Internal linking done right can help improve the performance of your website across search engines, especially Google. It helps search engines understand the architecture of your website and display site links of the key pages of your website. Therefore, building better internal links can help you with natural optimization of your site links in Google as well.
For internal linking, we should use longer phrases (search queries) that connect with a post we have already written for our blog before. This improves the contextual relevance and builds strong logical connection from crawler’s perspective.
I usually follow the following methods.
First Method: One of the best ways to create internal links is reading your posts like a layman and trying to come up with phrases that a layman would need explanations for.
Second Method: There’s another way to doing this – read your posts and then try to find phrases that would be similar to search queries people use on Google to find answers. And, then try to come up with topic titles you would want to write a post around.
In both of the above scenarios, you can easily come up with phrase that will need further explanations which, in other words, are great blog post inspirations.
Coming back to internal linking, before publishing a post, I usually look at the draft in the very same way as I explained above and then do a search of those phrases in my blog search box and see which are the titles that match with my queries. Then I use my discretion and pick up the best post that matches the search query (read anchor text).
This is the best most natural way of linking the content pieces within your website.
Neil Patel says you shouldn’t try to optimize your anchors or use any cute tricks. Just be natural, highlight the text you want to use as anchor text and link it.
Don’t Link to Home or Contact Us Page
Neil says most SEO folks tend to link to their home page or contact us page whenever they get a chance. Don’t do that – it’s the lousiest kind of deep linking practice.
Your ‘contact us’ page or service page are already linked from your home page – so they don’t need to be linked to over and over again. The natural deep linking practice is to find linkable content sitting deep inside your website structure and then link to them contextually.
Don’t Link to Too Many Pages
As per Moz, search engines are designed to crawl about 150 links per page and they will stop crawling any additonal links if a page has more links than that. However, there could be always an exception to popular or important pages.
If you consider any standard page or post on a website, there are links from the navigation menu, footer, and sidebar. Each of those links is to be counted while considering the total number of internal link on a page. Therefore, you need to see how many internal links you should offer in the body text of a web page.
According to Neil Pate, webmasters should only consider user experience while planning internal linking, and avoid playing tricks around search engine crawling.
Hope you find this helpful.