Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Optimize your internal links to get higher search engine rankings

Optimizing the content of your web pages is important if you want to get high rankings on Google. Most people know that they have to work on web page titles, web page content and links from other sites.
The internal link structure of a website is often overlooked although it has a big impact on the rankings of a website.
Why the internal link structure of your website is important
Internal links do not count as much as links from external websites. Nevertheless, search engines use them as an important signal in their algorithms.
Search engines consider links as votes. By optimizing the link structure on your web pages, you can lead search engines to the important pages of your website and you can show them the keywords for which you want to get high rankings.
1. Start by optimizing the main navigation on your website
The main navigation on your website are the navigational links that are visible on all pages of your site. The main navigation is the most important part of your website navigation.
It usually includes a "Home" link (including a linked company logo image) and links to the main sections on your website.
  • Make sure that the links in your main navigation contain your most important keywords.
  • Avoid Flash and JavaScript menus. Most search engines won't index your pages then. Use standard HTML and CSS to design your website navigation.
2. Consider breadcrumb navigation for sub-pages
Sub-pages can benefit a lot from breadcrumb navigation (Home > Category > Sub category > Product page). Sub pages usually aren't linked form the main website navigation.
Breadcrumb navigation links can help search engines to put the sub pages into the right context:
  • Use breadcrumb navigation links on your web pages to show search engines and website visitors the exact location of a page.
  • Use descriptive and keyword rich words in your breadcrumb navigation: Shoe shop > Sports shoes > Buy soccer shoes > Adidas deals
3. Make sure that the first link on the page is the right link
Google seems to consider only the text of the first link on a page. For example, if page A links to page B with the anchor text "further information" on the top of the page and with the anchor text "buy adidas soccer shoes" at the bottom of the page then only the first anchor text will be used by Google.
  • If you link more than once to another page, make sure that the first link on the page contains the keywords for which you want to get high rankings.


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