Internal links, or linking back to your travel blog, is an important part of search engine optimization (SEO) and makes your site more navigable for your readers. It creates a web of interlinks throughout your travel blog that search engines find easy to follow and allows your readers to make the most out of your site. There are many reasons to increase the number of internal links in each of your blog posts, yet most travel bloggers do so sparingly or just go after external links. Much of this might be attributed to passivity, a lack of understanding of the value, but often you might not know exactly what to link to.
There are a few rules of thumb you can go by to easily increase the number of internal links in each of your posts and make your travel blog even more useful than before.
Why Internal Links Are Important
When search engines visit your travel blog, they’ll try to crawl, or follow the links weaving through your site. This creates a ‘map’ of your travel blog by the search engine, opening up more of your site to search traffic. Each of your internal links makes your map that much more robust and readable by the search engines.
In addition to SEO, internal links are even more valuable to your readers. When you link well and put useful references for people to use, they’ll hop around your site. It’s more page views and really what makes a blog interactive and engaging. Your readers want to consume information as easily and quickly as they can but unless you provide a path for them, the road stops on your link-less post.
- You also want to be able and “catch” new readers who may arrive from search engines, social networks, or randomly in other ways.
Remember, internal links are like roads and people will only go as far as the paths you create to lead them.
Easy Interlinks To Remember – Categories
These are built in to your blog already and all you need to do is remember the are there. For example when if you have a category called travel blogging, be sure to link to it if you use that term in a post. Also, look into some of your best or latest posts from that particular category and work it in to the sentence or paragraph if relevant.
Use Your Cornerstone Posts
As your travel blog grows, you should keep track of your cornerstone posts, those most popular posts your readers (and you) keep coming back to time after time. You’ll also begin to have cornerstone posts in each of your categories and can use these as references for interlinking as well.
- The time to think about internal links is during the editing process.
- Do searches of your blog with the keywords or topic you’re writing about (i.e. “trip to Thailand” or “ways to keep your travel blog interesting“) to find good pages to link back to.
- Use the YARPP WordPress plugin, one 13 recommended WordPress plugins for your travel blog.
Be consistent and don’t overuse internal links where they don’t make sense or have entire sentences that are just one long link. Spread out your internal links and forget about SEO when you do it – think about your readers. If they enjoy your post about South Africa, they’ll want to read more about it or related topics, so give them the link to do so.
Interlinks Help Your Writing
When you go back to your related, older posts, during the process of writing a new one you’ll open yourself to past ideas and catch on themes that run across your writing. This can lead to a more consistent voice and direction for your travel blog, which is very important if you want to build an audience and keep your travel blog going.
Internal linking brings each of your travel blog posts and pages to life and why reading on the Internet is so vastly different than other mediums. Internal links also keep your previous posts alive long after they’ve been published so new readers don’t miss them. They’ll also give you added material in the form of sneeze pages, blog series, and all sorts of other creative ways. Simply keep them in mind during those last few minutes of editing your posts and your readers, humans and web crawlers alike, will go deeper into your blog with each article.
[photos by: BotheredByBees (spiderwebs), Tiago Ribeiro (sticky man), Lomo-Cam (arrow on wall), happeningfish (writing in notepad)]
I fully agree with you on giving internal links. The post is very informative for new or untrained bloggers. Now, something on external links pls. 🙂
Sure, like on when and how to give them? Let me know if you have any specific questions and I’ll get this post up in 2-4 weeks 🙂
Very useful advice for those not in the know. As long as it’s done in a way that doesn’t interfere with the enjoyment of reading the post, it’s very effective. What I don’t like is when people make very vague references in their internal links which force you to click on each one just to understand what it’s all about!
A pet peeve of mine as well. I like descriptive links too – I think by not doing that you ultimately get less clicks since people aren’t interested in wasting time online.
Not only when or how but why and how it works. 🙂
Gotcha, thanks. I’ll have the post up within a month or so 🙂
I hadn’t thought of interlinks. Not just for the SEO advantage, but it will make reading my blog easier! Thanks for the tip!
Definitely track your ‘pages per visit’ on Google Analytics (or whatever you) use and you should see an increase if you don’t link back often to your own posts 🙂
I didn’t really understood intelinks before, but now it is more clearer to me. Thanks for the YARPP advice!