Search engine optimization has changed a lot in the past few years. Things that used to work great in the past do not work anymore. Other techniques that delivered great results in the past will get your website penalized today.
In our new article series, we’ll talk about outdated SEO techniques and why you should avoid them. We’ll also show you better alternatives.
Not recommended: over-optimized anchor texts in your internal links
Internal links are links from one page of your own website to other pages of your own website. Anchor-texts are the clickable words that are used for the link.
The internal links of your website are important. They define the hierarchy of your website and they help your website visitors and search engines to find what they are looking for. Good website navigation design helps website visitors and search engines to understand the structure of your website.
In the past, some people tried to make their pages extra-relevant by using the keywords for which they want to get high rankings over and over again in their internal links. The idea was that a web page must be very relevant to a keyword if many other pages of the website link to that page with that keyword.
This might have worked in the past, but it does not work anymore. Google and other search engines will get suspicious if you over-use particular keyword-rich links on your website.
Over-optimizing the internal links on your website will raise a red flag. If your internal links look spammy and manipulative, search engines might penalize your website.
The better alternative
Good website navigation is very important because it helps website visitors and search engines to understand your website structure. The internal links of your website do have an influence on the search engine rankings of your website.
However, you should make sure that you use your internal links correctly. Here are some things that you should consider when you create the navigation of your website:
- It should be distinct, simple, consistent and familiar. The navigation should be separated from the main content of your website. It should be easy to find and it should not use unusual types of navigation. If your website visitors have to think about how to find a page, you will lose them. You should use the same navigation model on all pages.
- It should be clear and descriptive. Use simple and obvious terms that are easy to understand. Use descriptive captions and avoid generic captions such as ‘Products’ or ‘Services’. You can and should use keywords that are related to your business in the captions as long as they make sense.
- It should be concise, ordered and structured. Remove less important elements to make the remaining element more prominent. Put the most important items first in your navigation. Find the best way to organize the content of your website and reflect that in the structure of your website navigation.
- Don’t bury information. All pages on your website should be available with a maximum of four clicks from any other page of your site. A good method to achieve that goal is to limit the categories on your website to three levels.
Among many other things, the website audit tool in SEOprofiler helps you to find out how many clicks people need to find the pages on your website:
Focus on an easy-to-use and logical website navigation. You can use keywords in your internal links as long as the links make sense and are easy-to-understand. Do not try to manipulate the links. Natural links that make sense for human website visitors work best.
Get better rankings
There are many things that you can do to get better rankings on Google and other search engines. If you use up-to-date SEO methods that play by the rules, you will get results that last. The tools in SEOprofiler help you to do that: