You’ve been working on your SEO for some time and trying to follow our advice, but are still struggling to get ranking. What’s next?
First, hopefully you’re focusing your efforts initially on optimizing your website’s key pages. I think of on-page optimization as building a strong foundation for SEO. Internal linking is an important part of on page SEO.
What are internal links?
Internal links are hyperlinks that point from one page of your website to another. Search engine crawlers use these links to index and rank the pages on your site. Your content should include relevant internal links, as this will help you pass PageRank (Google’s ranking algorithm) from one page to another.
For example, an SLP website homepage would contain internal links to their services page, location page and contact page. It’s important to use relevant anchor text for your internal links. This means that not only should you be linking to the correct pages, but also using words that accurately describe the content on the other side of the link.
What’s the Difference Between Internal vs. External Links?
If you’re new to SEO, you may have heard both of these terms but not really understand the difference. That said, it’s pretty simple: External links point away from your website and internal links point to a different page still on your website. Both are an important part of a comprehensive SEO strategy. For external links, you may choose to link to a couple high quality other sites. And of course, you want to build backlinks by getting others to include external links from their website to yours. But today, we’re going to focus on those internal links pointing between pages of your own site.
Why is Internal Linking Important?
Internal linking has a number of benefits for your website’s SEO and is an important part of on-page SEO. First, it helps search engines like Google and Bing understand the structure and organization of your site, making it easier for them to crawl and index your pages. This can lead to better visibility and higher search rankings over time.
In addition, internal linking helps to establish relationships between different pages of your site, passing “link equity” from one page to another. When you link from a high-authority page to a lower-authority page, some of that authority is passed along, potentially boosting the search ranking of the lower-authority page.
Finally, internal linking helps to create a better user experience for your site visitors. By linking related pages together, you make it easier for visitors to find the information they need and navigate your site. This then leads to longer dwell times and potentially better engagement metrics. In other words, it makes life easier for your website visitors and encourages them to find all of the helpful information you’re putting out into the world!
How Many Internal Links Do I Need?
It’s been my experience that most private practice owners don’t use nearly enough internal links on their website. This is just a common SEO mistake private practice owners make on their websites. I recommend including at least a few internal links on each page of your site, and multiple links if it makes sense.
I remember when I was first learning about internal links, I put a couple here and there on my website. At the time, I was telling my husband about what I was learning. Then, one night he was reading ESPN.com and said, “Hey Jessica, is this what you mean by internal links?” Sure enough, he was pointing to an internal link in the article he was reading. But what surprised me was how MANY internal links were on that one page of the site! There were a ton!
It’s not like that with every website, but it did help me realize I had been underutilizing internal links on my own site. It was a great reminder that there really is no limit to the number of internal links you can use as long as they are relevant and useful to your visitors. But that’s the catch-internal links should make sense. They should help your readers find other pages of your website that would be logical to look at for more information about the topic mentioned.
How to Implement Internal Linking on Your Private Practice Website
Now that you know the importance of internal linking and how many links to use, you’re probably wondering how to go about actually implementing them. Here are a few tips:
1. Prioritize the key pages of your website:
Identify the most important pages of your site. These might include your homepage, services pages, and contact page. Make sure that these pages are linked to frequently throughout your site.
2. Include anchor text for internal links:
Anchor text is the words that are hyperlinked to a different page. Use descriptive language that accurately describes the content on the other side of the link. In other words, use words that make sense and make it clear to readers where the link will take them. The anchor text should give website visitors a good idea what the page they’re going to is about.
3. Link related pages together:
Look for opportunities to link related pages together, such as your blog posts or FAQs pages. One thing I like to do is put a “Check out our blogs about _____” section on each service page. Then, I link list a bunch of blog posts I’ve written on that topic. This gets links to each of those pages which shows Google they matter. However, it also provides useful information to potential clients and encourages them to stay on the site longer. On the flip side, I also link every single blog post I write to one or more of my service pages.
4. Use internal links in your content:
Add relevant internal links to the content you’re writing, such as blog posts or web page copy. Not only does this provide more link equity for those pages but it also provides visitors with easy access to other related information on your site. For example, if you’re an SLP running a private practice and you wrote blog post on expressive language, you could link to a page about speech therapy services at the end of the post. This provides readers with easy access to more information about how they can get help from you and encourages them to explore other areas of your website.
Don’t Overlook Internal Links When Optimizing
Using internal links on your website is important for SEO and providing a better experience for website visitors. It’s also really helpful for encouraging Google to index your entire website. When you’re optimizing your individual website pages for SEO, please do not overlook this important element. Start by adding internal links to your key pages and then build outward from there.
It may feel odd at first. In fact, you may at first feel like you’re putting too many links in. However, it’s been my experience that most practice owners actually underuse internal links. As long as you’re linking relevant pages together, you’ll be in great shape!
SEO Services for Private Practice Owners
If you’re looking for help with optimizing your private practice website, look no further than Simplified SEO Consulting. Our team of experts specializes in helping healthcare private practices increase their visibility online. Our SEO services for SLPs include a variety of done-for-you SEO services as well as various seo training options including affordable DIY courses and small group intensives. Contact us today to get started!
About the Author
Jessica Tappana is the founder and CEO of Simplified SEO Consulting. She owns a group psychotherapy practice with around 12 clinicians and began learning SEO when she was initially trying to grow her own private practice. Since then, she’s hired a small group of SEO professionals all of whom she describes as being smarter than she is…especially when it comes to techy things! She has really high expectations for offering excellent customer service and believes in using the strengths of each SEO Specialist which drives our team approach to optimizing.