Why do people even use Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines for product research? It's a matter of finding the highest-quality content possible. Bing freely admits their algorithm rewards websites who work to offer visitors "clear, deep, easy to find content." You can control the quality of your content and work with other bloggers with digital influence ro rack up social shares, but your SEO is also dictated in part by inner page rank, an intermediate SEO technique that's crucial for business bloggers. Each time you provide a link to a page on your website that you published previously, it sends a message to the search engine that you feel the content is important, which can raise the page's authority. There's even a convenient plug-in for most web browsers called SEO Quake that gives you a real-time toolbar view of tons of page ranking parameters.
According to SEO blogger Ste Kerwer of Dukeo, pointing your internal links to your website homepage is just going to waste a lot of SEO potential. Your landing pages and high-performing blog content is a much better choice for inclusion in your blog content. Kerwer points out that not only is the content more valuable to your readers, achieving a higher ranking on those pages can create more value for your company. Is randomly choosing pages to target for a higher inner page rank an effective strategy? Not exactly. Here are some best practices for an internal linking strategy that can help you shoot to the top of search engines:
Any introductory or intermediate bloggers who don't touch on quality content are ignoring the most crucial piece of SEO in 2013. Search engine algorithms are becoming more effective every day at rewarding authors who put forth some serious effort in their writing, instead of just churning out 600 words centered around a long tail keyword. In the words of Geekless Tech blogger Steven Hughes, "the recent change in SEO adaption strengthens the concept that content is king.
Link to Relevant Content
If you're producing some blog content on the finer points of SEO in late 2012, would you link to pieces you've written about business development? Unlikely. Irrelevant links in small doses probably won't do too much harm to your SEO, but they won't do you any good, either. As Kerwer explains, if readers follow relevant links they're more likely to stick around long enough to actually read the content. Search engines will notice long page views and a high crawl rate, defined as the amount of times a reader clicks through to other content on your site. In this sense, relevant internal links really do matter to your readers and search engines.
Vary Your Anchor Text
If you always use the same anchor text (the words supporting a link) to promote a piece of blog content, you might look like a Spammer. Google, Bing and Yahoo have gotten fairly adept at identifying Black Hat SEOs, who attempt to artificially inflate their ranking by buying or building inbound links. One of the best ways to get hit with negative SEO is by never varying your anchor text, according to HubSpot blogger Rebecca Churt. Have you released 600 pages of content that link to your article on digital influence with the anchor text "Build digital influence?" Sorry if you're not a spammer, because you sure look like one to Google.
Has your inner page rank strategy to date revolved around linking to your company homepage? That's not ideal, but it's not too late to get started. Pick four high-performing blog articles based on topics that matter to your prospects, and start linking to the relevant ones in each new piece of content you publish. How do you use internal links in your quest to have your quality original content out ranking the competition?