Optimising your Blogs Internal Link Structure
One area often overlooked is the internal link structure of your blog and this is important for 2 main reasons:
1. This will encourage visitors to click around your blog, find new information and contribute more page views.
2. It can help search engines dig deeper into your site and index more pages, more often.
Today I want to share with you my strategy on internal link structure and the tools and plugins I use to achieve this.
Internal Link Structure Tips
1. Homepage Link Design
There is no doubt your homepage will hold the highest page rank of your blog and have the most incoming links. That means any internal links from your homepage will be seen by the search engines often, treated with extra importance and indexed.
It’s important not to dilute the homepage link strength by having too many links on your homepage. As a general rule many people say don’t have over 100 links on your homepage. I decided to adhere to a limit of 50 homepage links to give those links there even more strength and link juice.
2. Use of Category selection and Blog Tags
To minimise ’duplicate content’ on your site be selective with the number of categories and tags you select on your posts.
If you think about it, every tag page effectively has duplicate content. So taking this into account only use the most important keywords as tags on each blog post – don’t overdo it.
When categorising posts, again it’s best to only select 1 or possibly 2 categories per post (I always just do 1). Any more and you are placing a lot of the same content in different sections of your site, which again is kind of duplicating content.
3. Internal Linking of your most important keywords
You often see large news websites and publishers linking from inside one article to another where relevant and the topic is similar. This is good but you can take it one step further by using internal links on your most important keywords.
This WordPress plugin – SEO Smart Links will do it for you automatically. There are plenty of options where you can dictate what pages you want to link to, and what pages not to link to (eg your contact page), and what are the most important keywords to target.
4. Display Related Posts
Underneath each article, have a list to other related posts. This is good for encouraging more user engagement and again for the search engines running through your site and indexing more content.
There are lots of plugins that can do this, and some WordPress themes even have this built into the native theme functionality.
5. HTML and XML Sitemaps
You should already be doing this, but again purely for search engine indexing make sure you have both an HTML and XML sitemap for your site.
The XML sitemap is submitted to the search engines via the Google and Bing webmaster accounts, where as the HTML sitemap is installed on a page of your site, eg www.socialmedianews.com.au/sitemap that lists every page and article on your site.
There are many options for both a HTML and XML sitemaps in the WordPress plugins depository: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins
We hope these tips help with the internal link structure of your blog. If you have any tips yourself or have any questions – feel free to let us know.