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Increase Your Blog Traffic With A Clever Internal Linking Strategy

Increase Blog Traffic

It’s easy to forget your own blog when you spend a lot of time searching for traffic opportunities elsewhere.

Off-site traffic is definitely good to have, BUT—

  • What about your current visitors?
  • How do you keep them on your blog instead of driving them outside?
  • What about your bounce rate?

Believe it or not, the most important traffic source is your blog. That’s why an optimal internal linking strategy can only bring benefits on both your on-site and off-site traffic.

Let’s see why.

It’s Traffic, It’s SEO

The vitality of your blog starts on your blog itself.

When you take care of your blog and you put your visitors first, you will do anything in your power to make your blog irresistibly interesting and to offer your visitors all you can to keep them from visiting other resources but the content you offer.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add outbound links at all, only that your own content is your priority instead of outside resources.

A clever use of keywords and inter-posts linking will help you achieve this goal and keep traffic on your blog.

As Cormac Reynolds says:

Cormac Reynolds

Cormac Reynolds

Internal links are a great way to pass juice from other pages on your site to those you want to rank. Using internal keywords to interlink pages naturally and allow users the chance to navigate in a natural manner helps lower bounce rates and keep people on-site. Additionally, using keyword anchor text within the site is no hard either once done naturally and may also help distribute juice and rank pages.

Your search engine and traffic optimization starts on-page, with a clever internal linking strategy.

It might sound obvious, but believe me, it isn’t — many bloggers look for outside traffic and backlinks first and only turn to internal links when they realize their efforts are not paying off.

No amount of off-site strategy will make it without a great on-page, site-wide strategy first. If your users can’t find what they are looking for on your blog, they will look elsewhere and they might not come back.

Choose your anchor text keywords wisely. Don’t overoptimize and keep your anchor text natural and flowing well with the remainder of the content.

It must make sense, too.

Do NOT use nofollow tags on internal links. For example, Wikipedia links out with nofollow but never uses it to link to internal pages.

Use as many links as needed, but don’t link twice to the same page — I see this tactic used often on overoptimized blogs but it doesn’t make sense for the user and it might wind up being a trigger for search engine penalties.

Play it safe for your user and your SEO.

How To Organize Your Internal Linking For A Winning Blog Traffic Strategy

☑ Start with your blog posts posts and find correlations. Make it a to-do to audit your entire blog to find which posts relate more to each other, then interlink them.

You may need some time to do this if your blog is very populated.

☑ Interlink PDFs with blog posts. Don’t just link to your PDF content from blog posts and pages, but also link back to your relevant blog posts from within PDFs.

PDF is a format that search engines can scan for content and links and often convert in HTML for HTML-only viewers, so the advantage is great in this sense.

☑ Find posts that go in detail about something mentioned in pages or comments, then link to them. Your pages and your helpful comment replies

David Leonhardt, president at THGM Writers, does it, too:

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt

I look for tie-ins to previous posts.  In most cases, I just add the link contextually; in other cases, I add a centered line on its own… “Read also:  URL”

But more importantly, I try to refer to services we offer and link to those landing/sales pages. Since my posts are generally about writing, I can usually find a reason to link to the sales page for our speechwriting services or our book writing services or our blog writing services.

☑ Homepage links are important (but other blog elements are more). Homepage links help navigation, but they can’t be the focus of your internal linking strategy for traffic, because these links are introductory and will rarely change.

It’s links between posts, pages and other contents (PDFs, etc.) that count (see previous points).

Not one page or blog post of your blog should be isolated — your blog is a small network, a Web in miniature! Make sure every piece of content gets found.

Lukasz Zelezny from summarizes the internal linking strategy pretty well:

Lukasz Zelezny

Lukasz Zelezny

Effective internal link building is just as important in my opinion as outbound linking.  Especially when you’re linking to your blog as this is where you can build trust and encourage people to purchase the product or service that you are offering.

To start with, you want to focus on your menu bars.  Make sure there is a menu bar on every page and that it has a link to your blog in it.  Next go down to your footer – this is often ignored by website owners but it’s another great place to include blog links, as well as links to the latest posts on your site.

Next, put your sidebar to work if you have one.  This is another great place to display your latest blog posts and blog comments.  If someone browsing your homepage sees something interesting, they’ll click on it and stay on your site longer increasing your chance of conversion.

Finally, make sure that all of your new blog posts contain links to older ones.  This is a great way of bringing old posts to life and will keep your best posts easily accessible.  Remember to optimise the anchors to match the SEO title tag on the destination post.

Once your blog is well linked inside, you can leverage this aspect to help new visitors jump from a post to another in order to find what they are looking for.

Now is the time to increase your incoming traffic from the outside Web! ;)


How do you link internally in your blog? How did you improve your overall blog traffic? Share your views and experience in the comments below. :)

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18 Ways To Get Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews - What are they saying about you?

Photo Credit: Gayla Baer (cc)

How can you encourage customers to leave reviews for your business?

Our Brandon wrote a great post in August 2014 on 13 ways to get online customer reviews, but I thought to write a follow up to his post, because the more alternatives you can keep in your toolbox, the better.

A word of advice: when you encourage reviews, do not encourage positive reviews— just reviews. Leave it up to the customer to feel about your products and services how they really feel; don’t manipulate them into writing positively for you.

That is how it works in a natural context and it is how it should be.

18 More Ways To Get Customer Reviews

1. Ask in your email signature

Every time you send out business emails, add a line to your email signature like “Loved our product/service? You can leave us a review at this link”.

It makes it easier for your recipients to know where to go to leave a review for your product or service.

2. Email reminder 1-2 weeks after purchase

Like eBay and Amazon do all the time, send automated email reminders 1-2 week after purchase and encourage your customers to leave a review for your products or services.

3. Facebook, LinkedIn and Yelp reviews

Follow the platform’s guidelines, but also give customers a chance to know they can post reviews there by adding a badge or a link on your website to let customers know they can review or recommend you on Facebook, LinkedIn and Yelp.

4. Insert a review field in a customer satisfaction survey

You can integrate this with #2 in this list. Simply insert a review field in your customer satisfaction survey and let your customers voice out their opinion.

Always make it clear that you will be collecting opinion either to improve your products or to display on your website (you always need permission for this).

5. Ask your email list

Ask your subscribers for reviews, either for your website (see #7 and #8 in this list) or as email replies that you will collect and publish (with permission) on your website (see also #9 about this).

6. Offer an non-monetary incentive in exchange of customer reviews

Non-monetary to allow even customers from countries where it’s forbidden to receive incentives for reviews or contests.

7. Offer an “If you want to review this product…” checklist

You can offer guidelines and checklists for reviewing your product directly on your product page, thus indirectly encouraging users to leave reviews and ratings.

8. Open your site for reviews

Do it like DeviantART allows artists to receive comments and art critiques on their artworks— let users comment and review your products directly on your website.

Also, if you got reviews elsewhere, integrate links and RSS feeds for visitors to read more reviews there.

9. Ask for social media comments and collect them in a page on your site

This is different from Facebook reviews and LinkedIn recommendations— you are not asking customers to use the review features of some social media sites, but to leave ordinary comments to your posts about your product or service and what you will do is… to simply collect these comments (as screenshots or widgets) in a page of your website, like testimonials.

Of course, ask your customers for permission to use the comments, first.

10. Add a poll to your website

This is similar to #4. Ask your new and recurring customers for an opinion of your website and add a text field for them to put their thoughts in words, too.

That will be the most important piece of the poll– your review.

11. List your products/services on dedicated niche sites

For example, if you sell books and e-books, you can list them on Goodreads and get the natural reviews that will come from users who read them. You could also add a Goodreads badge to your website to encourage feedback.

This is applicable to any dedicate niche site with reviews that you see fitting your case.

12. List your products on Amazon

If you haven’t already, list your products on Amazon.

Amazon users are known to leave reviews for their purchases, so you can leverage this natural benefit of the platform to get customer reviews.

You can always encourage reviews by adding your request for reviews to your product packaging or on your service feedback email.

See also point #15 below.

13. Interview customers about their purchases

Give your customers a chance to get interviewed for their purchases and how satisfied they were with them. Most customers will appreciate the opportunity to see their name on your site!

Of course, make it opt-in and even better if you make it a sweepstakes.

You can add this request to your “Thanks for your purchase” email message.

14. Create a discussion forum around your products/services

If you have the resources to create and maintain a discussion forum on your website, by all means create one and add subforums for each of your product categories.

In the registration agreement or in the guidelines for the forum usage, then, add that you welcome users to review your products in each category subforum.

This will give your customers a good chance to discuss your products online, in the good and in the bad (don’t moderate negative reviews, just encourage common sense respect on the boards).

15. Add a request for reviews to your product packaging

If you package your products — either physically in a box or an envelope, or digitally in a .ZIP file or in an email or download page –  you can add a request for reviews to it.

You can use input from #1 and #13 in this list to create your message.

16. Use MyBlogU and forums to ask for reviews

You can create a Brainstorm project (at MyBlogU) or a forum thread to ask the community for honest reviews of your products or services.

In this case, the product or service should be available for free or at least under free trial usage.

17. Encourage in-depth comments on your business blog

Comments can be reviews themselves, so encourage your customers to leave in-depth feedback about the topic (related to your product or service) of the blog post.

18. Make a monthly review contest for your customers community

If you built a community around your business and products (blog, forum, email list), invite the pool of your registered customers to join a review contest every month.

Your customers may help you to get new products or services launched by using them for free for their reviews, for example. Or beta them and then review them. In this case, the contest winner may keep the product or service for free.

Also read HubSpot’s “A Marketer’s Guide to Accumulating Awesome Online Reviews” and CrazyEgg’s “5 Clever Ways to Get Customer Reviews That Convert” for more ideas.

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