Yes, external backlinks are essential in SEO (more on that in the next chapter.), but having a proper structure of internal links is equally important. No matter how successful a piece of content is, there’s a big chance the traffic will gradually decrease unless you keep it fresh and updated. The thing is that as an author, you can’t “bluff” your way through 2,000-5,000 words on your topic.
Think about “how to make the post as relevant as possible”, not “how to stuff the post with keywords so that Google thinks it’s relevant”. What they mean is that you should find synonyms and related keywords and “sprinkle them” across the page to make sure Google knows what it’s about. If it contains the focus keyword, you let Google know what the page you’re linking to is about. You can actually do more harm than good by trying to use the keyword a certain number of times in your text. When selecting the topics for your content, remember that there are various types of search intent – informational, navigational, transactional and commercial.
Another great source of keywords with featured snippets is the so-called “People also ask” box that often appears below the featured snippet. A great place to start is a keyword research tool where you can look specifically for “question” keywords. If your blog content area width is 800px, it is an overkill to use 2500px-wide images. If your hosting has a poor server response time, there’s little you can do with any further optimization. Not only for the obvious reasons but also because the usage of HTTPS protocol has become a minor ranking signal in 2014. In other words, your website may perform worse in Google if you don’t use HTTPS.
And to earn those rankings – to nail that “Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness” qualifier from Google – you must be a subject matter expert. Today, I never create blogs below 2,000 words, if my goal is to rank for a focus keyword. Many people are afraid of linking to other websites as they don’t want to “send their visitors away”. The truth is, linking to other quality resources can be good for you from an how to do affiliate marketing point.
Once the new post or page is published, add a couple of internal links from other topically-relevant pages. These links include contextual in-text links or “further reading” boxes that link to other pages from your website that might be interesting for your visitor. Besides the structural internal links, it is a good practice to also link to other relevant pages from within the page body. Unlike external links, internal links are fully in your hands.