By: Christopher McCarthy
When creating content for your website or blog, it is important to provide easily accessible information, valuable content and an SEO boost. Internal linking between webpages on a site is one way to achieve each of these goals.
It is very important to scatter internal links throughout the body content of your site. By implementing URLs from other important pages on your website, you begin to establish site architecture and page authority, which means your site will rank higher in organic search. Link structure provides assistance for search engines to access and categorize your content with less navigation, which strengthens SEO and visibility.
In other words, search engines use programs called “spiders” to crawl the web in order to filter and understand the content found on sites. A website with a clear structure and well defined pathways make it easy for the spiders to crawl your site and understand your content, making it more likely to show up in search engine results. Because your job is to make the spiders’ job as easy as possible, establishing internal connections when generating content is critical.
The best way to insert internal connections to your content is to look for opportunities to link other sections of your website and blog in a smooth, transitional way. When linking, use descriptive keywords or keyword phrases that will tell both the reader and the search engine spiders what the linked page is about.
If you are a Practice Manager who has access to dotCMS (your practice website’s back-end coding system), you can implement internal linking for your webpages. For example, when drafting content for the “About” content of your site, chances are that you’ll mention the physicians or providers of the practice. This is a great opportunity to link back to the Physicians/Providers page. In addition, your “About” content may include the mention of your websites services, providing an opportunity to link back to the Services page. In these examples, this is accomplished by using the following format in dotCMS for internal links:
<a href= “/Physicians/”>Our Providers</a>
<a href=”/services/”>services we provide</a>
This format is most easily understood and sends clear signals to search engine spiders that allow the content to be indexed.
If you want to create internal linking for your blog, simply hyperlink important pages throughout your blog content to boost SEO. Incorporate posts with similar topics into your current post when applicable. For example, if you are blogging about how parents can establish social media guidelines for teenagers, you might want to mention previous posts you have done about cyber bullying or the effects of smartphones on overall health and provide the links to those sites. To do this, simply hyperlink the text that you want to link (probably the title of the blog that you are referring to) while in draft mode and paste in the hyperlink to the post.
When you hyperlink to your blog posts, it is important that you make sure you have linked to the exact post, not just your blog.
For example, let’s say that I want to hyperlink to the most recent post on our blog, “Three Keys to Marketing Healthcare Online”. When I go to www.promotemypractice.net, this blog appears first on my screen:
If I hyperlink to the URL shown, I will always be directing readers to the homepage of my blog, not to this individual post. Because homepages continuously change when new blogs are added, make sure to link to the actual post! Click on the title of the post to take you the post’s specific page.
Notice that now the URL directs to the individual post and is ready to be copied for hyperlinking!
By creating connecting pages associated with your website and blog, you are creating “crawlable” links. Regardless of how optimized some of your other pages may be, if the search engines cannot connect them with your site, the spiders can’t travel to the pages and assume that they don’t exist. This is why reinforcing important internal links within your content enhances your overall search engine rankings.
By including these internal links when writing informative content, you can create a more user-friendly website experience for your readers and increase ranking potential.