A digital marketing specialist says businesses are missing a golden opportunity to significantly increase their visibility to online audiences by not implementing a method vital to boosting the performance of their website.
Companies which include content and blogs on their websites should make internal linking of these articles a top priority to improve their search engine ranking, according to digital marketing specialist Michael Knowles.
Michael (pictured), a former Google Skills Trainer and university lecturer, founded ROAR Digital Marketing in 2016 and is sharing his advice on internal linking to help businesses understand the positive impact Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has on their commercial and brand performance.
The fundamentals of internal linking involve adding clickable links from one piece of content to another related text, directing readers to other pages located elsewhere on the business’ website, which adds further depth to the topic and value to the user.
“The importance to your SEO of internal linking cannot be understated – it’s critically important to boosting your search engine ranking,” says Michael.
“Using links signposting people to other content on the same domain helps search engines such as Google and Bing better understand all of the pages on your website and allows it to rank your site higher.
“Search engines have the capability to index and analyse the pages, and businesses who strategically implement internal linking will benefit from an increased webpage authority, ultimately making them more visible to a larger online audience.
“Every time you guide a user to another page, it shares a little SEO value of the original blog, and you create a spider web of content which all relates to the same topic.
“Say you are mentioning a topic you have previously written a more in-depth blog about. Including a hyperlink to the previous blog will mean you don’t have to repeat yourself fully but instead you can inform your reader that there is more on the topic elsewhere.
“What this does is improve the engagement of the user with your content, new and old, and increases the time your audience spends on your site, which is again an important signal to Google and will help to boost your SEO performance.
“Adding internal linking can be time-consuming but spending that little bit longer on including these links will maximise your content and make sure you are getting the most out of the text you’re posting.”Michael created and patented the innovative SEO Bomb® , a data-driven content marketing approach which analyses user needs, competitors’ content and industry trends in order to construct an SEO-powered content strategy of relevant and related topics to engage with target audiences more directly.
Through this approach, a key ‘pillar page/s’ is identified to divert web traffic to, and numerous ‘sub topic pages’, usually in the form of blogs, are produced around semantically related subject matters.
Each sub-topic page will contain links to other content featuring as part of the SEO Bomb strategy and other blogs on the site with the goal of linking back to the main pillar page too, thus increasing the amount of time a user spends on the business’s website and sharing ‘SEO juice’ with the pillar.
“It’s not about repurposing or rehashing content. It’s about continuing to drive traffic to quality, high-value content you may have produced months, even years, ago which is still relevant and informative to the consumer,” explains Michael.
“The likes of Google and Bing analyses user engagement based on click-through rates to other pages on the same domain, time spent on the site, how many returning and new visitors the page receives, and if search engines deem users are getting a high-level experience on your web pages then it will further boost your SEO ranking.
“People can fall into the trap, though, of just littering their content with keywords which they think will help their SEO. Google and Bing pick up on this tactic and prioritise content which is helpful, and presented in a well-structured, informative manner to guide the reader, so you need to avoid just throwing in keywords randomly.
“Using keywords is effective if used in a strategic manner, but repeated use can seriously affect business’ Search Engine Results Page (SERP) performance.
“Businesses which invest time and effort in enhancing their copy to enhance their SEO notice the huge difference it truly makes.”
Michael is giving one further tip away, too: Including Semantically Related Topics throughout your content will significantly boost your SEO ranking.
“This basically means including similar and semantically supporting topics across your website to allow search engines like Google and Bing to truly understand what your business is about in order to accurately rank it for the right key terms and search intent.
“For example, words like a plane for an aeroplane or a piece of woodwork have different meanings but are spelt the exact same. By including semantically supporting topics and related keywords you can help search engines like Google and Bing understand what exactly you are talking about.
“An example here would be, considering supporting topic areas around flight times, in-flight entertainment, and airports will help search engines understand the entity (what you are) instead of inaccurately ranking your website for a woodwork tool.”