Correct Internal Linking is One of the Most Powerful SEO Strategies Available. Here’s What to Fix on Your Site Today

by | Jul 11, 2024


1. Use Descriptive Anchor Texts: Avoid generic phrases like “Click Here” and use specific, relevant keywords to improve both SEO and accessibility.

2. Avoid Anchor Text Cannibalization: Use unique, varied anchor texts for similar content to avoid competing with yourself.

3. Place Links Strategically: In-content links, especially those higher on the page, are more impactful than those in footers or sidebars.

4. Fix Broken Links (404s and 503s): Regularly check for and fix broken internal links to maintain a smooth user experience and efficient PageRank flow.

5. Prevent Orphaned Content: Ensure all pages have multiple incoming internal links to improve their discoverability and SEO value.

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In a recent interview with digital marketing expert Laura Bennett, I, Sean Taylor, had the pleasure of diving into the intricacies of internal linking for bloggers. Laura, who has a decade of experience in SEO and site auditing, shared her insights on common mistakes and the powerful impact correct internal linking can have on a blog’s performance.

“Correct internal linking is one of the most powerful SEO strategies available,” Laura began, her tone both enthusiastic and authoritative. “Yet, it’s often overlooked in favor of more glamorous tactics like inbound link building. But, trust me, fixing your internal linking can yield dramatic results.”

The Importance of Descriptive Anchor Texts

Laura emphasized the criticality of descriptive anchor texts. “One of the simplest things we can do is to be specific with our anchor texts. For instance, if you want to rank for ‘banana cream pie,’ you should use variations like ‘banana cream pie recipe’ or ‘easy banana cream pie’ as your anchor texts. This not only helps with SEO but also significantly aids accessibility for users relying on screen readers.”

She added, “It’s frustrating to see non-descriptive texts like ‘Click Here’ or ‘See this.’ They don’t tell the user or Google what to expect. Always be as descriptive as possible—it’s a win-win for SEO and user experience.”

Avoiding Anchor Text Cannibalization

Another common pitfall Laura pointed out was anchor text cannibalization. “Imagine you have multiple posts on ‘chocolate chip cookies.’ If you use the exact same anchor text ‘chocolate chip cookies’ for all of them, none will rank effectively. Instead, differentiate with terms like ‘oatmeal chocolate chip cookies’ or ‘double chocolate chip cookies.’ This way, you avoid self-competition and improve your chances of ranking for multiple queries.”

Strategic Link Placement

Laura stressed the importance of where links are placed on a page. “Not all links are created equal. In-content links higher on the page are more valuable. Google crawls from top to bottom, so links found early are given more weight. Footer links, for instance, are rarely clicked and often seen as less valuable.”

“Use footers for essential but less competitive links like About pages or Contact info. But for your critical content, aim to place those links within the main content area.”

Fixing Broken Links

When it comes to broken links, Laura was adamant. “Nothing frustrates a user more than hitting a 404 or 503 error. While Google has said 404s aren’t a direct signal of low quality, a site riddled with broken links can suffer in terms of user experience and PageRank flow. Regularly audit your site and fix these issues promptly.”

She recommended tools like the Broken Link Checker plugin or site auditing platforms like Semrush and Moz to help identify and fix broken links.

Preventing Orphaned Content

Finally, Laura touched on the issue of orphaned content. “Orphaned pages—those with no incoming internal links—are a massive missed opportunity. These pages are hard for Google to find and index, which means they won’t rank well. Ensure every page has at least 3-5 unique incoming links from related content.”

Laura suggested using plugins like Yoast or All-In-One SEO, which have built-in features to identify orphaned content, making it easier to address these issues.


Laura wrapped up our conversation by emphasizing the strategic importance of internal linking. “In the competitive landscape of SEO, especially with the rise of AI and constant algorithm updates, your internal linking strategy can set you apart. It helps Google understand your site structure, improves user experience, and ultimately, boosts your rankings.”

For bloggers looking to make immediate improvements, Laura’s advice is clear: “Start with your internal links. It’s one of the most impactful, yet often neglected, aspects of SEO. Fix these mistakes and watch your site thrive.”

By Sean Taylor