It’s a fact; a strong SEO strategy must include an internal linking strategy as well.
Why? Internal links forward and guide consumers around your digital material and notify search engine crawlers about the structure of your website. They are small but mighty, basic yet complicated.
On practically every webpage on the internet, there are internal links. Even if you are unaware of it, you undoubtedly already use them. (Hint: even this blog post contains a few.)
You must comprehend how internal links function, where to put them, and why they are important if you want to optimize your internal linking strategy and make your overall content recognizable to search engines.
What is internal linking?
Internal links connect pages that are part of the same domain. They differ greatly from external links and how they function, as external linking leads to pages of other websites.
Every website that has multiple pages should use internal linking to connect them.
Think of the front page of your website. You most likely have a menu that leads to other internal pages on your site, on the top navigation. These could include your contact, shop, and ‘about’.
What makes internal linking crucial for SEO?
- Site architecture
- Improved link equity
Having internal links pointing to a single domain increases your chances of being ranked and enables search engine crawlers to index more content.
Internal linking is a pretty much straightforward matter of site construction, and search engines anticipate it. Every website has a design and architecture, like this silo concept, that maintains them logically organized.
Of course, site structure and architecture can get much more complicated as pictured here.
However, search engines will crawl, index, and rank your website if it has a strong internal linking strategy and structure.
During an eye-opening training about internal linking at SEO Copywriting Agency, we learned the following straightforward step. Stefanos Hagistefanou, SEO specialist and performance manager, mentioned that some of the top SEO practices and Google recommend that all of the content of a website should be accessible within just 3x clicks.
Internal linking is a crucial component of your user experience as it helps your audience find relevant content or exactly what they’re looking for, increasing dwell time to other pages of your website.
5 reasons why internal linking for SEO is so important
Internal linking constitutes one of the best tools in SEO
You may ask why is that, and we will simply respond that it is effective.
Since the beginning of SEO, Google’s machine-learning algorithm has advanced significantly. Nowadays, tricking the system is practically impossible.
Despite how sophisticated the algorithm is, there are still easy tweaks you can make to improve your SEO right away without abusing the search engines.
Internal contextual links to relevant pages are definitely one go-to. It’s a process that is not tricking the google search console, and it is not difficult to do either.
As mentioned by Stefanos Hagistefanou, without well-planned internal links, there could be pages completely unattached to the rest of your website (the so-called Orphaned pages), and this is definitely not encouraged.
Hagistefanou compares what internal links to a website are to what electricity is to a home. He specifically said, “if you build an extra bedroom on your home, but you forget to wire it, that room won’t have any power even if the rest of the house does.”
Now, let’s have a more in detail look at its advantages.
1. Assists Google in Indexing Your Site
To locate and index websites, Google’s crawler uses internet link pathways.
Strong (and definitely not broken) internal links make it simpler for the Google crawler to find the fresh and unique information you publish on your website.
The web is frequently searched for new information by Google’s bots. Crawling happens much faster if your material consists of multiple internal links and connections. Thus, your content will be indexed in a snappier, more sustainable manner.
And overall, your SEO can benefit from better indexing and crawling.
2. Increases the Backlink-Earning Potential of Deep Content Pages
Have a thorough look at the sources of the majority of the backlinks to your website. There will likely be a lot of links that direct visitors to your homepage.
This is what is typically seen when comparing deep page backlinks to homepage backlinks:
Unfortunately, having too many backlinks to your main page can hurt your SEO. This is called over-optimizing and should by all means be avoided.
You need to see the pie chart backward. Most of your external links ought to go too deep internal sites rather than your home page.
This is due to the fact that visitors rarely find the kind of in-depth information they seek on home pages.
Whenever a website doesn’t actively market and create fresh material, its link profile appears as follows:
The majority of the website’s links lead to social profiles or common pillar pages like “About” or “Contact” and the web page gains minimum SEO benefit from this.
By establishing obvious click routes and indexation across the entire website, a robust internal linking structure can increase the link juice earning potential of the internal pages.
Why? because you are improving the distribution of your links and raising the site’s crawl timing and positioning.
3. Improves the site’s overall power by directing visitors to internal pages
Part of the link value from links directed to your website’s homepage are passed on to internal pages.
“Link juice” is a common term used to describe this.
When Page 1 connects to Page 2, “link juice” passes from Page 1 to Page 2, boosting Page 2’s position in the search results page (SERP).
The structure of a website can be made more tightly knit through internal linking, which will improve the site’s overall search performance.
4. Using Optimized Anchor Text for Internal Links Can Upgrade your SEO
A straightforward HTML string known as an internal link connects one online page to another. It appears as follows:
“http://www.example.com/internalpage” as the HREF a piece on cat food
However, the value of the internal link increases when you use anchor text to build it rather than an image or navigational text.
By including keywords and information in the linking process, anchor text raises the value of the connection. Google doesn’t only examine t an A HREF tag, but also the link’s anchor text.
Anchor text keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. The focus now lies on internal anchor text optimization.
The ideal anchor text avoids being overly optimized and instead blends in with the rest of the content.
5. It is of Great Value to your Users
Moving on to the most crucial point. Yes, internal linking is an SEO strategy, but it does go beyond that.
Looking into it, internal link-building benefits users.
Do you consult several sources or just one when you are doing research on a subject?
Do you like looking up additional information to help you grasp the subject better?
Do you find yourself enjoying a specific author’s writing style and would like to read more of their work?
Most internal links on a website raise the value of each piece of content by directing users to similar, related content.
Internal linking has a purpose in the marketing funnel by guiding consumers to their intended destination, even though it may not immediately lead to conversions.
Additionally, internal linking might encourage readers to stay on your website for longer and this may lead to an increase in your trust-worthiness.
Keep in mind that user optimization is the focus of SEO, not merely technical adjustments and sly tactics.
Even if the technical benefits of internal linking don’t seem of concern to you, you should at least do it for the benefit of your users.
Basic steps to starting and creating internal links
It’s time to learn more about the internal linking best practices and get down to business. How are internal links implemented? What is the most effective technique for maximizing the value of links?
You must, first, put two things in place:
Even if there is only one article on your website in terms of written material, it’s totally fine. Your starting point is there.
The production of new material for the website on a regular basis: It’s crucial to establish a consistent posting schedule if you want internal linking to work.
Now time to get started!
Link to and From Pages that are Content-Heavy
Those that connect one article to another are the best internal links. This develops a solid internal link structure throughout the entire website.
There should be adequate links to the site’s primary, important pages, such as the home page, about page, contact page, etc., if the site architecture is sound.
But keep in mind that more links to these pages are not necessary.
It goes without saying that you should link to a squeeze or sales page if you’re looking to increase conversions, and you believe that the opportunity is good enough.
Adding internal links within and between lengthy posts is also strongly recommended. This naturally expands your incoming internal links planning by itself.
Using Anchor Text, Create Text Links
What sort of internal site links are most effective?
The answer is simple; Anchor text links that provide context.
What does “descriptive anchor text” mean?
I assume you’re familiar with anchor text. The word or words that link to a new page are known as anchor texts. For the reader, they usually appear as clickable blue text.
That text is an anchor. You should utilize anchor text in your internal links. However, not just any anchor text will do, you should bear in mind to include words and phrases that explain the subject of the target link.
three things to avoid when internal linking:
- Avoid attempting to match the link target and the anchor text exactly. Through the Penguin update, this tactic, often known as “exact match anchor text,” has been linked to SEO penalties. Because the same anchor text is rarely used in ordinary material, search engines today are sensitive to its use. Plus it seems weird and unnatural.
- Stop using words like “click here.” This is of no use. The anchor text must be somehow connected to the linked page.
- Do not combine sentences into one link. An entire paragraph with hyperlinks is obnoxious and leads to a bad user experience. When using anchor text to point to an internal link, limit yourself to a single sentence or phrase.
Add the Right Amount of Links to Each Page
Five or more links to previous articles should be included whenever you create fresh content. Regarding your internal linking strategy and how search engines evaluate and rank your content, this is quite significant.
Google recognizes this “freshness value” and incorporates it into its algorithm for ranking websites.
Cyrus Shepard from MOZ states that “links from fresh sites pass fresh value”.
Old pages are more likely to rank higher in the SERPs if they are pinged with a new link. Direct users who click on your internal links really “refresh” earlier material by demonstrating its continued relevance to search engines.
But take caution and avoid packing your material with too many links, by all means!
According to Moz, there can only be 150 links on a page for search engine crawlers to pick up. They quit spidering after that.
So to summarize, adding too many links to your page could hurt its SEO.
Link away, but don’t go overboard. Both the search crawlers and your user experience will benefit from this.
Add New Internal Links to Older Articles
Internal linking will be most effective when used in conjunction with the SEO tactic of replacing stale content.
When you update outdated information, Google’s crawler notices and crawls it once more, and it may ultimately raise its SERP ranking. So we usually advise routinely updating your older articles.
Here is a helpful procedure to use with your previous blog posts:
- At the beginning, add a new paragraph of material outlining your improvements.
- Add many new paragraphs that add fresh or updated information throughout.
- Delete or replace any outdated statistics or data.
- Add a number of fresh internal links to the information you’ve just written.
- Place connections where they make sense and are beneficial.
Keep in mind that internal linking encompasses more than just referencing prior content. Additionally, it entails going back to earlier content and developing internal links that lead to your more recent work.
By doing this, you achieve two goals:
- It increases the ranking value of outdated content by updating it.
- It establishes an internal connection between an older, well-established website page and a more recent, less well-established one.
Where it makes sense, include links
After learning so much about internal linking, the natural question of ‘where to place them’ should have definitely popped up.
It’s easy to become complacent and include them at the end of a piece, such as “For more amazing content, click here!”
Please don’t do this or refrain from doing this to a large extent.
Instead, seek places where the subject matter overlaps with the content. These connections make sense and constitute a meaningful internal relationship. For instance, you can include links to describe a relevant subject or define a complex term.
Overall, you should consider internal links as a point of reference that enhances the reader’s experience.
Just Include Dofollow Links
Don’t tag your internal links with a nofollow attribute. Nofollow links have no effect on the destination site’s rankings on google’s search console.
Additionally, Google does not pass anchor text or PageRank through nofollow links. They won’t even be crawled.
There is no justification for using nofollow links in your internal linking strategy, even though certain Ahrefs data suggests they can be helpful when used externally.
Link to High-converting Pages on your Site
Do any of your website’s pages convert visitors more often than others?
Then link to these specific pages.
Our blog has several posts with incredibly high conversion rates. Users convert in large numbers thanks to the interesting content and potent CTAs.
We always make sure to link to these pages internally.
Here, internal linking serves purposes other than SEO. It may also have financial worth. A high-converting page will have more conversions the more traffic it receives.
Consider the information architecture and site navigation.
Internal linking and site navigation go hand in hand.
Internal links create navigational pathways for people through your website, defining its design and structure.
In the end, this is a crucial component of your UX/UI and will affect how long visitors stay on your web pages and how frequently they return.
The most crucial material on your website and how you’re advertising it should be taken into account when developing an internal linking strategy.
Increase the number of internal links to a piece of cornerstone content if you want more people to see it.
Produce a ton of content
Having a large number of internal pages is the best strategy to create a strong internal linking structure.
You’ll have a ton of linkable content if you produce a lot of stuff. Your internal linking approach will be more effective the more links there are to a variety of locations.
Keep in mind that a strong internal linking strategy doesn’t necessarily require a large number of web pages.
Although internal links are necessary for your website’s navigation, often connecting to your home page will not improve your SEO ranking.
Instead, think about starting a blog or designing landing pages with useful information.
Practices to avoid when internal linking
Below you’ll read about the internal linking techniques to stay away from.
Now that you understand how to properly use internal linking, let’s go through some of the mistakes to avoid.
- Your score and search engine rankings may suffer if you include too many links in your material. Remember that pages with more than 150 links are not crawled by Google. It’s also crucial to remember that the number of menu, header and footer links are included.
Don’t go overboard!
- Another bad practice of internal linking is keyword stuffing in an anchor text. In the past, SEOs used this black hat strategy frequently, since they believed it would increase their chances of ranking.
Modern search engines punish anchor text that contains too many keywords, so make sure you avoid it by all means.
- Keep away from adding internal links in header text as well. Links in headers can hurt your SEO by signaling spam to Google crawlers.
Last but not least, double-check and fix broken internal links before publishing them. Broken links signal to Google that your website is of low quality and don’t pass along any link juice.
Internal links vs external links vs backlinks
Let’s distinguish each one from the other! Backlinks, internal and external links differ from one another massively, and here’s how:
- A page from one of your pages to another of your pages is known as an internal link.
- A link to another website from one of your pages is known as an external link. Therefore, this can be their website or another online source.
- A backlink is a link that leads to your page from the page of someone else. Thus, these links are distinct and can range in type and page authority.
Internal Linking Guide Summary
A strong SEO strategy must include internal linking. When done correctly, it improves user experience and can raise your SERP ranking.
Although internal links are an essential component of any effective website design, it’s also crucial to find ways to include internal links in your content if you want to make the most of it.
Make sure to include internal links that give consumers more information about a subject they are interested in and to utilize optimized (but not overly optimized) anchor tags.
Consult industry experts to create a comprehensive SEO plan that is tailored to your company’s needs.
If you are ready to put all of the aforementioned advice into practice but are unsure of where to begin, don’t waste any more time and speak with the SEO Copywriting Agency’s team of experts.
Increase your eCommerce sales quickly and efficiently, and watch your company expand.
Look through our SEO Growth Services, then select the one that most closely reflects your goals. You may rely on us to develop an all-encompassing SEO strategy that surpasses your needs and expectations.
Let us assist you in achieving your objectives, researching your keywords, examining your competitors, and creating pages that precisely correspond to your customers’ needs.
FAQs on Internal linking
1. How many internal links should I include per post?
There is no predetermined number, however, it’s recommended to use 5 to 10 for every 2,000 words. Don’t overstuff your material because Google won’t crawl pages with more than 150 links.
2. How to write correct anchor texts for internal linking?
Anchor text that is optimized for search engines is brief and pertinent to the target page (the page it is linked to).
Search engines and users alike can benefit from contextually relevant information about the link’s destination provided in the anchor text.
3. How to check my website’s internal linking status?
Trust the industry experts and consult with SEO specialists to run a thorough SEO audit, so that you can gain knowledge on every aspect of your website that needs to be improved – including the vital internal linking status.
Finding the areas that require extra work will help you immediately enhance your search visibility on the SERPs. In-depth research also allows you to keep an eye on what your rivals are doing differently. Finally, you can improve the user experience for your audience, seamlessly optimize your content, precisely target your buyer persona and keep her on your website for longer.
4. Are internal links backlinks?
No. Internal links do not originate from outside sources; they remain on your website’s domain. External links pointing to your website are known as backlinks.
5. What does internal linking look like?
A link that leads to another page within the same domain is known as an internal link. Internal links are displayed as hyperlinks
6. Should I add internal links to my pages with higher or lower traffic?
Internal links, according to Databox, can transfer link juice from web pages with low traffic to those with high traffic. Having said that, it’s also crucial to direct as many links as you can to your cornerstone content in order to drive traffic to it.