Last Updated on December 28, 2021 by Scott Charleboix
There are 4 easy ways to use your site navigation and Leverage it to build Internal Links. Your site navigation is included on nearly every single page of your website, so it offers a tempting opportunity to quickly build a large number of internal links containing your target keyword: simply rename one of your navigation items to include your target keyword and voilà! — instant links. However, there are a few gotchas to look out for when using descriptive keywords in your site navigation. In this post, I’ll show you the right way to use your site navigation to build the Page External Relevancy of your target page.
4 easy ways to use your Site Navigation
Don’t let SEO concerns impede good usability
Don’t get so carried away with your desire to rank #1 that you let SEO considerations override all else. Clear and easy to understand site navigation is critical to enabling your site visitors to find what they’re looking for. And isn’t that why you have a website in the first place? So rule #1 is to only integrate keywords into your site navigation if you can do so in a manner that still makes sense for users.
If you can’t, or if space considerations don’t allow you to fit your entire keyword into your navigation, consider adding the keyword to the link’s title attribute instead. This doesn’t carry as much weight as using the keyword in the anchor text, but it does provide one more clue to search engines as to what the target page is about.
Integrate the target keyword into the navigation in a consistent manner
Add a link to your target page with anchor text which includes your target keyword (eg, “tap dancing shoes”), a portion of your target keyword (eg “tap shoes”), or a semantically-related variation of your target keyword (eg, “shoes for tap dancing”). It’s more important to make your keyword-enhanced navigation link consistent with the rest of your site navigation than it is to include the exact keyword, so make sure the link fits cleanly within your navigation hierarchy and site design. Remember: internal links are just one of many hints you’re providing to the search engines to help them easily understand what your target page is about.
Be wary of triggering an over-optimization penalty
If your site navigation appears on many pages, including keywords within your navigation links can trigger an over-optimization penalty from Google if Google considers your page to have an unnaturally high percentage of links with anchor text matching the keyword. Over-optimization penalties are particularly a consideration when you’re targeting a popular commercial keyword (like “credit cards” or “Houston foreclosure attorney”). If that’s the case, and your page doesn’t already have a number of inbound links containing other anchor texts, you may want to avoid using the exact keyword in your navigation links. Instead, try a less commercial but still semantically relevant variant, like “Apply for a Credit Card” or “Our Foreclosure Practice”).
Install the plug-in called Internal Juice Linker
It’s a handy dandy plug-in that you go to the post, find the keywords that you want to have links made automatically and the plug-in takes over from there. It’s so easy I wish I would have found this a lot sooner.
NOTE: When you write your blog posts, make sure that there’s some sort of reference and contextual link to your home page.
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PinArtwork: The post, build your site architecture for optimal SEO will be of great value for you to build sitelinks. Sitelinks are those internal links that you see when you do a Google search. Good website site architecture makes sure users and search engine crawlers can move easily through your site. It helps users know “What do I do here?” and “Where do I go next?”