We've talked here at WebReb about how important links are in page rank and SEO (search engine optimization). It's important to use social networking and good blogging practices to encourage other sites to link to you. To an extent, however, this can be frustrating, because you, as a blogger, have little control over those links, and whether or not they are effectively set up. There is one type of linking, however, that you DO have control over, and which will also help you with page rank and SEO - internal linking.
An internal link is a link from one place on your site to another place on your site. It might be in your sidebar, in your header, on your flash page, or within your articles or posts, as long as it links to another place within your domain (e.g. FROM http://yourdomain.com/pointA TO http://yourdomain.com/pointB).
Internal links help the search engines find the various pages on your site, and identify "pillar posts," which are more valuable posts and pages on your site that you are constently referring back to. Although internal links help your main blog or site with page rank in the search engines, the also (more importantly), help increase the page rank individual posts or pages. The reason this is more important is that potential readers who find you via the search engines are more likely to find you using the keywords contained within the text on your site rather than by the name of your site.
In addition to helping your search engine rankings, internal links help you with reader retention and loyalty. When new readers come to your blog via a search engine or social networking link, if they are able to find additional posts to read while they are there, they are more likely to stay around longer, read more, perhaps add your site to their feed, and maybe even recommend your post or site to others.
This week, we will be discussing how to use your internal links more effectively - both for your readers and for the search engines.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.