Do you use internal links?
Have you ever heard of the serendipity effect? If not, then let me explain: it’s basically the idea that fortunate discoveries (serendipities) can come from anywhere, so the key to unlocking knowledge, ideas and innovation is to spend time in places where all these things are likely to come together.
Today, the internet is one of those places. More specifically, websites and blogs that contain excellent content and add real value are some of the best places for getting inspired, finding new information and getting new perspectives. The best sites are the ones where you can immerse yourselves and flip from one page to the next, feeling like you’re going on an inspiring journey.
And that’s exactly how you want your target audience to feel about your blog. You want for them to see it as a valuable source of information… a place where they come to find unexpected solutions… to spend some time looking around, becoming immersed and exploring new ideas… Sounds pretty good right? But how do you make it happen?
It starts, of course, with having plenty of great content. But to really maximize the serendipity effect on your blog or website… to hook your target audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more… there’s a simple technique that can help.
It’s all about the internal links. And in this article, we’ll give you some tips on using internal links to lead your audience on inspiring, entertaining content journeys.
Why use internal links?
The reasons for using internal links on your site are twofold:
- They establish your domain as an authority in your field, so readers perceive it as a go-to information resource.
- They boost organic traffic within your site, which encourages readers to spend more time there (also boosting your SEO profile).
Both of these reasons help establish your thought leadership. So, if showcasing your expertise and building brand awareness are important goals for your content marketing strategy overall, internal links are a good choice for you.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your internal links:
Time your internal links strategically
When you embed a link within your text, you’re sending your reader a clear sign that there is more information available if they want it.
However, be careful not to distract your reader. You don’t want to include loads of links at the beginning of an article that might entice your reader to quickly click away without reading onward.
Internal links are best when added near the end of a section. So, if you intend to include a specific internal link in a blog post, structure your text so that the reference to that link comes naturally towards the end.
Use content topic clusters
Plan your content so that individual pieces fit together to create a bigger picture. This is a great content marketing strategy known as the topic cluster model.
In a topic cluster, you usually create one large ‘pillar’ piece of content which serves as a hub. This pillar piece gives a general overview of a topic that is valuable to your target audience.
Alongside the pillar piece, you create many smaller pieces of content that explore various aspects of the topic in much greater detail. All these pieces are linked together, creating a cluster.
The idea is to immerse your readers in the topic, so they click through multiple pages on your site, spending even more time there and finding even more information. Another benefit: you can drive SEO success with topic clusters.
Make your internal links appealing and helpful
Your internal links should stand out. You don’t have to ‘introduce’ them specifically, using a call to action like ‘Check out our post on topic clusters to learn how to boost your SEO success’.
A call to action might interrupt the flow of your text. Instead, you can simply use words that you think will be interesting to your reader.
The words you choose for your links should always be helpful. That means they should help your reader easily navigate their way through your content, so they will want to continue reading it.
Above all, make sure that the words you use in your links are an accurate reflection of what you’re actually linking to. The last thing you ever want to do is try to ‘trick’ your reader to click a flashy link, only to disappoint them with content that doesn’t live up to what you’re promising.
Remember that internal links are a useful tool for establishing your thought leadership, but the real key to content marketing success is what you’re linking to. And that needs to be: excellent, original content, presented with transparency and integrity.