What Is Internal Linking? And Why Is Internal Linking Important For SEO?
Understanding internal linking is mandatory to stay afloat in the digital market. It serves as a crucial element of SEO and helps business owners in this modern era. When planning to grow online, entrepreneurs consider search engine optimization as the first step. However, applying SEO on a website is not as easy as it seems.
You must be aware of each of its elements and practice every step properly. According to stats, 51% of SEO experts prefer adding a maximum of three internal links to a blog post. Furthermore, a few SEO-optimized bloggers give attention to more than five internal links in a post. It is because internal links serve as one of the most important requirements of SEO.
Before we dive deeper, let us answer a few basic questions.
What Is Internal Linking?
Internal linking is the process of adding internal links to a website to boost its performance, speed, and overall growth. Internal links, on the other hand, are hyperlinks that target different web pages on a single domain. These are links that redirect users from one page of your website to another.
You can also consider internal links as the opposite of external links. The latter ones are used to link a website to other domains for higher SERP results.
Does Internal Linking Help SEO?
Both internal and external linking are crucial for SEO. Nevertheless, among the two, website owners have complete authority over internal links only. For this reason, link-building professionals pay attention to internal links earlier.
These are of different kinds, and they help our website in multiple ways. Read further to understand why and how are these hyperlinks important for your business.
Why Are Internal Links Important For SEO?
Internal links are important because they help popular search engines like Google and Bing to easily find your website. These help search engine crawlers easily go through different pages of your website through a single link. As a result, your website gets better recognition and higher domain authority.
SEO experts try their best to use internal links strategically and make sure that our website reaches the top of SERP results.
Most Popular Types of Internal Links
Internal links can be created by using a variety of elements. To make sure you understand better, we have mentioned the most popular type below,
Contextual links or text links within the content of your website. These hyperlinks help you to create a connection between relatable content throughout an online platform. SEO experts use them often to rank web pages higher on particular phrases and keywords. Audiences are more likely to click on these types of links.
Navigational links are most probably found on navigation menus and can be accessed from any page of a website. These help users access different parts of a website quickly. Most of these links are found in the header or footer. Also, navigational links are used to boost the information architecture of a website.
Image links are sometimes referred to as HTML image links. These are used to help an image appear on the web easily. These are added to the HTML code of an image in the form of a URL. Also, web designers use these links to add color to a website.
Footer links are a type of navigational links that appear on the footer of your website. These sitewide hyperlinks most probably appear on every page of an online platform. Search engine crawlers do not find them very useful. However, these can help users easily navigate through a website.
How Are Internal Links Good For SEO?
Internal linking boosts a website's results in plenty of ways. The market offers different types of internal links that you can add to a website. Each of these types plays a different role in the optimization of a website. Furthermore, SEO experts use internal linking to improve the crawl rate in SEO.
Benefits of Internal Linking
The process of internally linking different pages of a website offers a variety of benefits. Getting to know some of these may help you understand the importance of internal linking for SEO.
1. It Helps To Crawl and Index a Website
Internal Linking helps to index more pages of a website. It is because search engine crawlers go through all the internal links and pages of a website before indexing any of them. By having a strong internal linking architecture, you can enable these search engine bots to crawl through deeper and older pages of your website.
Websites with a higher number of pages crawled are most likely to index quicker as compared to other websites. This way, Google bots also help your website to rank higher.
2. It Boosts the Number of Page Views
Internal links help target audiences find your website and content easily. If the content of your website is appreciated by readers, people are interested to spend more time browsing your website. As a result, your website’s conversion rate improves quickly.
More people reaching your website for content help to generate higher traffic. It leads to the provision of a good user experience which directly impacts Google’s page ranking.
3. It Helps Search Engines Understand The Architecture Of Your Website
Internal linking helps search engines to understand how different pages of your website interact with each other. It assists crawling bots in the seamless navigation of your platform. As a result, search engine crawlers easily come across important web pages and rank them accordingly.
SEO executives prefer adding more internal links to a web page to share its importance with search engine crawlers. In response, high authority pages of your website start to appear on top of search engines.
4. It allowsthe Ranking of Particular Keywords
The basic difference between internal and external linking is the user's control over the links. You have complete authority over internal links as they do not require permission from any other domain. Hence, users are free to pick any keyword and use it as anchor text.
By using anchor text properly, website owners can let search engine crawlers know what type of content is available on the page.
How to Create an Internal Linking Strategy?
After understanding the importance of internal linking for SEO, let us have a look at its strategy. To create a successful internal linking strategy, give attention to a few basic steps.
Give Attention to the Pillar Pages on Your Website
Pillar pages are the central pages on a website that talks about a broad topic. These are further divided by topics and other details through which you can form the structure of your overall site. Pointing out these pages is the best way to move forward and create topic clusters on the website.
Most SEO experts use broad keywords with higher search volumes on such pages. Try to limit the number of these pages as much as possible and move toward topic clusters.
Use Internal Linking To Create Topic Clusters
Once you have highlighted the topic pillar pages, give attention to the creation of topic cluster pages. This process can be considered as the division of topics into categories and subcategories. For instance, you can categorize a pillar page about digital marketing into topic clusters like 'What is digital marketing?', 'The importance of digital marketing', and 'Types of digital marketing.'
These clusters can be further subcategorized into relatable detailed topics. Think of the page 'What is digital marketing?' and add subtopic clusters to it that may talk about digital marketing strategies and best practices. Following this process increases the authority of the pillar page and lets search engine crawlers identify it as the main authoritative source.
Select the Appropriate Anchor Text
As discussed earlier, you have complete authority over every step that revolves around internal linking. It means you can have complete control over the anchor text you may choose. Think of appropriate keywords that easily do not the topic of the content of your website.
High-quality anchor text is the best way to attract target audiences and search engine bots. Example below will help you to understand anchor text more deeply.
<a href="https://yourdigilab.com/seo-company">SEO Company</a>
Highlight the Authority Web Pages of Your Site
High-authority web pages are the ones with backlinks from potential websites. Search engines prefer passing authority of pages that have more high-quality backlinks as it helps to prove the authenticity of the website. You can further pass this authority to the other pages of your website through internal linking.
Always try to sort out your authority pages through referring domains. It is because domains are considered to have higher authority in comparison to backlinks.
Help Your New Web Pages Grow
Not every website contains high-authority backlinks at this point. To get over this loss, it is important to have a strong internal linking architecture. Look around for your website’s new pages and start adding relevant and high-authority internal links to them.
Finding high-authority internal links for a new page requires a strategy. You can use Google site search and look around for other pages on your website revolving around your new page's target keyword. Add in the search engine,
site: abc.com<space>target keyword
It will help your new pages to reach the authority of these web pages. This way, if the authority of any of the pages changes, internal linking may affect both sides equally and positively.
Internal Linking Best Practices
Creating an internal linking strategy is not enough. You must look around for a few best practices for internal linking to make the most of your strategy.
Prioritize Relevant and Natural Links
It is important to keep your internal links relevant as they grab your readers' attention and advise them to visit a new page. Let’s see if the topic of your content revolves around web designing, readers will obviously look for pages that relate. A natural link to this page will never take readers to pages about home renovation or grooming.
Moreover, when a reader gets satisfied with your internal link structure, he or she may stay on your website for a longer duration. Internal links help readers to stay and browse more. It lets search engines know that users had a great experience on your website.
Try To Use Descriptive Anchor Text
We may have earlier suggested you keep your anchor text shorter, but some strategies work both ways. Always look for the place where you are using your anchor text before finalizing its length. It is because a detailed topic about search engine optimization requires internal linking on a descriptive and long tail keyword.
Descriptive keywords help readers to understand where they can navigate on the website. It lets them dive deeper into their target topics and get the information they need. It also helps search engines understand what your topic is clearly about.
Give Attention to Do-Follow Links
Make sure to use do-follow links on your website, as they allow search engines to follow your website's links further. By adding such links to your website, you can quickly boost your content marketing strategy. It is why SEO teams prefer using high-quality content for the digital marketing of a business.
Context lets links flow freely through your website and gives you the opportunity to add more internal links. When do follow links are added in blogs, articles, forums, and other content types, you earn maximum chances to increase traffic and conversions.
Focus On the Number of Links Added
Make sure to add a reasonable number of links to your website. Stuffing your platform with unnecessary and irrelevant links can bring adverse effects to your overall strategy. It may include all the links available on the header, footer, navigation menu, and advertisements.
There is no predetermined number, but a decent rule of thumb is 5 to 10 for every 2,000 words. Remember that Google will not rank pages with more than 150 links, so avoid overstuffing your content.
Try To Look For Deeper Internal Links
Adding internal links to a website must be a planned and strategic approach. Often website owners re-add links already available in their website's navigation menus. However, you can replace these links with older and deeper links that are buried within your website structure.
Usually, older links require more attention as it is difficult for search engine crawlers to reach them after the addition of new links. You can add these links to newer web pages as it will boost the overall SEO of your website. Doing so is also beneficial as visitors can easily find older pages on your website too.
To conclude, internal linking is beneficial for SEO in plenty of ways. It is the best way to rank individual web pages of your platform. Professionals use internal links to help search engine crawlers understand your website. It is important to make the most of your internal links and boost their SERP results.
After all, the best way to boost a website's growth is to increase its page ranking. The higher our website ranks on search engines, the easier it is to gain traffic and boost sales. Make sure to form the best internal linking strategy and follow all the best practices that may help your strategy.
As an SEO professional, feel free to share your reviews about internal linking. Also, we have shared some best practices and tips that may help to improve an internal linking strategy. Think about all the dos and don'ts of internal linking, and share all your reviews in the comments below.
1. How to add an internal link in WordPress?
There are plenty of ways through which you can add links to WordPress. It includes adding links to a blog, page, post, editor, or more. The easiest way to add internal links is by highlighting the anchor text and inserting the link you want to add.
In case you are unsure about which link to add, enter your target keyword, and WordPress will automatically search relevant internal links available on your website.
2. How to build internal links for SEO?
To build high-quality and successful internal links for SEO, give attention to a few steps.
- Add more high-quality content
- Look out for more do-follow links
- Add relevant and descriptive links
- Focus on the anchor text
- Make sure not to add unnecessary links
- Try to keep the links natural and crawl-able
Other tips may help your internal linking strategy too. However, you can keep these in mind for favorable reasons.
3. How many internal links are too many?
Usually, is recommended to add approximately 150 internal links per page. For this reason, exceeding this number may lead to too many links on a page.
4. How to fix broken internal links?
There are four common ways to fix broken internal links.
- If the internal link is caused due to a typing error, you can fix the spelling to solve the problem.
- Try to add 301 redirects and create an internal link to a relatable web page or the home page of a website.
- In case of a critical broken link that may cause adverse effects on the website, delete it directly.
- SEO experts also recommend recreating a page if a broken internal link was extremely valuable to the website.
It is better to keep looking for broken internal links as they can impact the website in different ways.
5. Does adding lots of internal links improve SEO?
Adding a higher number of internal links can boost your overall SEO strategy. However, it is necessary to keep these links relevant and natural. Stuffing a website with links or exceeding the number may prevent search engine crawlers from going through all the links on a website.
6. How to find internal links on a website?
Google offers a variety of tools like Internal Link Checker and Moz to find the overall internal links on a website.