While it is more important to have internal links on your website than ever before, an interesting study by SEO speaker and author Dave Davies proves that in some cases where those links are placed is essential to improving rank. As Dave points out, each high-ranking page on your website only has so much authority that it can give away, so use it prudently. Here are some key takeaways from the case study Dave performed.
Limit Navigation Links to Those People Will Click On
While many people choose to fill their pages with many links, that practice substantially dilutes the value that the link can pass on to the subsequent page. Instead, get out your editing pen, and remove any that people are not likely to click on. While you will want to get rid of them in your content, be sure to think about getting rid of them in your navigation menu as well.
This may require you to rework the pages on your site so that you have more items grouped into subcategories. Then, you can link to the subcategory page. For example, if you are a seller of horse saddles, then your navigation menu may currently list:
- Barrel saddles
- Dressage saddles
- General purpose saddles
- Hunting saddles
- Jumping saddles
- Rodeo saddles
- Side Saddles
- Soldier Saddles
- Treeless saddles
- Western saddles
Instead, think about grouping all your pages into three categories that are english saddles, western saddles and specialty saddles. Then, link from your home page to each of those pages as more users are looking for one type over the other. Then, you can link from that page to others as it should naturally rise in rank.
Place Links Where Users Will Engage With Them
Google places an emphasis on pages created for real viewers, so be sure to place your links where people are more apt to click on them. Think about the link as an instant halt where the horse is expected to instantly stop what they are doing. Therefore, you should place your links where you want the viewer to stop and go to another location containing vital information.
The result of these two simple changes can be instrumental. When Davies tested his theory, a website went from having zero of its keywords in the top three positions to having two in the top three positions within a month while making no other changes.