This is the ultimate guide to how and why to interlink blog posts. Learn how to increase your pageviews using these interlinking techniques.
We've all heard that links to your blog can help your posts rank higher. If you're like me, you may have thought that this only meant links from other websites to your own site. But we also need to interlink blog posts on our own sites.
What are Internal Links? What is Interlinking?
Internal links are hyperlinks that your readers can click on inside your post that go to another post or page on your blog. This could be a list of related posts at the bottom of your post, but your reader may not even notice the list.
Interlinking is the process of using internal links to link two of your own blog posts.
One of the best ways to interlink blog posts is by linking to relevant posts within your post text. This is called a contextual link. You can link to blog posts that give more information about the topic, or you can link to posts with related content.
Here's an example from my post about Google Site Kit on Painless Blog Analytics.
“Google Analytics tells you how visitors are interacting with your site. You can see where they came from, how many and which pages they visited, how long they stayed on your site, and how many of them left after only visiting one page.”
Here's another example from my post about Alka Seltzer rockets on Cub Scout Ideas.
“The Alka Seltzer antacid tablets are made of aspirin, sodium bicarbonate (which is baking soda), and citric acid. When they are dropped into water, a chemical reaction takes place, and bubbles of carbon dioxide gas are released.”
The term “chemical reaction” links to my post about making a chemical reaction-powered car for those folks who might be interested in other STEM activities.
Why is Interlinking Important?
There are many good reasons to interlink blog posts on your site. Here are a few of them.
Interlinking Provides Value to Your Readers
You are helping your readers whenever you interlink your posts. In my first example above, my readers may not know very much about Google Analytics. By giving them a link to a relevant post that gives them more information about the topic, I am helping them out.
In the second example, my readers may want to read some of my related old posts so that they can get ideas for similar projects or activities. They may not have realized that I have other chemical reaction activities on the blog. Again, this provides value to the folks who visit my blog.
Interlinking Gives You More Pageviews
Interlinking is a great way to get more page views. If a person visits one of my web pages then clicks a link over to another post, I just got an extra pageview.
This is especially important if you're monetizing your blog. The more traffic you have, the more money you can make.
Internal Links Lower Your Bounce Rate
Another one of the benefits of internal linking is that it helps to lower your bounce rate which is the percentage of visitors that leave your blog after viewing only one page on your site.
We want people to visit lots of pages on our sites, but if your blog has a high bounce rate (70%-80%), that doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong with your blog. Think about it. If someone is looking for a chocolate chip cookie recipe, they'll probably visit that page on your site, get the recipe, and start baking those cookies. They aren't likely to visit a lot of other pages, and that's perfectly fine.
Interlinking your posts is just one of the ways to lower your blog's bounce rate.
Note: If your bounce rate is really low (30% or less), you probably have your Google Analytics tracking code installed twice. Make sure you remove the duplicate code. This is a service that I offer, so let me know if you need help.
Internal Links Can Help You Rank Higher
In this article from Search Engine Journal, John Mueller, Google's Search Advocate, says that “…internal linking is super critical for SEO.”
I know a lot of people spend a lot of time and money trying to get backlinks. And while those are important, we really don't have a lot of control over those.
But we absolutely
My friends over on the Mediavine blog have done a great job of explaining how linking to other posts is like voting for that post. Those votes are what help your posts rank higher by passing link value also known as “link juice.”
Make sure that you are using dofollow links when you interlink blog posts. The only time I use the nofollow attribute is for affiliate or sponsored external links. You should always use nofollow links for things that involve you making money.
Interlinking Can Help With Your Site Indexing
We know that the Googlebot crawls our site looking for new content, but if your site is small or you don't update it very often, it may take a while for that to happen. Internal links expedite the process. Add a link from an existing, high-ranking post to your new blog post. When Googlebot crawls the older post, it'll see the link to the new post and will think, “Hey, I better go check this out.”
Are you ready to learn more about all the information Google Search Console can tell you about your blog? Sign up for my course, “The Nuts & Bolts of Google Search Console!”
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the bold, highlighted or underlined text in a post that hyperlinks to another webpage. I have a post about how to make armpit fudge (yep, it sounds gross!), but another term that people search for is “fudge in a bag.” My average position for the term “armpit fudge” is 1, but I don't rank that well for “fudge in a bag.”
To help improve my ranking for that term, I can use it as the anchor text to link to this post from some of my older posts.
Check out this post for more anchor text information including the type of anchor text to use.
How Many Links Should I Add?
You may be wondering about the number of links you should add to your posts. If you're using short paragraphs, 1 or 2 links per paragraph is fine. Google used to have a limit of 100 links per page, but their recommendation now is “a few thousand at most.”
The important thing is that you're linking to great content on your site that helps your readers. Do that, and you won't have to worry about the number of internal links.
How to Manually Add Internal Links to Your Posts
Before you can add a link, you need to know which blog post you want to link to. If your blog is new, you may have a good idea of your previous blog posts topics, but if you wrote it a while ago or you have a good number of blog posts on your site, you may not remember it.
I'll usually think, “I believe I have a post about that on the site.” Then I search for it using my site's search box so that I can get the URL of the post.
You do have alternatives if your site doesn't have a search box.
You can go to your WordPress dashboard >> All Posts >> Published then search for the post using the post search box.
You can also do a site search on Google by typing site:myblogname.com then the search term. This will show you every post on your site that has that term.
After you have the URL, follow these steps:
- Highlight your anchor text.
- Click the link button.
- Enter your link, and click the arrow.
You can also use the linking tool within your WordPress post. Here are the steps:
- Highlight your anchor text.
- Click the link icon.
- Enter the search term.
- Click on the post you want to use.
How to Automate Adding Internal Links
One of the best practices for interlinking is to link from new posts to old blog posts and to link from old posts to new posts. I usually did a pretty good job of linking from new to old (internal outbound links), but I never took the time to link from old to new (internal inbound links). I would think “I'll do it later,” but we know how that goes!
I realized that I couldn't really do this in my head, so I looked to see if there were any WordPress plugins that would help with internal link building. There are several out there, but I've only tried two–LinkWhisper and Yoast.
A few years ago, I tried the premium version of Yoast which has a recommended links feature. It would suggest internal outbound links but not internal inbound links.
Frankly, it didn't do a great job for my Cub Scout Ideas blog. I could think of many more old articles to link to than it did. I didn't renew my premium subscription.
Then I discovered LinkWhisper which is a paid plugin, and I love it! It recommends internal outbound links right in your WordPress editor. You can also easily add internal inbound links.
Recently, LinkWhisper added a feature for those of us who own multiple blogs. I own both Easy Blog School and Painless Blog Analytics, so there is some overlap of topics. With this new feature, I can now see linking suggestions for both blogs at once. Makes the process to interlink blog posts so much easier.
For example, I write a lot about Google Search Console on Painless Blog Analytics. If I mention Search Console in a post on Easy Blog School, LinkWhisper will recommend an external outbound link to one of those posts on Painless Blog Analytics.
It is so easy to add links with LinkWhisper. At the bottom of your WordPress post editor, you'll see LinkWhisper's suggestions for anchor text and for the link. Many times, it'll recommend multiple internal pages that you can link to. You can select the link you want, and you can change the anchor text. Check the box for the links you want to add, click a button, and all those links are added.
LinkWhisper has become my internal linking strategy tool of choice. I think you'll love it too.
There are so many reasons to add internal links to relevant content. It's one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO even if you don't have a lot of time. Leave me a comment, and let me know about your linking strategy.