No one likes to make mistakes, but they are a natural part of learning. However, you don’t have to make every error in the book just so you can be proficient at what you do. Today, we will explore some of the most common internal link-building mistakes out there, so that you don’t have to make them yourself!
Cannibalizing your own anchors and keywords
It can happen, especially on websites with many pages with similar themes, to find the same or similar keywords. You need to make sure that you never use the same keywords multiple times. There are more than a few good SEO tools that can help you with that. That way, you’ll avoid competing with yourself for rankings.
Over Optimization of anchor text
Both external and internal links have the same “weight” in anchor text. Both of them have an influence on how search engines recognize and categorize linked pages. Sure, optimization is nice, but many beginners tend to over-optimized anchor text. It can seem like a good idea at first, even more so if you want your page to rank and compete for an exact term.
But, this method can actually harm your rankings. Search engines like Google tend to pick over optimized texts as spam, and in some cases, not rank those pages at all. However, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if that happens. It is a classic mistake, and even the most experienced SEO veterans do that sometimes. Make sure to avoid that, and if a mistake happens, try to edit the anchor text if you can.
Adding too many links to a page
Sure, every web owner and business wants to increase its visibility. And it is not so rare to see them putting too many links to their pages. It can be tempting to link everything, but yet again, Google and other search engines recognize this as spam. It is the same principle as over-optimization of an anchor text – too much stuff means spam in the eyes of search engines.
The rule is simple – the more links you have, the less value your page will have. PageRank splits between links on a specific page.
Not adding enough links
Now, this part of our article can seem contradictory to the previous paragraph, but it’s true – not adding enough links hurts your rankings. This concept is somewhat easier to grasp.
It is vital to strike a balance between too many and too few links on your pages. So, to improve your crawl budget, it is crucial to plan the structure of your internal links. You must direct search engines to the most important parts of your website. Also, you need to ensure both bots and your visitors that every page on your website is readable.
Creating pages with no links
Pages that don’t have links pointing to them are commonly known as orphaned pages. And that nickname is adequate. Those pages are hard to find for both users and search engines, and this is why they cannot be crawled. Make sure that every page you post has links referring to them.
However, on old blogs, websites, service pages, and others, there may be a lot of orphaned pages just due to time. If you want to revive them, make sure to revisit them and point some links to them, as this can severely influence your content marketing efforts. You simply need content marketing that works, and with orphaned pages, that’ll never come to fruition.
If you want to have your website up and running, take care of broken links.
Your website can look unprofessional if you have a lot of broken links. Sure, a broken link can appear here and there, but if you have a considerable amount of them, make sure to delete them or fix them. Negative user experience affects rankings in many ways, so deal with broken links as soon as you can.
Yes, we know, SEO terms are kind of weird. However, bloating, like in real life, can be a problem. Bloating is a term in search engine optimization, which means that you have too many extra pages on your website.
This can lead to a lot of problems. For example, bloating can waste your link’s equity distribution on your website. This can, in turn, waste your crawl budget.
Bloating is one of those things that requires a little bit of maintenance every now and then. Check your website regularly to remove extra pages that only pull back your website’s rankings.
Navigation is the way to go
Most good websites use a navigation bar as one of their essential components. This can and should be a source of your website’s internal linking. Navigation can direct Google and other search engines where the most important pages on your website are.
But, you can only link the most essential pages with your navigation. Owners usually link services, contact pages, about sections, and similar. A piece of advice often given to new website owners is that they should avoid navigation categorizations like “parent-child” categorization or “category to subcategory” style. Good navigation means an excellent SEO strategy for your website, i.e. how you can keep users from leaving and never coming back.
Long redirect chains
No, we don’t mean that you shouldn’t use redirects. Contrary to that, we encourage them! If you do your redirects accurately, your website can benefit by bringing users to valuable locations. However, if you don’t do it well, users may be appealed by your redirects, ultimately bringing your ranking to unacceptable levels.
Also, try to avoid redirect loops. This is actually one of the most common internal link-building mistakes. They can confuse bots, which in turn, can slow down your website’s performance. It can also eat up crawl budgets as Google won’t follow the redirect in the chain directly.