Opinions vary, but there is definitely a basic core list that most SEO experts agree upon. Within that core, internal links are towards the top of the list.
A while back I wrote an article on SEO mistakes that could ruin your website, as well as a part two. Karl also previously covered three useful WordPress plug-ins that can help with SEO. There are a couple more WordPress plug-ins I want to cover that focus on improving your internal linking strategy.
Automatic Internal Links
The first WordPress plugin is called SEO Smart Links. The beauty of this plugin is that it removes at least one of those SEO tasks on your checklist of things to do for every one of your blog posts. Now you don’t have to worry about going through and adding internal links to your other relevant blog posts, because instead they’ll be automatically inserted into your posts for you.
Setting up the two plugins that I’m covering in this article is no different than any other WordPress plugin. Just upload the folders into the plugin directory using your favorite FTP client.
Go into the Plugins area of your WordPress admin settings and activate the plugin.
Once it’s activated, you’ll find the SEO Smart Links options under the Settings menu. At the top of the settings are the following options.
The first section is where you select whether you want the internal links inserted into only posts, only pages, or both. The bottom section under “Target” is what areas of your blog you want the plugin to link to. A bit further down the page you come to the next set of options.
If you have a decent server and the load time of your main page isn’t an issue, go ahead and deselect “Process only single posts and pages.” However, since load time affects your SEO it’s usually best to leave this checked. This plugin will also embed links into your RSS feed (pretty sweet feature).
Finally, the best part of the settings area, and the place where you’ll likely come back to often, is the “Custom Keywords” section. Here is where you can manually configure certain keywords to always link to specific pages on your site. This is an excellent way to make certain pages ranks highly on specific keywords, when you have multiple pages on your blog linking back to that page using the same phrase.
Make sure to enable “prevent duplicate links” (duplicates are a no-no). Don’t set max links too high, as the last thing you want to do is spam the reader (or the search engine bot) with too many links.
Here is an example of a blog post where the phrase “top secret” is now linked to another post automatically.
Best Related Posts
The next excellent SEO WordPress plugin is. Install this plugin the same as the one above. When you go to the options under your WordPress settings area, all you’ll see are text fields where you can customize the appearance of the related posts list on your page. To actually install list on your page, copy the code “<?php boposts_show();?>” shown at the top of the page.
You’ll need to edit the file single.php in your theme, and add the code into it just after your post, in the location where you want it to show up. Don’t let the code scare you – as you can see I’ve placed it underneath the list of tags for the article.
Once the file is saved, here’s what the related posts looks like.
What I love about it is that the links are graphical – and users are far more likely to click on pictures than simple text links – thereby increasing your PVPV (page views per visit). A small excerpt from each post is also included – giving your reader some insight into the article, enticing them to click the link.
Optimizing your blog or website doesn’t have to be a nightmare, and you don’t have to be a guru to use these plugins. The automatic internal links and best related posts plugins actually make it so you don’t even have to remember details – they’re finished for you automatically!
With these plugins, you’ll notice changes in your blog traffic almost immediately. Just give them a try and see for yourself, and make sure to come back and let us know how it went!
Do you know of any other cool SEO WordPress plugins for linking? Share them in the comments section below.
Image credit: miki kucevic