Internal Linking – Don’t Be Afraid Of The Long Tail

One of the most important on-site optimization strategies is your internal link building. Internal link building serves several purposes. The most obvious is to lead visitors to more content and, hopefully, to conversion, be it a sale or sign-up.

Internal link building also helps to lead the search engines deeper inside your web site. More importantly, it can lead the search engines deeper while helping to build the search engines’ overall view of those deeper pages. This is done through the anchor text used in the links.

The problem with many web site owners is the use of that anchor text. It needs to be varied, not concentrating on the same text every time. If your link page is about ‘blue widgets’, you only need a couple of links for the search engines to get the message.

That internal page is not just about ‘blue widgets’. If it’s about ‘installing blue widgets’ then use that as anchor text as well. In fact, you should ask yourself what subsections you have on the page. Is there is a section on ‘installing blue widgets for WordPress’? If so, then use that as anchor text. This is what we call long tail anchor text and it can be quite powerful.

This is becoming the type of phrase that searchers are likely to use to find information. If you have used that phrase as anchor text, you are providing the search engines with more information about that target page. If your page is associated with that search phrase then you are quite likely to gain traffic if you rank for that phrase.

If you have any doubts about long tails and longer search phrases, check your web analytics. You will be surprised when you see some of the search terms that have been used to find your pages.

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