Creating content and gaining quality backlinks are critical components of your SEO strategy. For example, suppose you’ve written an engaging piece of content. Or eBook, you’ll usually want to focus on generating as much traffic to it as possible.
Internal linking and knowing what the other pages of your site might benefit your new page also need to be part of that strategy.
It’s essential to determine which of your existing outstanding, high-authority pages you may link to your new page.
Thus, what activities can keep creating link authority for your site over time? All that is known as internal linking.
Internal links are one of the most overlooked link-building strategies in SEO.
We are always willing to turn to strategies that can help us build quality backlinks. But we sometimes overlook the importance of having an optimized internal linking strategy.
You want more quality links for your content to rank. Google finds them quite easy when your posts and pages get linked to someone else on the web.
Internal links connect your content. And provide Google with an understanding of the structure of your site.
They can help you create a hierarchical site structure. That allows you to give the most important pages and articles greater link value than that of other, less important pages.
Using the appropriate internal linking strategy can so improve your SEO!
- What is Internal Linking?
- What is an External Linking?
- Internal Links vs External Links
- What are the Types of Internal Links?
- Why Internal Linking is Important for SEO?
- Internal Linking Best Practices to Build Your Internal Linking Strategy
What is Internal Linking?
Internal linking is when you use hyperlinks to link one page on your website to another on the same domain. This method can help you keep visitors on your site while increasing your SEO rankings.
The term domain is used in most definitions of internal linking rather than a website. Yet, because of subdomains, this becomes a bit confusing. As you manage your website’s subdomains, links with them may be treated as internal links.
Ranking for difficult keywords and phrases becomes very easy with exceptional internal linking since you share the authority of your existing content using your current activities.
There are many types of internal links. Moreover, you can link on your homepage, menu, post feed, and many other places. You may also include links within the content of your page or post. These are known as contextual links.
Contextual links drive your readers to relevant and engaging content. It also helps search engines to identify relevancy. And the usefulness of your content on the site.
The greater the number of links a relevant page gains, the more relevant it seems to search engines. Thus, effective internal links are essential to your SEO effort.
What is an External Linking?
External Linking uses hyperlinks that link from your website to any other domain. Or website. When another website links to you, it is thus known as an external linking to your website. If you refer to another website, It seems and acts as an external link.
These are useful if you wish to reference an authority. Or link to extra in-depth information on a topic you don’t cover.
Internal Links vs External Links
Most websites have internal and external links. Internal links connect your website’s pages and articles. At the same time, external links connect your pages to other websites.
This article will look at internal links and why they are important for SEO. If you want to learn more about external links pointing to your site, you may check out the blogs on link building.
What are the Types of Internal Links?
There are two major types of internal links that we use: navigational and contextual. Let’s have a glance at both of them.
Navigational Internal Links
The primary navigational structure of a website is often comprised of navigational links. They are commonly used site-wide. And serve the primary function of assisting users in finding what they are looking for.
You will find such links in a website’s main menu, footer, or sidebar. In addition, navigational internal links make your customer journey as easy as possible.
Contextual Internal Links
Contextual internal links are links within the content that refers to other related pages or sites. Contextual internal links are usually located within a webpage’s main body content. For example, an eCommerce website may include these contextual links.
We are using this interlink type within the body copy to link to the relevant pages for the users.
To provide the most value for your site. You pay close attention to how visible and clickable your contextual links are and how natural your navigational links are.
A visible contextual internal link. For example, natural anchor text can show relevancy between pages. While it also passes PageRank if the referring page has authority.
Understanding the purposes of both these internal links types. And how they seem to users can assist you in making the most of your internal linking strategy.
Why Internal Linking is Important for SEO?
The primary goal of a search engine is to display the best few pages on the web that are most relevant to the topic.
Most link builders and SEO professionals focus on inbound links. And they are establishing links from other sites. So, it is important to know the importance of internal linking.
1. Internal Linking and SEO
When you add an internal link for a page, Google receives the signals. That implies a page on your website is more important and relevant to the topic.
Internal links and backlinks from high-quality external sources are the things. That can boost your search engine authority and rankings.
Internal links are important and valuable. Not because they send a clear message about your content’s importance. But also because they pass on their link authority.
As you notice, each page’s link authority is now being shared within your site. Through these internal links, the value of your webpage or blog post. And other related pages become more chances to be visible to search engines.
Although these web pages may have higher chances to rank well and generate traffic to your website on their own.
Suppose you understand and apply it to your internal linking strategy. Then, internal linking can provide SEO value to your website.
2. Internal Links Help Google and Other Search Engines Understand Your Site’s Structure
Internal linking is important for Google and other search engines. An effective internal linking structure considering a good SEO strategy in mind. That may help search engines identify and index the pages on your site.
“Some pages are known because Google has already visited them before. Other pages are discovered when Google follows a link from a known page to a new page. “
Using optimized internal links is a proven way to ensure that Google finds relevant information on your site. In addition, internal links can also describe the contextual relation across two web pages, which is an extra benefit in this case.
When you do internal linking, they signal that one page is associated with other pages. Suppose you have a lot of credible content to tie throughout. That could be a great opportunity to showcase your expertise.
If you don’t do and show Google how your content is linked, your user won’t either. Later on, we’ll go over how to do this in the most strategic way for your website’s organic growth.
3. Internal Links Pass Authority
The internal linking strategy helps in passing authority across pages on your site. Suppose it has been implemented correctly. And, as a result, it improves rankings.
And All that is determined by the PageRank algorithm. That measures individual pages’ quality and authority and gives value to them. Interlinking is, of course, considered.
Google stopped the PageRank Toolbar in 2016. However, the public-facing scores had ceased updating for the past several years.
But it is still considered an important part of ranking factors. So, knowing how it works can help you develop a good internal linking strategy.
Page A, for example, will have a PageRank value. That provided authoritative external links refer to it. That authority is then passed to Page B via internal links.
Understanding all these authoritative pages can help you. To make the most of the authority flowing into your site to increase rankings.
4. Internal Links Help Users Navigate to Relevant Pages
Internal linking is also an excellent technique to improve your user experience by enabling your users in discovering more useful content.
It may include redirecting a visitor to a product page where they can buy something explained in a buying guide. Or from another specific topic that focuses on some topic.
Internal links can also improve your user experience (UX). And, as a result, your search effectiveness increases the average time on site and encourages customers along the paths to buy.
5. Relationships between content
Using a bot known as Googlebot. Google scans web pages through the bot by considering internal and external links.
In the process, that bot visits the website’s homepage. Then renders the page and then follows the first link on the page. So Google can identify the relationship between different web pages, and blogs. And other stuff by following links.
It allows Google to determine which pages on your site contain similar topics.
For example, you’ll see internal and external links across the article. By including these links, we make it clear to Google that the content on those pages is relevant to the content of this post.
6. Link value
Google splits link value amongst all links on a web page. So that to comprehend the correlation between content.
The website’s homepage has the most important link score since it has the most backlinks. This link value is then distributed across all the links on that homepage. The link value given to the next page will be shared among the links on that page, and so on.
As a result, link to your most recent blog posts from the homepage. Rather than the category page will increase their link worth. Besides, if recent content is linked from the homepage, Google will locate them faster.
When you understand that links pass on their link value, you’ll realize that more links to a post equal greater value.
Because Google considers a page that receives many valuable links to become more significant, you will increase the chances of that page ranking on search engine results.
Internal Linking Best Practices to Build Your Internal Linking Strategy
To start building your internal linking strategy, first audit your website. It will show you exactly where you may improve current internal linking difficulties.
Your strategy will guide you in building on it to achieve game-changing outcomes with your website.
Here, we have mentioned some internal linking best practices to help you build your internal linking strategy.
1. Identifying the Pillar Pages on Your Website
Create a list of the pillar pages that will help you build what is known as topic clusters. They help you with a better understanding of your site structure. It is the first step in developing your internal linking strategy.
Pillar pages target broad keywords with high search volumes. In Compare to more specific long-tail keywords with fewer monthly searches.
They’re also usually the ones who deliver the most useful traffic to your site. That means they’ll likely target your primary keywords with the greatest content.
The most important pages on your site are those that you have optimized well for your main keywords. All these pages can be your site categories pages, products or services pages. Or they can be wonderful pieces of informational content.
Suppose the target keywords are important to you. Then you should include them in your internal linking strategy if a page is essential to you and your business. Then, it will be useful for search engine optimization and user experience.
Please make a list of your most valuable pages unless you’ve identified them through methods like targeted keywords and content strategy development.
Don’t try to include too many pillar pages for your website structure. Otherwise, your site will hurt instead of planning your pillar pages and topic clusters. In addition, you may find it difficult to identify users and supporting information.
2. Internal Links are Useful in Creating Topic Clusters
An internal linking strategy that outlines topic clusters of relevant pages is an excellent way to get good results.
Since you’ve already identified, topic clusters must so begin with the silo’s main pillar page.
It is often the primary page for a specific topic. Any relevant pages will play a role as references for the topic, adding depth.
To show topical relevance and to suggest that. However, the main page is the most important source of information. Therefore, these web pages should internally refer to the pillar page.
Here’s a representation of the notion from HubSpot’s Matthew Barby:
At this point, you may begin identifying your topic clusters. By defining your pillar pages and creating a list of related supporting pages.
Compile a list of how different similar pages exist for various kinds of sites after completing this for yourself. Then, you can start building your topic cluster via internal linking.
Perform a content audit. To discover ways to enhance your topic clusters and boost your supporting pages.
3. Selecting the Appropriate Anchor Text
The next step in the plan is to select the appropriate anchor text for your website’s internal links.
One frequent asked question is whether you always have your main target keyword. Or phrase as the internal link anchor text.
Suppose the anchor text you are using is relevant to the linked page. And not trying to over-optimize by keyword stuffing. You’re unlikely to be penalized for using exact-match anchor text for internal links.
After all, changing anchor texts in these ways is unlike Google’s webmaster guidelines for external links. But it does not apply to your internal linking strategy.
For better results, there are some things to keep in mind:
Andy Drinkwater provided a fantastic overview of this during our Show Me the Links! Internal Links webinar. Here is the quote from Andy Drinkwater is:
“When it comes to anchor texts, make sure they make sense in relation to the pages they’re pointing to. That’s the whole point of them. If you have an anchor text and keep repeating the same one, you may believe that the signal is positive. But it isn’t. You need to get some variation in there. As a result, you could prefer to create four or five different variations of that anchor text.”
Start by taking the time start plan how you will use internal link anchor text to your benefit. It is also useful for identifying the topical relevancy and contextual link between two pages.
That much consideration at this step may impact your users’ journeys.
You have complete control over the anchor text placed on every internal link on your website. So, start making sure to use it to describe the contents of the intended pages.
Use the performance report in Google Search Console. To identify long-tail keywords for which your pages are gaining impressions. But while they are not ranking in the top rankings. Suppose you update your anchor text of such relevant internal links. Then, you will find some small improvements to match the search queries.
4. Identifying the Authority Pages on Your Website
Now that we’ve developed a strategy for topic clusters. Let’s look at how you may benefit from any existing authority on your site.
You’ll find that some of your website pages will provide more authority than others. And you can use them to your benefit.
So, your top authoritative pages have linkbacks to them through external websites. Please keep in mind, that it isn’t about the number of links, but the quality.
In this case, you can use Internal links to convey this link equity to other pages.
You can also use SEMrush’s Backlink Analytics tool to help you locate these pages. So, you can begin compiling a list of tactics to likely replicate throughout the site as needed.
5. Internal Linking to Improve the Ranking of Intended Pages
Once you’ve found these, you may leverage the authority pages on your site to boost the rankings of others.
This strategy attribute can be as straightforward as working over your most authoritative page. And finding possibilities to pass link authority to others when suitable.
If you are dealing with a website with many high-quality links, it could be a good solution.
You have to go through the sites with the most valued links. And then look for possibilities to link some of your most relevant pages. Or those that deserve a rankings boost.
If any of the authoritative pages you’ve found don’t have relevant content. You wouldn’t link to them. If it works better as part of your content strategy, build that content from the start instead.
6. Using Internal Links to Optimize New Content
If you’re starting with a site. That hasn’t generated a lot of links. You can start by optimizing new content altogether.
These include analyzing a set of authoritative pages—the pages for the potential for meaningful interlinking to improve your search results.
One technique is to do some Google searches with keywords and phrases. That is to use in your fresh content to find other relevant websites to link to on your site.
For example, we can search for “site: semrush.com internal links” to discover other blog posts like this article. And we can also insert reciprocal links wherever relevant. To benefit from any existing authority, they will have:
These tactics can help you improve your internal linking by ensuring that certain pages gain from shared authority.
Try to link at best 2 or 3 internal links for every fresh piece of content. These will come from both an authoritative page and those in the relevant topic cluster.
Internal linking isn’t difficult. All you need is a clear, hierarchical site architecture. And also internal links that adhere to that architecture.
That’s the fundamentals. You can, but a link from your “authority pages” to all those who need quite an SEO boost.
An effective internal linking strategy will help your content score. That can be higher in the search results if that is fresh or outdated.
It doesn’t have to be a complicated strategy. Though, considering that you have absolute control over every step along the way. Unlike gaining external connections.
You can roll out a simple strategy with great benefits with the right data, tools, and strategy.