This post is an excerpt from the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook
Today I’m presenting you with a task that is perhaps a little less involved than some of the days so far. I wanted to give you something that would both help improve your blog but that wouldn’t take too long to either learn or implement (although it is something that you could dedicate a lot of time to if you have time on your hands).
Your task today is to spend 10 minutes interlinking previously written posts in your archives.
Why is Interlinking Posts Powerful?
There are three main reasons why I regularly dedicate time to go back over old posts on my blog and find ways to update those posts with links to other posts on my blog.
1. Usefulness to Readers – my primary motivation for interlinking posts is to provide a better experience for those people who are reading those posts and to make my blog more useful. If a reader comes to my blog and finds a post that not only answers a question that they have but that also provides further reading and suggestions on where they can explore related topics – they’re more likely to go away from my site satisfied. A satisfied reader is what I’m aiming for – they are more likely to return (it makes your blog ‘sticky‘) and tell their network about their experience.
2. SEO – another great reason to interlink the posts on your blog is that search engines look at the links within a blog to both find content to index but also to work out how to index and rank content. Links from other blogs to your blog are the ultimate way to start ranking highly in Google – but internal links also count.
3. Increase Page Views – inserting links into old posts increases the chances of a visitor to your blog viewing more than just the one page. This has a couple of benefits – the first being that it can help you earn more from that visitor if you’re running some kind of CPM (cost per impression) advertising. The second reason is that you’re creating a bigger impression upon the person visiting your blog. I find that when someone views more than a single page on your blog that they’re more likely to remember it, subscribe to it, comment upon it and become a regular and loyal reader.
While these three benefits all seem fairly small when you think about the benefits that a single link might bring – if you start building the interlinking of posts into your daily blogging experience the accumulative impact that it can have on your blog will be significant.
How to Add Links to Old Posts
There are a variety of methods of interlinking posts from your archives. Here are three main ones that I use:
1. In post links – I find that this is the most natural way to add links to an old post. All it involves is making a keyword (or words) in your post into a link that points to another post on the topic of that keyword.
2. Updates – sometimes post in your archives become ‘dated’ and are in need of an update. There are a variety of ways to update an old post but one simple one is to write a new post on the same topic and then leave a link in your old one to the new post.
For example: One popular post here at ProBlogger is How to Market Your Blog in 2007. While the post still contains useful information on marketing a blog it was obviously written over two years ago. As a result I’ve added a link at this top of this post to a page on How to Find Readers for Your Blog that points people to a variety of resources on that topic.
3. Further Reading – many blogs have a ‘further reading’ section that appears at the bottom of each post. In most cases this is a list of ‘related’ posts that are automatically generated using a plugin. While this can sometimes provide readers with relevant results I find that adding manually chosen links for further reading can produce a more relevant experience. You can add these suggested links both at the end of the post and throughout the post itself.
Quick Tip: When linking between posts always try to make the words that you use in the link relevant keywords to the article you’re linking to. This will maximize the SEO benefits of the link and help you rank higher for those words in Google.
Make Interlinking Posts a Regular Task
While I’m suggesting that you set aside some time today to interlink some of your old posts – I’d also highly recommend that you build this practice into your blogging on a regular basis. I personally spend 10-15 minutes a week hunting for opportunities to do this but also find myself doing it in my daily blogging rhythm as I’m writing new posts.
As you write a new post train yourself to be thinking about what you’re written previously that relates to your new post. As you identify related content start to interlink your posts (you can add links in your new post to old content and/or add links in your old ones to your new content). If you force yourself to do this you’ll start to find that it becomes a more natural part of your daily posting.
Go Do It!
Take 10 minutes now to start identifying old posts that relate to one another and get going on adding a few links between them.
Update – Share your thoughts and progress with others over at the forum: Day 8 – Interlink Posts
This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.
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I used a plugin called SEO smart links to automatically add interlinks to tags and categories. T
Yet another smart task, and easily done. Which is a good thing, since I’ve got to do my taxes today.
We did a post linking to most of our older posts. Not too difficult as our blog is very young. It was a very fast way to write an article. The exercise also helped us identify a bit more the focus and branding for our blog.
We like the idea of keeping an editorial journal of your posts so you know when and what you have posted. It would make it easier to identify relevant posts for new posts.
Here is our link post:
I have short posts, parts one and two, about how making good choices is an essential part of being a highly productive person. Thanks for the idea of linking them!
I don’t think that this is to be done specially, isn’t it enough when I link to older posts while writing a new one??
I had heard some info about this before but I never really gave it a second thought because not too many people discus this.
I realize now that it is an important role in the day-to-day maintenance of a blog and SEO. Thanks for this great post and now I’m off to interlink some post!
I never thought to do this. Thanks for the task.
I am a newbie in this and I have few posts and still was doing it without knowing the real impact! thanks for letting me know! :)
I do some interlinking on a regular basis but also find that the plug–ins are of great use.
I like your additional suggestions and found that I have been doing some (like updating older posts) but that I could do it more frequently.
I am constantly interlinking my pages on my sites and have seen dramatic traffic improvement as a result of this simple yet powerful implementation….
my blog is up and running at:
but i can’t work out how to add a link within the post.
It should be a simple case of thge “add link” tool but it never seems to work.
Can anyone help?
i just found our that i do this in my blog without realizing it good got my blog, i just do it to provide further reading and sometime updat to my current post
her is my post i’m presenting for this task
sorry for the double comments but i forgot to put my link
here is my post
It sudden;y hit me; if I go back far enough there is a post about caring for one’s jewelry that was well written and could serve as a start to both interlinking (or intralinking actually) and mind mapping.
I’m a few days behind but actually wrote a few of these types of blog posts over the past few days. Here’s two examples (I’d love any comments, feedback or suggestions to improve from other readers):
Turn Off TV Week
I’ve been doing this for a while already, but I’ve never really trained myself to think of my old posts while writing new posts. I just do it when the thought pops into my head. I’ve never gone over my old post to look for a linking opportunity either, but I’m going to do that right now! :-)
I usually do this but for some reason completely forgot to with the 31 DBBB Challenge posts. This helped me clean up both in terms of keywords and in terms of an index of links. Moving forward, I’ll have an easier time of interlinking content within the 31 DBBB posts.
Here’s my index….
which upon further reflection is made irrelevant by a unique tag….oh well, that’s how to learn.
I decided to write a post on this after all. Here it is:
I touched on how we could source for related posts especially if we have a huge number of published posts. And I am not talking about 100-200, but rather 500-1000.
Was doing this already because I have some on-going series on the blog. However, this was a good time to do those link updates. Thanks, this is a useful tip.
I think I covered a few challenges with one post! I linked out to my fellow bloggers. I linked to my own past posts. And I sort of set up an interview, that will go out to more than one blogger.
I have been doing this for a while, but can do better! I started looking at my posts and found some new interlink opportunities right away. Thanks for the tip!
I’ve never done this before so it’s taking me longer than 10 minutes to link together my blog posts. But I know from now on I’ll be more mindful.
I’ve linked a series called Resolution Interviews together. The first one starts here: http://fitforfaith.blogspot.com/2009/01/bonnie-way-resolutions-interview-1.html
Yep, this is a good idea if it can really help me. I will continue to do it and see if there are any results. The only thing is that I can’t disable the pingbacks
Thanks for this tip.
I’ve tried a wordpress plugin in the past but I never managed to get it to work.
I link to previous posts within my post when relevant, but I’ve never spent time going through old posts and linking them together. Just linked some now – it’s going to take quite a while to work my way through all the old posts.
I usually link to older, related posts to inform new readers or remind my regular readers of what I’m talking about. I didn’t know that interlinking improved SEO!
I’m also guilty of saying I need to add a “related posts” footer to each of my posts, and never doing it… Today is the day!
@Paula: I’ll be looking for a WP plugin later this afternoon, so if I find a good one that is easy to get up and running I will let you know. If I don’t find one, I’ll probably just code some PHP, so I will come back and let you know about that if that’s the case. (:
Yikes, my comment says it was posted May 8th at 2:30 am but it’s definitely still May 7th at 12:30 pm!
The plugin I tried was called ‘related’.
Thanks for the article! From the comments I was able to find the Yet another related post plugin to use in my blog to help with this task too!
I did not feel that interlinking blog posts on such a new blog was going to have much impact, but have found that my specific readers are not as websavy as those who might be following a 31DBBB course, so I used this interlinking task to write a short tutorial on using and navigating the blog. It is interlinking on the blog, but not entirely in the way intended when Darren wrote this task
You can see this particular post here:
@Paula: I found a great plugin: WordPress Related Posts. I’m using it at my personal blog and will begin implementing it with my other blogs, now that I know it has no bugs. (:
@Elizabeth: thanks for this. I’ve installed this plugin now and found it really user-friendly.
I actually do this on a weekly basis (at least). I often do an update on popular posts from the past. A few examples would be:
I didn’t do this originally, but about a year ago I started trying to add links at the end of each post, and I do think it has helped to increase traffic and subscribers. I try to link to my most popular posts where relevant.
Nice to have an easy assignment. Thanks. I needed a breather!
thank you, I have never run your strategy, it seems reasonable and very good for seo, I’ll try to test
Do you just link to that posts url or do you use anchor text?
I’ve read somewhere recently that you should do this using anchor text? That didn’t seem right somehow to me?
Great way to boost not only the performance, but also the SEO qualities of blogging. I think interlinking should be done with Anchor text as Mandy suggests.
Great post. Am going to have to see if I can trawl through the sea of blogging I have done in order to link these up!
@Mandy: I believe using Anchor Text is the best way to do this.
I’ve finally got enough posts to be able to interlink a few – yippee! I’ve not got enough to use the in post option but instead have added a ‘Related Posts’ bit at the end of each post that I decide on manually rather than using a plugin. This enables me to be a bit wider on the ‘related’ issue until I get a few more posts! I’ve also recently made a weekly timetable of the various tasks related to blogging and have assigned time for interlinking posts in there to remind me.
I’ve done this step for all my posts in the past, it’s really useful to bring your readers to previous relevant post. It could increases your page views, and better SEO too. :)