Everyone knows that internal links are important for many reasons.
They improve crawlability, pass link equity, relevance, and so on.
When you build out a content cluster around a specific topic, you'll make sure the articles contain contextual links to your pillar pages you want to rank the most within that cluster.
Suppose you want to add contextual links later on.
In that case, tools like Link Whisper can help spot opportunities and manage internal links in general.
But there isn't always an existing link opportunity within the content of a page, even if it's a great link source (relevant, receives organic traffic, and has external inbound links).
You have to add or edit whole paragraphs or at least sentences to place the link with a relevant anchor text.
That can be time-consuming, can sometimes mess-up readability, and you have to figure out a whole sentence to ensure the anchor text you want to use makes sense.
But there's an easy solution that not many SEOs talk about.
Many big content and news sites do this but less optimally.
Step 1: Know Where to Link Out From
Go through your top ranking pages in Google Search Console and pages with the most referring domains in Ahrefs.
Make a list of every page relevant to the target page you want to rank and ideally has both good organic traffic and some referring domains.
Of course, omit pages that already have a contextual link to your target page.
Step 2: Know Your Long-Tails
Check out what variations and secondary keywords the top ranking competitors for your main keyword also rank for.
Alternatively, you can look at what queries the page you want to rank gets impressions for in Google Search Console.
Find about as many unique variations as internal links you want to add.
Step 3: Come Up With Unique Titles
Write unique titles for your target page based on variations you researched in the previous step.
Let's assume your main target keyword of the page you want to rank is "best vacuum cleaner", and you found three related pages you want to place links on.
You analyzed the top-ranking results for that keyword and found that they also rank for:
- vacuum cleaner reviews
- best vacuum cleaner for carpet
- top rated vacuum cleaners
You would then come up with these three titles:
- Vacuum Cleaner Reviews: Top 10 Vacuums 2020
- The Best Vacuum Cleaner for Carpet (Buying Guide)
- 10 Top Rated Vacuum Cleaners You Should Buy
Just one step to go...
Step 4: Add Links as Simple In-line CTAs
All you have to do now is add these titles as simple in-line CTAs within the running text of the pages you want to link out from.
RELATED: Vacuum Cleaner Reviews: Top 10 Vacuums 2020
Or like this:
ALSO READ: The Best Vacuum Cleaner for Carpet (Buying Guide)
Of course, always linking the title to the target page.
No callout box design or anything is needed for this.
Just put these in their own paragraph and maybe bold them.
Spread them throughout the content if you add more than one of such internal links to a page.
Why Use This Technique?
It saves time because less editing is needed.
It's easier to write titles that include keyword variations than rewrite sentences to fit an internal link with relevant anchor text.
If your titles are well-written, the probability of someone clicking on them is higher than someone clicking on an entirely contextual link blended into the running text.
It's better than just using the target page's existing title or adding navigation elements (eg. static related posts widgets).
That's what many big sites do.
But it doesn't add any additional relevance signals if you just repeat the same anchor text over and over that you already send to the page from category archives and so on.
So don't do that.
Use this as an alternative to editing sentences and as a way to link out from semi-relevant pages that might otherwise not contain an excellent contextual opportunity.
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See how well this works? I don't mention traffic here once.
But using this technique, I can still add a contextual internal link that's even more likely to attract clicks than a standard one.