By simply linking from one blog post to others in your blog you can massively increase your blog site traffic. A task that tasks just a few seconds can produce excellent results. What do you need to know?
As a blog owner, one of your concerns will be about increasing readership of your blog. You want new readers coming over to your website and you want them reading more pages than they currently are. One on of the easiest ways of doing this is by steering them around your website as they read posts and to do this you can employ internal links.
These are exactly what they are called – links to pages on your website (hence internal) as opposed to links on other websites, which would be ‘external’. What are the purposes of these links?
1 – Steer readers around your blog
As you are writing a new post think about previous posts and if any of them are relevant to what you are writing. You may be writing a post that mentions a subject in the overview, which you have already blogged about in detail. As this is a more detailed view of what you are writing about it makes sense that it could also be of interest to readers, so link to the post.
Once your blog post is live there’s also no harm in reviewing old posts and linking to the new post. This doesn’t have the same benefits as links from the latest post, but it does help to keep the blog looking up to date and fresh.
2 – Search Engine Optimisation
When you publish a new post it (normally!) goes to the home page of your blog and sits there for a few days. Most blogging tools will also ‘ping’ the major search engines so that they know there is a new post to visit.
This means that recent posts are highly visible to the search engines, but the old ones get a bit ‘forgotten’. By linking your newest work to older pieces, you are pointing the search engines straight into the archives. This helps to ‘distribute’ link to favor of your website.
Occasional, and I do more occasional and not frequent, usage of keywords and keyword phrases in these links might also help very slightly in your SEO processes.
3 – Revenge to content theft
This might seem a strange ‘benefit’ but it is a trick that I have successfully exploited in the past when my blog content was routinely being stolen. The technique that these people use is to download your blog content via your RSS feed and publish it to their own blogs. Recently with Google updates punishing duplicate content, this is not such a massive problem, but if it happens then this technique can make sure that you do see some benefits!
If you are adding internal links to your posts then if someone copies your content to their site then these become external links from their site to yours. You might get some SEO advantage (unlikely as Google is punishing such sites), whilst any readers the stealing site does get will at least see links into your site. However, with all of you posts pointing back to your own website, it’s a huge hint to Google as to the fact that it was your site that was the original source of the content!
How to employ this linking?
There are various plugins that you can use to list related posts, but I prefer the simple approach of manually adding links within the post to other posts. This way, the links are right where the reader is reading and ready for them to click on. Don’t try to be clever in terms of search engine optimization. You don’t need to pack every one of these links with keywords. Go the other way and just make them natural and fit into the context of the page. If “click here for more information” fits best then use that. All that matters is that readers, and search engines, can start to follow the spiders’ web of links you are leaving and quickly find your important posts.