A solid internal linking structure SEO-wise can help search engines find and index the pages on a site, however, this is still a fact unknown to many people who tend to neglect internal improvements tactics in content structuring.
Using the right internal linking strategy can boost your SEO. However, Internal linking is an area of SEO boost strategy that is often underestimated by a lot of publishers.
Thousands of websites make the grave mistake of hiding or burying their main navigation links in ways that search engines cannot access.
This hinders their ability to get pages listed in the search engines’ indices thus stagnating the growth of the sites.
Internal links are useful for establishing site architecture and spreading link equity within website content. For this reason, this blog post will take a close look at how you can avoid the pitfalls in order to build a robust SEO-friendly site architecture with an internal links strategy that works wonders for you.
What Is Internal Linking?
Simply put, internal linking occurs when a site directs visitors to other URLs on the same site. They simply text hyperlinks from one page to another page on your website.
It is finger-pointing you in the right direction to another page within the same website.
While both internal and external links serve the purpose of navigation, there stands a bold line dividing the two linking strategies.
Whereas external linking occurs when a site links to URLs on a different website, an internal link is one that points to another page on the same website.
These links allow users to navigate a website and establish an information hierarchy for the given website. They also help spread link equity (ranking power) around websites.
Types of Internal Links
There are many types of internal linking. This section would briefly discuss some of the types of links.
#1. Navigational Internal Links
These links serve the primary purpose of helping users find their way around the website. They are there to help the visitor have a stress-free journey staying on the website.
Navigational links typically make up a website’s main navigational structure, it stands out and it is consistent throughout the site
#2. Contextual Internal Links
Links within the text pointing to other relevant pages are known as contextual internal links. These links point users to related content on another page and in doing this, search engines are allowed the chance to find out what content on a site is related.
#3. Footer links
Footer links are big blocks of links found at the bottom of web pages. The main reason behind footer links is for SEO purposes and to also help site visitors with additional options for getting additional information that they could not be linked to in the body of the content.
These are internal links that refer to a specific section on a given page, also known as named anchors. Bookmarks save user and browser time, which is especially useful for Web pages with long URLs.
#5. Next/Previous Links
These links guide users through your site. It helps them navigate seamlessly back and forth within your page. When it comes to creating strong site-wide navigation, these links come in handy and are very important link tags.
Reason for Internal Link Building
Are internal links important? Yes, is the only correct answer to the question. Let`s take a look at the many benefits of building internal links within the content.
#1. Keeps users on your website longer
Internal links encourage visitors to remain on your site for a longer period, which sends a quality signal to search engines indicating that your visitor has a swell user experience on your site and this holds huge tangible SEO benefits for the sites.
#2. Provide inroads for Users on blog posts
Internal links improve the ranking of your web pages for certain keywords, sending a clear signal to search engines that your pages are relevant to search users typing in that phrase.
Internal links make it easier for search engine robots to crawl your entire website, which speeds up the process of indexing your pages.
When used correctly, internal links increase the backlink earning potential of internal pages by creating clear paths to all your content.
Good link building can help build your brand and establish you as an authority in your niche.
SEO benefits of internal linking
When merged with strong technical SEO foundations, excellent content, great on-page SEO and a good user experience, link building can be super effective at driving more organic traffic to a website.
In this section, we would look at the benefits of internal linking to Search Engine Optimization if done right will increase your chances of ranking well and getting traffic from organic search. Below are the benefits:
#1. Tells Google Which Keyword You Want to Rank
Internal linking is super critical for SEO. It is one of the best ways publishers can tell Google what content is the most important. Internal linking guides Google and guides visitors to the pages that you think are important.
The links tell search engines which pages on your site are important and which they should stand up and take notice of. The more internal links pointing to a particular page, the more important it will appear to the search engines and the higher the search engine will rank it.
#2. Internal Links Lends Credibility and Authority
The right internal linking strategy helps to lend credibility and authority between pages on your site and ultimately improves rankings. In practice, this is how it works. An algorithm known as PageRank (PR), assesses the quality of individual pages and in the end, applies a value to it in the form of ranking.
#3. Internal Links Help Users to Navigate and Stay longer On Pages
Internal linking is also a great way to improve your user experience (UX) by helping your visitors find more interesting content.
This might entail taking a user to a product page where they can buy something that is mentioned in a buying guide or take them to another piece of content to expand on a certain or related topic.
From increasing average time-on-site to nudging users down the paths to purchase, internal links can be leveraged to improve your UX and in turn, your overall search engine rating.
This means that quality content created with your intended user in mind increases site traffic as they tend to stay longer on your site which in turn improves your site’s authority and relevance and rates site performance high.
#4. Internal Links can find and index the pages on your site
A solid internal linking structure SEO-wise can help search engine crawlers find relevant and important pages on your site
#5. Internal linking prompts visitors to act, as calls-to-action (conversion optimization)
It summarily tells a user what the ultimate reason is behind you wanting them to visit your website and the more the website traffic, the better search engines ranking for your site.
Tips and Tactics to improve SEO with Internal Linking
As a golden rule, the goal should never be about sacrificing good writing for SEO ranking, alright? In truth, good writing with links strategically sprinkled within a text is the biggest trick to ranking higher with search engines. write first for the user and the search engine will reward it highly.
#1. Use descriptive, keyword-rich anchor text
Instead of having a “click here” command on links, try writing out the name of the destination. “Click here” has no search engine value beyond the attached URL, whereas “Online Advertising Examples ” is rich with keywords and will improve your search engine rankings as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to.
Always use descriptive links by linking keywords—it not only improves search engine optimization but also adds value to your readers, including those with disabilities or who are using screen readers.
Make sure all the important pages are linked. Before your content can be reached and ranked, it needs links.
Links are like the inroads on your page where search engines crawl through to assess and rank site performance.
It is difficult or near impossible to find unlinked pages also known as orphan pages through the website’s navigational searches.
Many Users miss these pages without even knowing that such pages exist. So best practice requires that all pages are properly linked within the website.
#2. Do an internal link audit to optimize your crawl budget
If you wish to keep your pages in the SERP, you have to make sure they’re correctly indexed regularly. For it is a complete waste of budget when Google’s web crawler visits your page and hits a broken page.
#3. Keep the number of links per page reasonable
There’s a long-standing debate in SEO about the maximum number of links that you should place on any given page.
You should be asking how Many Links Per Page are considered too much for a page? From sources within Google, the reasonable number to keep links within a page should be 100 maximum. However, going above 100 is not a penalty situation but more of a technical guideline for best practice.
Drawing from the Google guidelines, the 100 links to a page is just a suggestion, However, there’s an inarguable reality in SEO that the more links a page has, the less internal PageRank each of those links passes reality in SEO that the more links a page has, the less internal PageRank each of those links passes. Therefore, for best practice, keep the maximum links on a page within 100.
#4. Make sure image links have alt attributes
Always remember to provide your images with good alt attributes because alt text strengthens the message of your pages with search engine spiders and it improves the accessibility of your website.
Place contextual links within the main content: Contextual link building is the quickest way to boost your site’s search performance.
Links that are surrounded by text in the body of content — have a higher SEO value than links that appear in the footer or sidebar.
Link old posts to your new blog posts: Updating old blog posts through links with the new posts has been one of the most effective SEO strategies for publishers.
Internal linking connects your content and gives Google an idea of the structure of your website. Through it, Google can establish a hierarchy on your site considering that the linked content points to your most important content and it is these that search engines find and rank.
Internal linking can immensely improve your overall SEO performance if done correctly. Doing it rightly means applying tact and strategy.
In this post, you have learned how internal links are critical to SEO success and how to create a smart internal linking strategy for your website using the best tips provided in the article.