Google. By strategically no-indexing these pages, we were able to streamline their site architecture and put the focus squarely on the content that mattered most.

The results were nothing short of remarkable. Within a few months, Exploding Topics saw a significant boost in organic traffic and conversions. It was a stark reminder that internal linking, when done right, can be a game-changer for SEO performance.

As Justin Berg of Linkedin eloquently puts it, “the actions and effort that we put in are what’s going to determine the output.” This couldn’t be more true when it comes to internal linking.

So, let’s dive into the step-by-step process we use at MCR SEO to help our clients dominate the SERPs through strategic internal link building:

Step 1: Conduct a Comprehensive Website Crawl

The first thing we do when working with a new client is to get a full crawl of their website. This allows us to see exactly what pages are indexed and living in Google. From there, we can start to identify and eliminate any irrelevant or low-value pages that are dragging down the site’s overall topical authority.

As the team at Backlinko notes, this step is crucial, especially for companies that have an existing content base but are struggling to drive organic growth. By ruthlessly pruning pages that don’t align with your core business and SEO objectives, you can create a much cleaner, more focused index that search engines will love.

Step 2: Audit Your Existing Internal Linking Structure

Once we’ve optimized the site’s index, the next step is to take a deep dive into the existing internal linking structure. We’ll analyze things like:

  • Which pages have the most internal links pointing to them (i.e., your link equity hubs)
  • Where are there opportunities to strengthen connections between related content
  • Are there any orphan pages that have zero inbound links?
  • Are there any instances of over-optimization, where certain pages are being over-linked to?

As the team at Orbit Media eloquently explains, internal linking is the glue that holds your website together. By identifying and addressing any weaknesses in your existing structure, you can create a more cohesive, user-friendly experience that search engines will reward.

Step 3: Develop a Strategic Internal Linking Plan

Armed with the insights from our crawl and audit, we can now start to develop a strategic internal linking plan. This involves:

  1. Identifying your core “link equity hubs” – the pages on your site that should be receiving the majority of your internal link juice.
  2. Mapping out logical connections between related pieces of content, and strategically inserting internal links to strengthen those relationships.
  3. Finding opportunities to link to important money pages (e.g., your homepage, key service pages, high-converting lead magnets) from relevant contextual locations throughout your site.
  4. Monitoring and adjusting your internal linking structure on an ongoing basis, as you publish new content and your site architecture evolves.

The key here is to approach internal linking with intention and purpose. Don’t just throw links around willy-nilly – every single internal link should serve a specific strategic objective, whether that’s boosting authority, improving user experience, or driving conversions.

As the team at Yoast eloquently puts it, “Internal linking is one of the most important on-page SEO factors.” By implementing a thoughtful, data-driven internal linking strategy, you can position your website for long-term success in the SERPs.

Putting it All Together

At the end of the day, effective internal link building is all about creating a cohesive, user-friendly website that search engines can easily navigate and understand. By starting with a comprehensive site audit, mapping out strategic connections between your content, and continuously optimizing your internal linking structure, you can unlock powerful SEO benefits that drive real business results.

At MCR SEO, we’ve helped countless clients in Manchester and beyond achieve their digital marketing goals through our proven internal linking methodology. If you’re ready to take your SEO performance to the next level, I’d be more than happy to chat. Just drop me a line, and let’s get started!

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