This is one of those things that is somewhat obvious but often overlooked when doing SEO. I’ve discussed previously about Anchor Text for Backlinks, but what about the anchor text of links between the pages of your site? To prevent from boring you, I will be going beyond the lecture about not using links with the word “click here”, and give you some ideas of how to improve your existing content quickly and easily.
But does internal anchor text really matter to Google and other search engines? The answer, Yes! Even though backlinks (links from other sites) are definitely one of the most important aspects of SEO, internal links have an important role in showing to search engines what is important on your site as well as what is related.
Before you proceed, two things to keep in mind. (1) Too many links is not better than just the right amount. Keep it user friendly and readable and I think that’s the balance Google et al. will like. (2) This is especially helpful for long tail keywords, which users are using more and more.
Don’t let the word “siloing” scare you. All siloing means is sectioning your site into “themes” and structuring your menu and links in a tiered fashion within each theme. If you offer a service, for example, section out your services or products into several (3-5) themes. Each theme has a major keyword and a main page. Your site template should have a link to all of these themes (so on every page of your site). On the theme main page you would then have links to sub-pages that use sub-keywords of the main theme keyword. For example:
Themes: Plumbing Supplies, Plumbing Services, Plumbing Emergency
Plumbing Supplies sub-pages: Kitchen Plumbing Supplies, Bathroom Plumbing Supplies, Wholesale Plumbing Supplies, Discount Plumbing Supplies, Plumbing Supply Stores, *brandname* Plumbing Supplies…
Link With What You Got
If you have a site, you should have some content already too. Here is a simple query that will help you to find where on your site you’re already using keywords:
Notice I am limiting the query to only my site/domain using the site: operator. Also notice the keyword phrase is in quotes, so you find an exact match.
So if I were writing about link building (look at that, I am) then I would first do a search like:
and see which page I mention the phrase “link building”. I see many pages that I do, but the top result has that keyword in the title tag and in the URL, so that is the page I am targeting for that keyword.
Go through your top 20 keywords to start with and see how many more links you can get to them from within the content of other pages. In-content links have innate value because they have context (text around them) and are thought to be more “editorial” than site-wide or menu links. (Google is pretty smart, they can tell which part of your page is the content and which is the menu)
Link While You Write
While you are writing a blog post, an article, or a new page for your site, keep in mind other pages that have been written before as you go along (and you can use the same query above). If you are writing and you mention something related to another product, service, article, or blog post, consider using the keywords for that page in the sentence and make it a link.
For another nice review with some diagrams (albeit a little busy), see this YouMoz article.