In this article, we’re gonna take a deep dive into internal linking and how to do it correctly.
What Are Internal Links?
Internal links are hyperlinks that point to other pages within the same website.
In other words, internal links connect different pages of a website to each other.
Internal links are an important part of website navigation. By connecting relevant pages together, users can find what they’re looking for or interested in more easily.
They also help search engines crawl and index the pages on a website more efficiently. When a search engine crawls a page, it follows all the internal links on that page to discover other pages on the website.
Internal links can also be used to distribute link equity or Page Authority throughout a website. When a page on a website has a high Page Authority, it can pass some of it down to other pages on the same website through internal links. This can help improve the ranking of those pages in search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are 3 main types of internal links:
- Contextual Links
- Navigation Links
- Footer links
Contextual links are links within the content of a page that point to other relevant pages on the website.
Navigation links are links in the main navigation menu of a website that help users navigate to different sections of the website.
Footer links are links in the footer of a website that provide additional navigation options.
Overall, internal links are an important part of website design and SEO. They help users navigate a website more easily, help search engines crawl and index a website more efficiently, and can improve the ranking of pages in search engine results pages.
Why Internal Links Are Important for SEO
They Help Google Understand The Structure of Your Website
Internal links help Google understand the structure of your website, which is important for SEO.
Google uses internal links to determine the importance of a page within your website. The more internal links a page has, the more important Google thinks it is.
Internal links also help Google find and index all the pages on your website, which is important for ranking.
They Help Your Site Develop Authority
Internal links help your site develop authority by passing link equity from one page to another.
Link equity is the value that a link passes from one page to another.
When you do this, you are passing some of the link equity from the first page to the second page. This helps the second page develop authority, which is important for ranking.
They Get Users To Explore And Navigate Your Website
Internal links get users to explore and navigate your website.
When you link from one page to another, you are telling users that the second page is related to the first page. This encourages users to click on the link and explore the second page.
Internal links also help users navigate your website by providing them with a clear path to follow.
In conclusion, internal links are an important part of any website’s SEO strategy. They help Google understand the structure of your website, develop authority, and get users to explore and navigate your website. By using internal links strategically, you can improve your website’s SEO and provide a better user experience for your visitors.
What Types of Internal Links Are There?
Navigational links are links that help users navigate your website. They are usually found in the header or menu of your website and help users find the different sections of your website.
Navigational links should be clear, concise, and should accurately reflect the content of the pages they link to.
Footer links are links found at the bottom of your website.
Footer links can also be used to link to important pages on your website, such as your homepage or product pages.
Contextual links are links that are embedded within the content of your website. They are often used to provide users with additional information or to link to related content.
Contextual links should be relevant to the content they are linking to and provide value to the user.
Sidebar links are navigational links found on the side of your website. They are often used to provide users with additional information about your website, such as recent posts or popular pages.
Sidebar links can also be used to link to important pages on your website, such as your homepage or product pages.
Internal Linking Best Practices
Internal linking is an essential SEO practice that helps search engines understand the structure and content of your website. By linking your pages together, you can guide users and search engines to the most important pages on your site, improve the user experience, and boost your search engine rankings.
To ensure your internal linking strategy is effective, follow these best practices:
Identify Your Site’s Pillar Pages
Pillar pages are the most important pages on your site that cover broad topics and provide a comprehensive overview of your content.
These pages should be linked to frequently throughout your site, and should also link to other pages that cover more specific aspects of the topic.
Cluster Topics Together
Group related topics together on your site, and link them to each other. This helps search engines understand the relationship between the topics and improves the user experience by providing additional relevant content.
Clustering topics together is an essential part of establishing Topical Authority to Google.
Choose the Best Anchor Text
Anchor text is the clickable text that appears in a hyperlink. Choose descriptive, keyword-rich anchor text that accurately reflects the content on the linked page.
Avoid using vague or generic text like “click here” or “read more” as much as possible.
Identify Your Site’s Authority Pages
Authority pages are the pages on your site that have the most inbound links from external websites. These pages typically have the highest page authority and can pass that authority along to other pages on your site through internal linking.
Support New Pages
When you create new pages on your site, be sure to link to them from relevant pages on your site. This helps search engines discover the new content and can improve its visibility in search results.
Strengthen Digital PR Campaigns
Use internal linking to support your digital PR campaigns by linking to relevant pages on your site from external content. This can help drive traffic to your site and improve your search engine rankings.
By following these internal linking best practices, you can improve the structure and content of your site, provide a better user experience, and boost your search engine rankings.
How To Audit Your Site’s Existing Internal Links
Auditing your site’s existing internal links is an essential step in optimizing your website’s SEO performance. By doing so, you can identify broken links, orphan pages, and opportunities for new internal links.
Here are some steps to help you audit your site’s internal links:
- Crawl Your Site: In order to audit your internal links, you need to understand their current state. You can use tools like Screaming Frog or Google Search Console to crawl your site and identify pages with broken links, pages with too many or not enough internal links, and orphan pages.
- Identify Broken Links: Broken links can negatively impact your site’s SEO performance. Use a link auditing tool to identify pages with broken links and fix them as soon as possible.
- Find Redirects: Redirects can also impact your site’s SEO performance. Identify pages with redirects and ensure that they are working correctly.
- Find Orphan Pages: Orphan pages are pages on your site that are not linked to from any other pages. They can negatively impact your site’s SEO performance. Make sure you’re adding internal links to them.
- Ensure Proper Anchor Text: Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. It is important to ensure that anchor text across your site is relevant and descriptive.
- Find More Internal Link Opportunities: There may be pages on your site that are not linked to from other pages but should be. Add relevant internal links to any you come across.
By following these steps, you can audit your site’s internal links and optimize your site’s SEO performance.
Common Internal Link Problems
Internal linking is an essential aspect of SEO, but it can be challenging to get it right if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Here are some common internal linking problems you may encounter and how to fix them:
Broken Internal Links
Broken internal links can harm your website’s user experience and SEO. They occur when a link leads to a page that no longer exists or has been moved.
To fix broken internal links, use any of the auditing tools mentioned earlier on in this article (or even an SEO tool like SERanking) to find them. Then, update the links to lead to the correct pages or remove them altogether.
Too Many Internal Links
Having too many internal links can dilute the value of each link and make it difficult for search engines to understand the hierarchy of your website.
To avoid this problem, limit the number of internal links on each page to around 100 max. And when you do link internally, prioritize linking to the most important pages on your website.
Using the “nofollow” attribute on internal links can prevent search engines from crawling and indexing the linked pages. While this can be useful for pages that don’t need to be indexed, like login or contact pages, it can also harm your website’s SEO if overused.
Use the “nofollow” attribute ONLY on pages that don’t need to be indexed.
Orphaned pages are pages on your website that don’t have any internal links pointing to them. This can make it difficult for search engines to find and index them.
To fix this problem, add internal links to these pages from other relevant pages on your website.
Pages With Only One Incoming Internal Link
Pages with only one incoming internal link are often considered less important by search engines.
To improve the importance of these pages, add more internal links to them from other relevant pages on your website.
Crawl Depth of More Than Three Clicks
Pages that are more than three clicks away from your website’s homepage can be difficult for search engines to find and index.
To improve the crawl depth of these pages, add internal links to them from higher-level pages on your website.
Internal redirects can slow down your website’s loading time and harm its SEO. They occur when a link leads to a page that has been redirected to another page.
To fix this problem, update the links to lead directly to the final destination page.
Redirect Chains & Loops
Redirect chains and loops occur when a link leads to a page that has been redirected multiple times or in a loop. They can harm your website’s user experience and SEO.
To fix this problem, update the links to lead directly to the final destination page.
Links on HTTPS Pages Leading to HTTP Pages
Links on HTTPS pages leading to HTTP pages can harm your website’s SEO and security. To fix this problem, update the links to lead to HTTPS pages or remove them altogether.
By fixing these common internal linking problems, you can improve your website’s user experience and SEO.
- Internal Linking provides site structure, spreads authority to other pages on your website, and improves user experience
- There are 3 types of internal links: Navigational links, Contextual links, and Footer links
- You can use internal linking to support new pages and spread authority from high ranking pages to other parts of your website
- Broken links will affect your SEO and should be addressed as soon as possible
- Having only one internal link to a page will hurt its authority
- Having more than 100 internal links on a page will dilute the authority it transfers
- Only use “No Follow” links when internally linking to pages you don’t want indexed
Internal linking is an essential part of a successful SEO campaign and something you need to make sure you’re doing correctly if you want your site to rank.
Hiring an SEO agency to look after your website will ensure that your pages are properly linked together for maximum ranking potential.
Thank you for reading!
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