The Horror of Improper Internal Linking
The internet is a wondrous place! It’s full of facts and funny memes that quickly become a rabbit hole of information you never thought you’d care to know: Ladybugs are carnivorous poisonous bugs; you didn’t need to know that but now it’s in your memory bank!
Because of this endless stream of data I often find myself landing on random websites, and it saddens me when I find great websites that fail to follow proper protocol to ensure a frequent visitor.
A few months ago I saw The Conjuring, a disturbing movie that detailed a family haunted by a dark presence in their home, and the paranormal investigators that came to rid the evil. This premise has been used time and time again, but it was based off true events so of course I wanted to know what really happened!
I searched for the family’s name and I landed on an exclusive family member rendition of The Conjuring‘s true story. The article was well written and definitely had me interested! But the very first sentence starts with, “Yesterday afternoon I wrote up an article detailing the true story behind the film The Conjuring.”
With no link. None.
The internet is so large that as a content creator you’re constantly fighting for people’s attention, and if you don’t take the proper steps to keep visitors on your site, you can lose them as a fan–as is the case here.
So what was their mistake?
The first sentence teases a previous article that’s sure to pique the reader’s interest, but nowhere is the article linked. Having to scour through their website to find the article is a chore, and something most people won’t do because most site search engines are horrible. At the time I was on my phone, which made it nearly impossible to navigate the website itself. This ultimately affects the website’s bounce rate, something everyone managing a website should pay attention to.
A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave the site, or “bounce,” after landing on one page. A high bounce rate means the site has failed to keep the visitor interested in navigating to another page within the same site. Reducing your bounce rate means more engaged visitors and the potential to convert them to returning fans.
How do you reduce the bounce rate?
The first obvious step is to link to related pages within the website when possible, but be sure to take a few minutes to do it wisely.
Anchor text is the visible text that’s clickable in a hyperlink. How often do you see the words “click here” when told to view a page or download a product? Those are all MISSED opportunities to create great anchor text which can help the site’s SEO!
The best anchor text have keywords. In the above example, it’s as simple as making “true story behind the film The Conjuring,” the hyperlink, versus making it something like, “Yesterday I wrote about… click here to read it.”
Does this really help? YES!
With a reduction in your website’s bounce rate, your website’s ability to retain readers after they visit your website once is reinforced.
If we refer back to the horror-movies.ca website, we can see that most of their articles have around 10 comments each, yet the exclusive family member true story article has over 200 comments! This is because their article it was one of the top results in a “Conjuring true story” Google search, making it one of the most popular pieces on the site itself. If they take the time to spruce up the article they’d be sure to see better conversion and engagement results for other related posts.
Here are some questions to keep in mind that makes the process pretty simple:
- Have a review for a movie/book/game you mentioned in your article? Link to it!
- Have a feature that connects to a detail mentioned in the article? Add it in.
- Are your social buttons to follow the brand on Twitter, like and post the article on Facebook present on the page?
- Is the author’s name clickable to see what else he wrote, or another way to find all their articles?
Now go on and meticulously go through every post you’ve ever made and start linking! Just kidding, that’ll drive you insane. Find your most popular posts and fix those up, you’ll thank me later.