SEO

The SEO and Usability of Internal Links

Virtually every webmaster and content developer envisions creating stellar linkage on their site that will drive traffic and improve their site’s rankings. Although it is not a difficult task, it does require practical functionality from the site’s perspective and comprehensive usability by the reader in order for the site to be successful. It would be a futile effort for a site to have wonderful SEO-optimized keyword relevant material and heavily resourceful links if the reader, the catalyst of high traffic numbers, could not navigate through the site to get to the intended sales, marketing or informational target page. It can frustrating, in the least, leaving visitors confused and exasperated – only to click away dissatisfied.

Internal site linking (or interlinking) within a website and using clearly defined clickable links improves the site’s Google ranking and creates a more sustainable, usable platform for the ultimate target for the effort – the readers. A website’s goal is to attract readers, and when readers arrive at the site, they will click away if they are not able to seamlessly navigate and collect the information they are seeking, and fast.

To Click or Not to Click?

Craftily creating links that get readers to click is debatable. Some argue that links should contain the anchor text, which contributes greatly to SEO analytics and Google traffic. Others argue that there should simply be a "call to action," eliminating the build-up to the reader and just have them take action. Both reasons are valid, but traffic volume and clicking on relevant and resourceful informational links is ultimately where the site owner’s interest lies.

To increase a site’s rankings, interlinking is favorable for increased page visibility and traffic spikes. Having sub-pages that have competitive and relative terms for the site is the key. The SEMRush (www.semrush.com) tool is a resource that will outline a domain name’s keyword, Google’s search volume, and site’s positioning. With this information, it is easy to locate URLs and any relevant, keyword-rich pages from which to compile the pages you are going to interlink. Using these pages, you then create a relevant link that will further engage your readers and eventually catapult that page’s rankings in the Google search engines.

Produce Clear, Informative Links

To keep the freshly-made links sustainable, create practical, sensible links that flow with your text. The links will not only quantify the anchor-text links, but will give the reader insight into where the link leads. Any ambiguous link information will likely not get a click. This defeats the purpose. Use as many necessary words or phrases to adequately convey where the reader will be directed in their click.

Effective interlinking and comprehensive links are what makes a site user-friendly and rank high in search engines and is what drives organic traffic to sites while providing readers with solid, useful information. Investing the time and research to establish good links at the beginning of an article or in the development of a website will, over time, yield positive and favorable results.

bdedd36d25ca12c7fe64e220d22f9d90 64 The SEO and Usability of Internal Links
Aimee Sway, blogging for PrintExpress.co.uk, the premiere online printing company. Follow her on Twitter @PrintExpressUK and like on Facebook!
bdedd36d25ca12c7fe64e220d22f9d90 64 The SEO and Usability of Internal Links

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4 thoughts on “The SEO and Usability of Internal Links

  1. Having the user in mind is always a win win in the long run. Any SEO that is not user friendly is bound to lose ultimately. If webmasters and content developers focus on what works best for the user, everyone wins

  2. well – the context of the link should compel the click really – hence why image links refer more traffic than text – they are visually appealing and the user doesn’t have to be compelled by written content to click.

    In the off page arena i would encourage more “click here” links… makes for a “natural” profile.

    Enjoyed the read, perhaps examining the affect in determining internal IA here might be of use to reads…

    iDCx –