With all of the controversy regarding PageRank sculpting and nofollow links, we can sometimes forget that your internal linking strategy should be keyword-driven.
Use your content to your advantage. Pick out specific high-priority keywords and link to the appropriate pages. If your number one keyword phrase is “link architecture” and you have a page on your website that carries a PageRank of three, use the term link architecture in the first paragraph and link it to the appropriate page.
Step One: Determine your most important keyword phrase. I use tools like Word Tracker, SEM Rush and Google AdWords External Keyword Tool.
Screenshot from Google AdWords External Keyword Tool
Step Two: Write a great page of content. Give useful advice and facts formatted in an easily, readable way. Use bullets and bolded text where appropriate. Don’t worry too much about keyword density. When I was at SMX Advanced, someone asked what’s the right keyword density? The answer from the panel – yes! Make sure the keyword phrase is on the page where appropriate and don’t worry more than that.
Step Three: Use the SeoQuake SeoBar with Yahoo Site Explorer to determine what pages on your website carry PageRank.
Screenshot from Yahoo Site Explorer with SeoQuake SeoBar turned on
Step Four: Once you have determined what pages carry PageRank, review each individual page to determine if the term “link architecture” would fit in the first paragraph somewhere. Please do not make it fit, look for a natural opening. Once you’ve found a place for the phrase, link it to your new page using an absolute link, not a relative link.
Result: You will have a better chance of ranking for your highest priority keyword by using your existing PageRank as leverage.