The internal link structure of your WordPress sites and blogs is one of the most critical SEO parameters to keep in mind in 2017. WordPress internal links between posts are important both for your On Site and On Page SEO and will boost traffic if handled properly.
Before anything else, bloggers should use relevant internal links, so that search engine bots are enabled to crawl and index their website. This is one of the smartest strategies used to dramatically reduce bounce rates.
As a webmaster, your priority should always be to attract and engage visitors and to encourage them to spend as much time on your site as possible. The more quality content you provide them with, the likelier they will be to return and become fans of your blog, which means you’ll already have a base of loyal users who share and distribute your content.
Internal linking also owns a good share in your SEO strategy, as page views, bounce rates, and on-site times are Google’s core metrics when determining the position of any website on Google. But how do you actually make users stay on your website? To start with, you have to feed the blog with some genuinely useful content, and then pay attention to how comprehensive and friendly the interface is to easily redirect people to other interesting reads. Internal linking makes this a breeze, allowing users to switch between posts with only one click.
In the case of experienced WP users who have a lot of content to display, internal linking handles most of the readership heavy-lifting. The heavier and more relevant it becomes, the lower bounce rates you’ll have to deal with, and that certainly makes sense to dynamic and active bloggers. With limited content, on the other hand, internal linking can be done emphasizing on the best ‘evergreen’ posts you have, so that more and more visitors would have access to them.
But what are internal links? Better yet, how to create internal links in WordPress to ensure the website ranks as high as possible? Here are some interesting ideas:
Internal Linking Best Practices
- Use internal links for topics you want to clarify or explain
- Add hover text (custom link titles)
- Link out, as that’s also good for your SEO
- Use a resource list wherever applicable
- Make sure all external links open up in separate tabs for uncompromised navigation
The best internal linking WordPress plugins
What internal linking plugins do is to automatically connect specified keywords to related posts and pages. There are also such that create a whole new ‘Related’ Section placed under the article to motivate readers to explore.
SEO Smart Link Premium links automatically related blog articles, using the taxonomies you’ve inserted (categories and tags), or custom rules you can adjust any time to keep linking under control. For instance, the decision to link ‘making money online’ to a specific post will result in interlinking the same phrase in all previous/future posts where it appears.
Basically, Smart Link Premium allows you to insert as many internal links as you need which will cover and save time for large blogs with plenty of content. The premium version of SEO Smart Link handles caching as well so that the speed of your blog remains uncompromised. The price of this version is not exactly affordable, but satisfied users claim it is the smartest investment they’ve ever made.
The coolest thing about this plug-and-play tool is that it uses Facebook-styled mentions instead of classic links and therefore makes users even more eager to find what your content is about. The default function of the plugin is to relate keywords to internal posts, but you can easily adjust the settings and customize post types.
WordPress default search & interlink
You can also skip buying a plugin and stick to WordPress’s default search & interlink function. Although not automated, the platform makes interlinking possible by selecting a portion of text and then using a Hyperlink button to paste the desired link (also feasible with anchor text).
WP Optimize BY XTRAFFIC is one of the best SEO plugins for large blogs interested to re-promote an old post from their archive. There are several notable features about this plugin, but the most popular one is Optimize Links – thanks to it, you can establish automated connections between your keywords, pages, posts, and comments, or any portion of the content you’ve specified.
The plugin is also useful for optimizing images, as it reduces the size of the files to help them load quickly, and adds alt tags for Google to recognize them. Users concerned about property rights can also rely on WP Optimize to protect their images, as the plugin adds bulk watermarks to ensure no one would still them from you.
With several posts and limited keywords to worry about, adding links manually won’t be that tedious or challenging. As your blog develops, however, there will be more hassle and frustration than you can handle, and that’s where SEO and internal linking plugins come out on the scene. Alongside emerging and recommended plugins devoted to content linking, you can consider Yoast’s Premium SEO features that also cover internal links, and optimize your website altogether. The downside is that this feature is available only in English.
Yoast SEO handles internal linking with a number of Insights tool used to depict the popular and prominent words in your post, and discover matching posts while content is still being prepared. The slew of related links is then organized and displayed in a right-side editor box, and you can choose which post you want to link to a specific word.
The implications of using internal linking plugins
Just because it is easy to create internal links with automated plugins, it still makes no sense to add ones that are not personalized and meaningful for readers. As practice shows, the best way to insert links is still manually, as using plugins involves the risk of repeating anchor text for different sets of keywords (and Google is now able to recognize that!) Basically, plugins are just new shortcuts towards easy optimization, and may impose the same consequences as other disloyal optimization practices. If you have the time, create them by hand, as this is way more credible for Google and your readers.
Whatever it takes, try to keep the structure of your site spotless, as that’s Google’s essential criterion for good ranking. When done right, connecting posts and pages is a great way to achieve that, which is why automation should always be your alternative plan.
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