Text Links and On-Page SEO

Internal text links are a method of interlinking pages within a single domain. If implemented properly, internal text links can not only contribute to better search engine rankings, but to also make your website more user-friendly by allowing in-text navigational options for site visitors. The internal text link is different than a traditional navigational link, and appears within textual content, as opposed to a formated navigational block.

Structure of a Text Link

A text link is made up of two basic parts, the anchor text (the text which is linked generally appearing as a different color than the surrounding text and/or highlighted by an underline), and the destination link (the URL/page to which the link is pointing).

How to Use Text Links

Thinking about text links as textual markers to additional information or resources will help you to not only use them properly, but perhaps more importantly to not abuse them. Text links are words or phrases within sentences and paragraphs which link to appropriate and relevant content which helps expand on a subject without encroaching on the current line of thought or information.

For example, if you operate a website selling widgets, on a particular page you may talk about how beneficial it is to have a blue widget, and within that content you make a mention of the importance of maintaining your widget well.

Instead of having an entire section about widget maintenance on the same page where you are touting the benefits of blue widgets, you can link from that page to the widget maintenance tutorial page (assuming you have one–you should have one if you don’t already). This will help guide both users and search engines to additional information you have published on your website about widgets.

Example Blue widgets are extremely useful in keeping a household budget; however, to make sure that the widget performs at highest efficiency, it is important to maintain your widget in the best condition possible.

Link Destination Consistency

Link destination consistency refers to a website’s internal linking structure and the idea that the target pages for specific keywords should not change from link to link.

For example, if you are linking the word ‘widget(s)’ five times from multiple areas on your site, all those links should point to the same page on your site, instead of a few pointing to widgets.html and a couple to red-widget.html.

This helps promote the relevancy of widget.html to the keyword ‘widget(s)’. Of course, if there are abbreviations, contractions, or other representations of the same topic on your site which are being linked, then those should be pointed to the same destination as well.

Anchor Text Variety

Just like the importance of being consistent, it is essential to have natural variety as part of your search engine optimization efforts. This is doubly true for your link profile, both internal and external. Since you have absolute control over your internal links, it is important to take full advantage of this opportunity and make sure that there is natural variety in your anchor text.

Anchor text variety is the process of using similar but varied anchor text for linking to pages dedicated to the subject topic.

For example, your website may have a page about ‘widget services,’ and of course your goal should be to link to that page consistently with keywords that describe the content closely; at the same time, it is important to make sure that not every link pointing to the ‘widget services’ page has the same anchor text.

Let’s say that you have five links from across your site pointing to your ‘widget services’ page. Below are examples of what a varied link profile would look like (as compared to five links with ‘widget services’ as the anchor text).

  • widget services
  • widget repair
  • widget repair services
  • widget service
  • affordable widget services

As you’ll note, these are very similar terms, but they introduce variety into the internal link profile which doesn’t make your internal link effort look forced and spammy.