Build SEO and Reader Retention
By Interlinking Old Blog Posts
Day 8 of the 31DBBB Challenge brings us to “Interlink Your Old Blog Posts”!
This is a critical task for bloggers but can be daunting if you don’t know where to begin or why its even something you MUST do!
Interlinking serves three primary purposes:
- Provide More Insightful Content For Your Reader
- Increase Your Page Views – which improves your reader’s time on site – which then improves both the time you have to build relationships with them & the likelihood of them clicking one of your affiliate links.
- SEO – this is about “on page SEO” and is all about linking posts to words that are related to that post (also know as using the right anchor text)
Interlinking is a two-way street…
- Old Posts<——>New Posts & New Posts <——> Old Posts
- Popular Posts <——> Everyday Posts & Everyday Posts <——> Popular Posts
By now, if you haven’t done this already, your eyes have probably gone wide and started to glass over in fear… “oh my… you mean I’ve got to link everything to …everything?!?!” you might be saying…
Well… actually… yes!
Come back here!
Hold on! Wait up! I wasn’t done yet! LOL!
Whew, welcome back!
Now, there are a couple of ways to approach this.
To a large portion you WILL have to go through old posts and add your links from new posts into their content by hand. That’s for links within the post.
However, we have a number of plugins that can help us with other aspects of this and help us out even more as we move forward.
1. Related Post Plugins
There are three related posts plugins I like that are all related but slightly different. You only need one, but take your pick.(There are plenty of others but these are my pick of the litter.)
- Yet Another Related Post Plugin – Like a grown up, better behaved version of WordPress Related Posts, YARPP is pretty much the “gold standard for a simple, easy to use related post plugin with a high relevancy rate. It’s got enough settings to be useful and not enough that you’ll hate it. It’s new caching helps reduce its resource use. Creates a text link list based on a relevancy score it generates.
- LinkWithin – Gives very pretty links that, if majority of them have post images, will include pictures. No control over which posts are displayed. Not in the WordPress Plugin Repository.
- Microkid’s Related Posts – Lets you search for and select which pages are displayed. Creates reciprocal links between the two pages. Gives you finite control. Must remember to use it. Creates a text link list. ShortCode feature also lets you only call it when you need it, if you prefer that.
2. In-Content Linking
- Automatically. [Caution, plugin is very resource intensive]: Cross-Linker Plugin (I can’t run this one due to resource use.)
- Semi-Automatically [Recommended]: SEO Smart Linksby Vladimir Prelovac – This is one of my favorite SEO plugins and works in addition to most of the big SEO plugin sets. SEO Smart links allows you to set up your own keywords and set of matching URLs. It can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. (This is a great little plugin for many reasons.)
Now I wish I could say that there was any way to reduce the initial time its going to take to link up all your old posts to your new ones and to set everything up in SEO Smart Links, but unfortunately there isn’t really.
However, once you make interlinking a part of your day-to-day activities, and start linking all of your new posts to your old ones, then the work over time decreases.
Those three primary purposes above may seem like little easy to skip over things… but those are the very “make it or break it” kinds of things that make a blog a success or a flop. If you don’t make life easy for your reader, if you can’t keep them on your page, and if you won’t take care of your basic SEO functions… then its going to be a long, slow, grueling climb to the top.
Are you interlinking your old posts? Are you doing it all by hand or using any particular plugin? Which plugin is your favorite? Do you have any advice for the community that can make this easier? Do you take advantage of a site’s “related post” list or “suggested reading” list? What about links from within the post?
Bookmark and share this post if you found it useful and be sure to leave me your thoughts in the comment box below!
PS: And if you happen to write some series style posts (which are good for seo/retention too), you might find the In-Series plugin useful to help keeping them all straight and linked together!