Of the two, internal links are far easier to implement, as you have total control over them.
The question is: How should you implement your internal linking strategy for getting best SEO results? Here are some ways.
1. “Most Recent Posts” in the sidebar
You can have a list of 5 or 10 most recent posts in your sidebar. A “most recent posts” list would highlight the freshest content of your blog to your readers.
When placed in a sidebar, this list would be available site-wide. This means that even when readers come directly to a post from a search engine (instead of coming to your blog’s homepage), they can see this list.
Many widgets, gadgets and plugins are available for most blogging platforms (like WordPress, Blogger, etc) for implementing the “Most Recent Posts” list.
2. “Most Popular Posts” in the sidebar
The “Most Popular Posts” list shows the most viewed posts in order of their popularity. Thus, this list highlights the best posts of your blog as judged by their page views.
Again, when placed in a sidebar, it would be available site-wide. Also, many widgets, gadgets and plugins are available for most blogging platforms for implementing the “Most Popular Posts” list.
3. “Best of” list in the sidebar
The “Best of” list is very similar to the “Most Popular Posts” list – it highlights the best posts of your blog. The only difference is that instead of displaying the best posts as judged by the page views, it displays the best posts as judged by you!
Thus, you can highlight the posts that you believe are your best – even when they haven’t got a chance to be popular!
Again, when placed in a sidebar, this list would be available site-wide.
The “Best of” list can be easily implemented using any HTML widget or plugin available for your blogging platform.
4. Linking to related posts from within a post
When you write a post, you might mention something about which you have written in detail in another post. This is the best opportunity for you to link to that post!
These links would appear only in individual posts, so they wouldn’t be visible site wide. However, they appear where the reader has his most attention – in the content. So, they are highly likely to be clicked!
5. “Related Posts” at the end of each post
Another great idea for internal linking is to have “Related Posts” or “Related Links” below each post. This list can show a list of posts that are similar to the current post.
The end of a post is a place where readers pause and think about their next course of action, so it is a good idea to present a “related posts” list there. If readers have liked your post, they would naturally like to read posts that are similar to the one they just read!
Most blogging platforms have some plugin or widget through which you can automate the generation of this list.
6. Showing list of best posts to new visitors
Showing a list of most recent or most popular posts in the sidebar is a great idea. However, it has some limitations.
- It is in the sidebar, not in the main content area – in the center of the page. So, the reader focus is not 100% there.
- These lists are more relevant for new visitors, not for regular readers of your blog. It is better if only new users are targeted.
Therefore, it is advisable to have a list of your best posts shown specifically to new visitors to your blog, or to visitors coming from a search engine like Google.
Most blogging platforms have a plugin or widget available using which you can show customized messages to people coming from different places like search engines, social media sites, etc.
Use these tools, and present a list of your best posts to new visitors to your blog.
7. Others – Archives, Tag Cloud, etc.
Apart from these, there are other traditional ways of providing internal links to your posts. For example, there are various archives like:
- Date-wise archives
- Category archives
- Author archives, etc
You have links to your posts through these archives. Links are also created to individual posts through the use of a tag-cloud.
My blogs are hosted reliably at HostGator
I run 20+ blogs, and each of these is hosted at HostGator. I have been using their service for a long time, and have never experienced any downtime. They also have a very responsive customer service team.
HostGator provides the most reliable and fully featured WordPress hosting service. Their plans start as low as $3.96 per month for unlimited hosting - try out HostGator now!