How to Improve Keyword Rankings with Internal Linking

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How to Improve Keyword Rankings with Internal Linking

Link building is no easy task. It involves strategic marketing and lots of PR activities. You will have to build strong relationships with influencers, curate top notch contents, and launch PR campaigns.

Another thing we should not forget is internal linking. 

You can spend thousands of dollars building a team to build links, but if you don’t have internal linking, you’re wasting your time.

For example:

If you linked one of your articles to an external site, search engines will crawl that article and pass the authoritativeness (link juice) to that article. But if you don’t have internal links, then you are only passing the juice to that article.

With internal linking, it helps with crawlability, discoverability, and rankings. So, if you haven’t done internal linking prior to your link building, then make sure to read this.

Keyword ranking

One portion of search engine optimization (SEO) is keyword rankings. It refers to your specific page’s spot on the search result when using a specific query.

For example, you enter a specific word on Google and search it. The spot where your URL appears is your keyword ranking. Typically, search engines display about 10 results per page and it’s easy to understand how those with higher keyword rankings mean being closer to the page’s top part (to spot #1) and vice versa. Also, those that appear on page 1 means they are more relevant than those in the succeeding pages. 

Google or Bing processes the content of your page and pretty much decides from there in terms of relevance. A page also is not limited to any minimum or the maximum number of keyword rankings. 

According to Google, “ keywords are key terms used in the written content of the website pages.” It is for key phrases and words found on your web page and links it to the keywords used by web searchers.

Keyword ranking versus search queries

Another commonly used in SEO is search queries.

While it’s used interchangeably with keyword ranking, they are not 100% the same. Search queries refer to the phrases and terms that are typed and searched by web searchers. To put this into context, queries are those typed by the web searchers while keywords are the queries targeted by marketers for their websites’ SEO and PPC campaigns.

The search engine deduces what a certain website is about and it does so even with spelling, punctuation, or grammar mistakes. For example, “men’s backcountry backpacks” and “backcountry backpacks for men” may technically be laid down differently, but the search results will pretty much be the same. 

Internal linking

As the term implies, internal linking is connecting a couple of pages within one domain through an Anchor text. Anchor text is basically the text upon which the link is placed and can generally influence the keyword ranking.

Let’s say that you want to rank for “red sport shoes” queries. Thus, you should link red sport shoes related pages with “red sport shoes” as the anchor text. The worst way to link it is to use the anchor text “white snow shoes” because that just makes no sense, right?

As Google mentioned regarding anchor text, “If you’re updating anchor text internally to make it more easily understandable by users, then usually that also helps search engines to better understand the context of those pages.”

Internal linking and rankings

Setting up an easy-to-understand anchor text will help Google to identify what’s inside the next page even before it checks. If you keep using a certain anchor text for a given keyword, Google will understand the emphasis and put it into account when it comes to rankings. 

Internal link strategies and tips based on search volume

  1. Utilize internal links to boost relevance of the main page for keywords with high-search volumes

There are keywords that are of high volume and of high competition. To rank high with these keywords, you’ll have to work on creating a homepage that’s rich with details. You may use a landing-page-style homepage for attraction of new leads.

Structuring your internal links

Although users will still find your content and discover more of your website via the navigational links, your contextual links should always link back to your homepage via the anchor text. To simply put it, more links should be taking the viewers to your homepage than any other page in your website. 

Some webmasters opt to restrict navigational link access to emphasize contextual links instead. You can try this too!

The goal

The main goal of using this technique is to get more and more organic visitors to your homepage more than anywhere else. This is because while you should not totally ignore the other pages in your website, they are not designed to have your website rank high enough.

  1. Utilize internal links in targeting mid-search-volume keywords and in driving traffic to key landing pages

When should this strategy be used?

You’d want to use this strategy when focus should be placed on driving mid-search-volume keywords to key pages. This includes the product pages within your e-commerce platform or some blog articles in a new-style site. This is essentially great with category pages which are filled with details and comparison.

Structuring your internal links

Use anchor text keywords to drive people to key category pages. Ideally, links in your homepage should lead people to the relevant category page. Some auxiliary articles and products should do the same with the utilization of medium-tail anchor text.

The goal 

The goal is to turn all the category pages in your website into an information page for visitors to gain more knowledge and information. For instance, a website that sells second-hand cars houses a category specifically for Honda cars. Whenever articles regarding comparison of Honda vs. other cars are made, it should link to that specific Honda cars category. 

  1. Utilize internal links in targeting low-search-volume keywords for bottom-level pages

When should this strategy be used?

This is for when you need to operate in highly specific and narrow leads to drive visitors to bottom-level pages in your website, like certain blog posts or product listings.

Structuring your internal links

Richly detailed bottom-level pages are required in this strategy since they will include copy and images that can be linked to other bottom-level pages.

The goal

This strategy aims to have the viewers see the bigger picture that ultimately unfolds upon availing various products or consuming various pieces. For instance, you have a series of blogs that drive to internal links or power tools in product pages that link to product comparisons and D.I.Y. home projects.

Identifying your keyword ranking 

Search Console is made available by Google to assist webmasters in monitoring their website. It also reveals the activities people do that leads them to the website such as what queries they used, keywords that helped, and others. The tool offers a performance report that reveals the traffic for your website. This is essentially helpful for marketers as it also reveals keyword positions. 

Coverage report includes:

  • Impressions: This refers to the number of links that leads to your site a viewer saw on Google results. This helps emphasize the importance of keywords.
  • Clicks: This refers to the amount of clicks resulting in viewers visiting your website from Google search.
  • CTR: Also known as “click-through-rate,” this is computed by getting how many clicks your site has acquired and divided by the number of impressions.
  • Average position: This refers to the topmost result from your site for a specific keyword. Average is given because this can fluctuate.

The keyword ranking in this report is accessed via the “Queries” tab on the left:

Keyword ranking is, more often than not, expressed in decimal form. For instance, a keyword position of 2.5 means the site fluctuates between spot #2 and #3. 

To say that Google’s ranking algorithm is complex is an understatement. It takes into account user’s previous searches, device they are using, and their geographic location. For this reason, not everyone will get the same results.

These are Google’s worlds when it comes to keyword ranking: “…key terms used in the written content of the website pages. These terms are the most significant keywords and their variants that Google found when crawling your site. When reviewed along with the Search queries report and your site’s listing in actual search results for your targeted keywords, it provides insight into how Google is interpreting the content of your site.” On the other hand, Google defines queries as “The actual query a user entered in Google search.” Plain and simple!

Another useful information is the Average Position which allows businesses to get an idea on how Google sees their content, including clicks and CTR that can be useful tools to come up with feedback.

Let’s take this as an example:

  • A page that holds a high average keyword or query position but has a low CTR caan mean that searchers see the website as spammy, inaccurate, or illegitimate.
  • Keywords that hold a high average position but few impressions are keywords that most likely are not getting enough traffic. But if the CTR is high in this case, it might not be so bad at all.
  • Average keyword ranking positions greater than 10 may hold fewer clicks but that’s because they are shown on page 2 or more. 

Tools to help find keywords than improves ranking

There are SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrrush and Moz that help improve your rankings via keywords. With these tools, you can filter your keywords rankings so it only displays keywords positioned 3 and below but only those that are constantly shown on page 1. You can also filter monthly search volumes to boost traffic by choosing keywords with 100 monthly search volumes or more.

Pages to link from

You can use a tool that identifies internal links via keyword or anchor text. After that, you may now look for the internal pages to link from. Then, you can now log in to your CMS account and begin linking.

You may acquire a report by anchor text which includes at least one keyword you want to improve in terms of ranking. For instance, if you want to improve the keyword “anchor text”, you should anchor text filters with “what is anchor text” or “how to anchor text in word”, etc.

Now if you have no access to these tools, you can simply utilize Google Search Operators. Just go to Google and type your URL and your keyboard. 

site: “your keyword”:

Then, it will give you the instances of the target keyword across a whole site!

Here’s my example:

site: “anchor text”

How to internal link?

Get all the results shown by the search operator. Then, add the internal links to the page you want to boost ranking for. 

Alternate and easier way for WordPress Site

If you own a WordPress site, you can use our plugin to help find these keywords.

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