Want to save time and improve your SEO? Then you might want to look at trying LinkWhisper and optimizing your internal links.
Most people who have spent a little time researching and learning SEO will be familiar with the concept and benefits of building backlinks (Those links from external websites that point to yours) however many people tend to under-appreciate the importance of internal links, at least from my experience and the conversations I have had.
Today we are going to look at the importance of internal links, how to use them and we will review a new WordPress plugin called LinkWhisper (visit site) that I have been using because it makes things so much easier and it saves a lot of time.
And if you know anything about me, you will know I’m a big fan of productivity hacks.
What are Internal Links?
For those who are unfamiliar, an internal link is a link on your website on any page that points to another page on your web domain, hence “internal”.
An internal link is the alternative to an external link where you would link to another web domain.
These links allow you to create a user journey for your visitors to help them browse deeper into your website or blog and provides context to Google about your related articles and content.
Here’s the anatomy of a link or hyperlink.
With an internal link, the part inside the href would be the URL you want to link to and the text between the > and the closing tag is the anchor text.
Why Are Internal Links Important?
When you have a medium-to-large sized website or blog and have maybe 100 posts and pages or more you might find some of your articles don’t have many or even any internal links sending them traffic. This is because it’s very difficult for both humans and Google to find them.
That’s why a good internal link structure is important.
In the above image, you will see an optimized internal link structure. The homepage contains links to the main site categories which in turn link out to posts within that topic cluster and then the posts link to one another, both in their own category and when relevant between categories too.
Since most websites and blogs are about a singular but broader category and the site’s categories act as ways to sub-categorize this content into groups, this usually works fine.
Adding internal links to your pages and posts helps your website in several ways:
- People spend longer on your site as they navigate between related content instead of ending the visit on the first page
- They can help you to inform Google which pages or posts are the most important (since they will likely have more internal links)
- Reduced bounce rate, this might not be a direct SEO factor but the longer people spend on your site the more chance they will convert. It will also increase the users dwell time, which might be a factor if the user has come from a Google search before visiting your site.
- You can also inform Google of the context of each hyperlink destination by optimizing the anchor text (Mentioned above)
- This is how you create content clusters (a series of related articles that are all interlinked) and this is a great way to build your topical relevance on a subject in the eyes of Google.
A bounce is when someone visits one page on your website and then leaves without looking at a second page. The idea is to keep your bounce rate down. On the other hand, there’s the metric of dwell time, this is the amount of time someone spends on your website, you want your dwell time to be high.
In short, more internal links can both lower your bounce rate and increase your dwell time. If you are monetizing your website with paid ads this will naturally lead to more ad revenue.
Building internal links is a vital part of the website management and editing process and should be done routinely and retroactively, seeding links to new articles from your older and more established pieces to help give the new post a headstart.
In the past, this involved a lot of manual work or the use of various SEO Tools or Google Search Console to help you work out how many links each page and post has and where they are coming from so you can have an overview of how your content is structured.
You would also likely need to rely on the use of a spreadsheet to store the information and keep that up to date and organized.
With a new plugin called LinkWhisper from Spencer Haws of NichePursuits, this can all be managed from your WordPress dashboard and also adds a series of features to make it easier to find and add new internal links.
This plugin not only saves you heaps of time doing research and admin to keep records of your internal links but it also helps you find internal link opportunities that you might otherwise have missed.
Whether you are a blogger or a niche website builder you want to start reviewing how many internal links each piece of content has and consider adding more to increase that number making sure of course to link between relevant content with a good mix of anchor text including exact keyword match anchor texts and some generic anchor texts to balance things out and avoid over-optimization.
How Does LinkWhisper Work?
Once you have installed LinkWhisper on your WordPress site you will have a new menu item available appropriately titled “LinkWhisper” that contains a few sub-pages.
The “Reports” page will list out all of your posts, pages, and archives and display the number of inbound internal links and outbound internal links as well as the number of outbound external links.
The below image shows how that looks for me and you can see the expanded sections make it easy to see which pages are linking to this post.
Having this overview is extremely powerful and is a tool I wish I had years ago but I’m very happy it exists now and Spencer took the liberty of building it.
The “Settings” page allows you to configure various options including which post types and taxonomies to include in your reports, the ability to add words to ignore in the suggested links feature and various debugging tools.
In addition to these global settings the report overview, LinkWhisper also adds a new meta box to your edit post or page screen. This is the LinkWhisper Suggested Links tool that will scan your content and look for opportunities to link to existing posts and pages on your site.
This is a quick and convenient option that assists you when you are writing an article and when you go back to do a content audit to improve some of your older content.
You can also add new internal links from the main report screen too by clicking the “Add” button underneath each result to generate suggested internal links.
Below is an example of how that looks for one of my articles.
If you want to find the pages and posts on your site that have the most authority you can use ahrefs, SEMRush or Moz.com by inserting your web domain and taking a look to see which content has the highest rating and traffic. You can also use Google Search Console, go to the “links” feature and this will show you which pages and posts on your site have the most backlinks and internal links.
Then when you want to add powerful internal links to new or existing content you will have an idea of which posts to link from.
Here’s a video by the product creator that explains a bit more about how to use the tool.
LinkWhisper Review & Conclusion
I have absolutely no reservations about recommending LinkWhisper to anyone. If you want to improve your SEO and optimize your blog or website (and you should) then it’s definitely worth giving this plugin a try and going through a content audit to see if some of your content lacks internal links.
By adding new internal links on this website using LinkWhisper across the vast majority of my blog posts I have seen a very nice uptick in organic traffic and keyword rankings. Some articles have benefited more than others but this was the only big change or experiment I tried within the two month period so I’m confident it’s a result of the work done on seeding internal links and connecting up related posts into content clusters.
Other benefits of this plugin include the fact that Spencer and his developer have been tirelessly at work since launch adding new features and refining the system that finds the most relevant keywords to turn into new internal links. I expect this will continue as this plugin is still young but already proving it’s well worth the cost of the license.
For single sites the license is $67 annually, a 3-site license comes to $97 and a 10 site license costs $147. So if you are a series blog manager or niche site builder then the 10 site license is a no brainer.
When you are doing affiliate marketing, traffic is important and optimizing your internal links with LinkWhisper can make a big difference in your traffic and search engine rankings so this plugin should really pay for itself quite quickly if you have a semi-established site.
One question I have been asked a few times about LinkWhisper is how the links are added and if they are easy to remove. Fortunately, when internal links are created automatically they can be set so they are marked up like any other link so to remove them it’s the same as removing any link and it also means if you turn the plugin off your links will remain in working order. Two things that could potentially hold you back from wanting to use a tool like this that fortunately can be controlled.
While there are no guarantees in this world that you will suddenly have lots more traffic, in most of the cases I have seen so far where LinkWhisper has been used properly, it has led to improved traffic and rankings.
This is the case in my own testing so far, in the testing of the plugins creator Spencer Haws and in the experience of many other reviews the plugin has had so far.
Don’t get me wrong the idea of an automated internal link tool on the surface is a scary prospect, there have been other plugins in the past that added internal links but these lacked the kind of targeting and flexibility that’s available in LinkWhisper. These tools ended up making your site looking spammy by including lots of keywords that seemed out of place or links that were out of context without you being able to easily remove them and avoid it happening in the future.
LinkWhisper is different and a tool I will continue to test on this site and a small handful of other niche websites I manage and I will update this article if anything changes.
Give it a try, there’s a complete refund policy if you don’t find it useful but I’m pretty confident that after you have used this plugin you won’t be able to live without it in the future. It turns a tedious task into something that is a breeze and only takes a few minutes of your time and when time is money, every hour saved really matters.
Of course, if you are on an extremely tight budget the price might put you off and it might be money better spent elsewhere. You can always do it the old fashioned way by using Google Search Console‘s Link tool, or other SEO tools combined with a spreadsheet but for me the time saved is worth more than the cost of entry and since using it I have seen great results.
Some tasks are hard to find time for if they are laborious and boring, but this plugin removes any friction preventing me from keeping my internal links on point.
You can learn more about LinkWhisper and watch more tutorials here.