Internal linking refers to creating links ( hyperlinks) that connect different pages or content within the same website. Search engines also use these links to help them understand your site structure.
Internal linking serves several purposes:
1. USER EXPERIENCE
Internal links provide a convenient way for users to move between related pages on a website. By including relevant anchor text, users can quickly find additional information on a particular topic or explore related content.
When visiting your website, Internal links improve the user experience by making it easier for them to discover and access relevant information. They help you to guide users through your website, helping them find what they are looking for and reducing the chances of them leaving due to frustration or lack of direction.
Internal links can be used to guide users through a logical flow of content. By linking related articles or pages, you can create a cohesive user journey, allowing readers to explore different aspects of a topic or delve deeper into specific subtopics.
Internal links can be used to drive traffic to important or less-accessible pages that are buried deeper within the site’s architecture. By including relevant internal links within high-traffic pages, you can guide users to valuable content that they might have otherwise missed.
Internal linking encourages users to explore more pages on your website, increasing engagement and dwell time (the amount of time users spend on your site). This can positively impact SEO metrics, as search engines often consider user engagement signals when ranking websites.
Internal links from the homepage to important pages on your website can help distribute authority and improve their visibility in search results. It also facilitates user navigation, as the homepage is often the starting point for visitors.
Linking to High-Value Pages: Identify and prioritize linking to high-value pages such as landing pages, lead generation pages, or conversion-focused pages. Internal linking can help drive traffic and increase the visibility of these important pages.
3. INFORMATION HIERARCHY
Information Hierarchy: By strategically placing internal links, website owners can indicate the importance and hierarchy of different pages. Pages that receive more internal links are typically considered more important by search engines, potentially leading to higher rankings in search results.
4. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Internal linking is an important aspect of on-page SEO. When search engines crawl a website, they follow internal links to discover and index new pages. Proper internal linking can help search engines understand the structure and what content is available on the website. This in itself will improve its visibility and organic search rankings.
When implementing internal linking, it’s essential to consider a few best practices:
a. USE RELEVANT ANCHOR TEST
Make sure that you use relevant anchor text for your internal links. This will help both users and search engines understand what the linked page is about.
B. CONTEXTUAL RELEVANCE
Place internal links in relevant contexts within the content. Links should naturally fit into the flow of the text and provide additional value to readers.
c. AVOID OVERLINKING
While internal linking is beneficial, it’s important to avoid excessive linking, as it may confuse users and dilute the significance of individual links.
D. CHECK FOR ANY BROKEN LINKs
Regularly review and update your internal links to ensure they are functional and lead to the intended pages. Broken links can negatively impact user experience and SEO.
Overall, internal linking is a valuable practice for website owners to improve user experience, help search engines understand their content, and enhance their website’s visibility in search results.
6. PAGE AUTHORITY
Internal links can help distribute the authority and ranking power of your website across different pages. If you link to one of your key pages from multiple other pages, it will show search engines that this page is important. This can help improve the visibility and rankings of that page in search results.
7. SITE STRUCTURE AND CRAWLABILITY
Internal linking aids in establishing a clear site structure, making it easier for search engine crawlers to navigate and index your website. A well-structured site with logical internal linking can ensure that all pages are discovered and crawled effectively, improving overall search engine visibility.
8. ANCHOR TEXT OPTIMISATION
The anchor text used for internal links plays a role in SEO. Ideally, the anchor text should be descriptive and include relevant keywords that accurately represent the content of the linked page. This helps search engines understand the context and relevance of the linked page.
Internal linking complements sitemaps, which are files that provide a structured list of all the pages on your website. Including internal links within your sitemap can assist search engines in discovering and indexing your pages more efficiently.
12. CONTEXTUAL CLUSTERING
Contextual Clustering: Internal linking can help create clusters of related content on your website. By interlinking relevant pages, you establish topical relationships and indicate to search engines that your website provides comprehensive information on specific subjects.
Breadcrumbs are a type of internal linking that shows the hierarchical structure of a website and helps users understand their current location within the site. They provide easy navigation by allowing users to click on higher-level categories or parent pages.
15. EXTERNAL LINKING
While internal linking focuses on connecting pages within your own website, it’s also valuable to include relevant external links to authoritative sources. External linking can enhance the credibility and usefulness of your content and may even encourage other websites to link back to your pages, boosting your own site’s authority.
16. LINK JUICE AND PAGERANK
Internal links contribute to the flow of “link juice” or PageRank within your website. When one page links to another, it passes a portion of its authority and ranking power to the linked page. This can influence the ranking potential of individual pages and help improve their visibility in search results.
17. NOFOLLOW ATTRIBUTE
By default, internal links do not have the “nofollow” attribute applied, meaning they are seen as endorsements by search engines. However, in certain cases, you may choose to use the nofollow attribute on specific internal links to indicate to search engines that you don’t want to pass authority to the linked page. This can be useful for user-generated content or sponsored content where you want to prevent search engines from considering those links for ranking purposes.
18. UPDATING AND OPTIMISING INTERNAL LINKS
As your website grows and your number of pages increases, it’s important to periodically review and update your internal links. This includes checking for broken or redirected links, ensuring proper anchor text usage, and adjusting links to reflect changes in your site’s structure or content.
19. FOOTER AND SIDEBAR LINKS
It is good practice to add links to your website’s footer or sidebar. These areas are typically displayed consistently across multiple pages, making them easily accessible for users to explore different sections of your website.
20. USER INTENT AND RELEVANCE
User Intent and Relevance: When implementing internal links, consider the user’s intent and ensure the linked pages are relevant to their needs. By doing this you can enhance the user experience and increase the chances of them staying on your site.
21. LINK DIVERSITY
When creating internal links, aim for a diverse range of anchor texts and link placements. By doing this it will help search engines understand the content and context of the linked pages. Similarly, spreading internal links throughout the body of the content instead of concentrating them in one area provides a natural and user-friendly experience.
22. LINKING TO PILLAR CONTENT
Pillar content refers to comprehensive, authoritative pages that cover a broad topic in depth. Internal linking to pillar content from other related pages can help establish it as a cornerstone of your website’s knowledge base. This enhances its visibility, and authority, and can attract more external links.
23. USE OF IMAGES
Internal linking can also be applied to images. Adding relevant alt text to your images and linking them to relevant pages can enhance the user experience and provide additional context or information.
24. CONTEXTUAL LINKING TOOLS
There are tools available that can assist you to identify opportunities for internal linking within your content. The tools look at your website’s content and suggest opportunities for internal linking that will help to improve the user experience and SEO.
25. CONTENT UPDATES AND HISTORICAL OPTIMISATION
As you update and refresh your content, take the opportunity to review and update internal links as well. This ensures that the links remain relevant and functional, enhancing the overall user experience and SEO value.
26. site-wIDE navigation
Incorporate clear and consistent site-wide navigation elements such as menus, breadcrumbs, or a site map. These elements provide users with an easy way to navigate through your website and discover related content.
27. linking to related products or services
Linking to Related Products or Services: If you have an e-commerce website or offer multiple services, internal linking can be used to guide users to related products or services. This can help increase cross-selling or upselling opportunities and improve user satisfaction.
28. ANALYTICS AND TESTING
Regularly monitor your website’s analytics to garner information about user behaviour and engagement. Analyzing click-through rates and user flow can help identify areas where internal linking can be optimized to improve user engagement and conversion rates.
29. LINKING TO HIGH-VALUE PAGES
30. MOBILE-FRIENDLY INTERNAL LINKS
Ensure that your internal links are mobile-friendly and easily clickable on smaller screens.
31. silo structure
Silo structure refers to organizing your website’s content into different categories or themes. Within each silo, you can establish strong internal linking between related pages to emphasize the topical relevance and authority of that specific area of your website.
32. linking from high authority pages
Internal links from pages that already have high authority and receive a significant amount of organic traffic can provide a boost to the linked pages. These high-authority pages carry more weight in terms of passing link juice and can help improve the rankings of the linked pages.
33. user-generated content
If your website incorporates user-generated content such as comments, reviews, or forums, internal linking can be used to connect those user-generated pages to relevant content on your site. This helps create a sense of community and interconnectivity, as well as provides users with additional resources and information.
34. EXTERNAL LINK RECLAMATION
Occasionally, external websites may link to your website’s content but use outdated or incorrect URLs. When you come across these simply contact the referring websites and ask them to update the links to point to the correct internal pages.
35. SEO PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Content management systems (CMS) often have plugins or built-in tools that can assist with internal linking. These tools can automatically suggest relevant internal links based on keyword analysis or content similarity, making it easier to optimize your internal linking structure.
36. INTERNAL LINKING AUTHORITY
Consider the hierarchy of your internal links. Important pages should receive more internal links compared to less important ones. This can be achieved by linking to them from multiple other pages or placing them prominently in menus or navigation elements.
37. AVOID LINKING ON A SINGLE PAGE
While internal linking is beneficial, overloading a single page with too many internal links can dilute their impact and confuse users. It’s recommended to keep the number of internal links on a page reasonable and focus on providing a clear and intuitive user experience.
38. LINKING TO SUPPORTING CONTENT
Internal links can be used to guide users to supporting or supplementary content that enhances the understanding or provides additional information on a particular topic. This helps create a comprehensive and informative user experience.
39. LINKING TO EVERGREEN CONTENT
Content that remains largely unchanged over a period of time is known as evergreen content. This content is usually important and so is worth linking to.
40. A/B TESTING
Conducting A/B tests with different variations of internal linking structures can help determine which linking strategies yield better user engagement metrics, such as click-through rates, time on page, and conversion rates.
41. LINKING TO RELATED BLOG POSTS
If your website has a blog section, internal linking can be used to connect related blog posts. When writing new blog posts, look for opportunities to link to older posts that cover similar or complementary topics. This helps users discover more relevant content and keeps them engaged on your site for longer.
42. LINKING TO PILLAR PAGES
Pillar pages are comprehensive, in-depth pages that cover a broad topic. They serve as a central hub of information and are often linked to from multiple other pages on your website. Internal linking to pillar pages not only enhances their authority but also provides a clear pathway for users to explore detailed content on a specific subject.
43. LINKING IN XML SITEMAPS
XML sitemaps are files that provide a list of all the pages on your website to search engines. Including internal links within your XML sitemap can help search engines discover and crawl your internal pages more effectively.
44. LINKING TO IMPORTANT CALLS TO ACTION (CTA’s)
Internal linking can be used strategically to direct users to important calls to action such as signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or downloading a resource. By linking to these CTAs from multiple relevant pages, you can increase their visibility and drive conversions.
45. USING NATURAL LANGUAGE
When creating internal links, aim for natural language and avoid using phrases like “click here” or “read more,” Instead try and use descriptive anchor text that indicates the linked page’s content.
46. LINKING FROM HIGH-ENGAGEMENT PAGES
Identify pages on your website that receive high engagement metrics, such as a low bounce rate or a high average time on page. These pages indicate user interest and satisfaction. Consider adding internal links from these pages to other relevant content to further engage users and keep them exploring your website.
47. INTERNAL LINKS IN PAGINATION
If your website uses pagination for long-form content or product listings, ensure that each page in the series has internal links to the previous and next pages. This will help users to easily find and navigate to the pages they require.
48. USING ANCHOR TAGS
Anchor tags can be used to create jump links within a page, allowing users to navigate directly to specific sections or headings. These internal links can be particularly useful for long-form content or articles with multiple sections.
49. RELEVANCE OVER QUANTITY
Instead of focusing on the sheer number of internal links, prioritize relevance. Make sure that all of your links point to pages that add value for the visitor. Quality internal links that genuinely enhance the user experience are more valuable than a large quantity of irrelevant or low-quality links.
50. LINKING TO EXTERNAL RESOURCES
Linking to External Resources: While internal linking primarily connects pages within your own website, strategically linking to external resources can provide additional value to your users. When appropriate, include relevant and authoritative external links that complement your content and provide further insights or references.
51. LINKING TO USER GUIDES OR TUTORIALS
Linking to User Guides or Tutorials: If your website offers user guides, tutorials, or instructional content, internal linking can be used to connect these resources to relevant product or service pages. This helps users easily access additional information or support materials to enhance their experience with your offerings.
52. LINKING TO TESTIMONIALS OR CASE STUDIES
If you have testimonials or case studies highlighting the success or positive experiences of your customers, internal linking can be used to connect these social proof elements to relevant product or service pages. This can help build credibility and trust among users who are considering your offerings.
53. LINKING FROM AUTHORITATIVE PAGES
Linking from Authoritative Pages: Pages that have a high level of authority, either through strong backlinks or high search engine rankings, can pass on more link equity to the pages they internally link to. Look for opportunities to internally link from these authoritative pages to other important pages on your website.
54. LINKING TO FAQ’s OR HELP CENTRE
If you have a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section or a help centre, internal linking can be used to connect relevant questions and answers to other pages on your website. This can provide users with quick access to information and improve their overall experience.
55. LINKING FROM RELATED PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
If your website offers a range of products or services, internal linking can be used to connect related offerings. This can help users discover and explore different options, potentially leading to increased conversions or sales.
56. LINKING TO RESOURCE PAGES
If you have resource pages that present valuable information to the user, internal linking can be used to direct users to these resources from relevant pages.
57. LINKING TO LOCAL LANDING PAGES
If your business operates in multiple locations, internal linking can be used to connect location-specific landing pages to relevant pages on your website. This can help improve local SEO and provide users with targeted information based on their location.
58. LINKING TO RELEVANT PRODUCTS OR SERVICES IN BLOG CONTENT
If you mention specific products or services in your blog posts, internal linking can be used to connect those mentions to the corresponding product or service pages. This provides readers with an easy way to learn more about the mentioned offerings and potentially make a purchase.
59. LINKING TO RELATED RESEARCH OR STUDIES
If you reference research studies, academic papers, or industry reports in your content, internal linking can be used to connect those references to the original sources or relevant pages on your website. This adds credibility to your content and allows users to explore the sources for more in-depth information.
60. LINKING TO UPCOMING EVENTS OR WEBINARS
Linking to Upcoming Events or Webinars: If your website promotes upcoming events, webinars, or workshops, internal linking can be used to direct users to registration pages or additional information about these events. This helps drive participation and engagement.
61. LINKING TO RELATED PRODUCT CATEGORIES
If your website has a wide range of products or services organized into categories, internal linking can be used to connect related product categories. This helps users find what they’re looking for more easily.
62. LINKING TO NEW OR FEATURED CONTENT
When you publish new or featured content on your website, such as blog posts, articles, or promotions, internal linking can be used to give them a visibility boost. Linking from high-traffic pages or prominent areas on your website can drive more attention and engagement to the new content.
63. LINKING TO SUBSCRIPTION OR MEMBERSHIP PAGES
If you offer subscription-based content or have a membership program, internal linking can be used to guide users to subscription or membership pages. This encourages them to sign up and access exclusive content or benefits.
64. LINKING TO SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES
If your website has active social media profiles, internal linking can be used to connect your website’s pages to the respective social media profiles. This helps users find and connect with you on social media platforms, increasing your brand’s online presence.
66. Linking to related events or news
If your website covers events, news, or industry updates, internal linking can be used to connect related articles or updates. This provides users with more comprehensive and up-to-date information on specific topics of interest.
67. LINKING TO VIDEO CONTENT
If your website includes video content, internal linking can be used to connect relevant videos to related pages or articles. This improves the user experience by providing multimedia resources and encourages users to engage with the video content.
68. LINKING TO USER REVIEWS OR RATINGS
If your website features user reviews or ratings for products or services, internal linking can be used to connect these reviews to the respective product or service pages. This helps build trust and provides valuable social proof for potential customers.
69. LINKING TO RELATED SUPPORT OR HELP PAGES
If you offer support or help resources, internal linking can be used to connect these pages to relevant product or service pages. This ensures that users have easy access to assistance when they need it.
70. LINKING TO RELATED INDUSTRY RESOURCES
If there are reputable industry resources, such as industry associations, research organizations, or government websites, internal linking can be used to connect to these external resources. This shows that you value authoritative information and can enhance the credibility of your own content.
71. LINKING TO PRODUCT COMPARISONS OR BUYING GUIDES
If your website offers product comparisons or buying guides, internal linking can be used to connect these resources to relevant product pages. This helps users make informed purchasing decisions and improves the overall shopping experience.
72. LINKING TO RELATED PODCAST EPISODES
If your website hosts a podcast or features audio content, internal linking can be used to connect relevant podcast episodes to related articles, blog posts, or product pages. This allows users to explore the topic in more depth through different formats.
73. LINKING TO RELATED CASE STUDIES OR SUCCESS STORIES
If your website showcases case studies or success stories of your clients or customers, internal linking can be used to connect these examples to relevant product or service pages. This demonstrates the real-world value and benefits of your offerings.
74. LINKING TO INTERNATIONAL OR MULTILINGUAL VERSIONS OF PAGES
If your website serves an international or multilingual audience, internal linking can be used to connect pages in different languages.
75. LINKING TO FAQs OR KNOWLEDGE BASE
If your website has a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section or a knowledge base, internal linking can be used to connect specific questions to relevant answers or articles. This helps users find solutions to their queries quickly and efficiently.
76. LINKING TO BRAND PARTNERS OR AFFILIATES
Linking to Brand Partners or Affiliates: If your website has brand partnerships or affiliate relationships, internal linking can be used to connect to the respective partner or affiliate pages. This helps drive traffic and potentially generates revenue through referral programs.
77. LINKING TO USER-GENERATED CONTENT GALLERIES
If your website features user-generated content galleries, such as customer photos or testimonials, internal linking can be used to connect these galleries to relevant product or service pages. This showcases real-world usage and experiences of your offerings.
78. LINKING TO RESOURCE LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
Linking to Resource Libraries or Archives: If your website maintains a resource library or an archive of past content, internal linking can be used to connect current pages to older but still relevant resources. This helps users access a wealth of information and keeps your content evergreen.
79. LINKING TO CONTACT OR SUPPORT FORMS
Linking to Contact or Support Forms: If your website has contact forms or support forms, internal linking can be used to direct users to these forms from relevant pages. This facilitates communication and interaction between users and your business.
80. LINKING TO LANDING PAGES FOR SPECIFIC CAMPAIGNS
If you run specific marketing campaigns or promotions, internal linking can be used to connect related landing pages to relevant pages on your website. This drives targeted traffic to campaign-specific pages and helps maximize conversions.
Although internal linking is beneficial you need to be careful not to overdo it. Excessive internal links can lead to a poor user experience.
By considering these factors and incorporating internal linking best practices, you can improve user experience, strengthen your website’s structure, and enhance its visibility in search engines.
By following best practices and regularly reviewing and optimizing your internal linking strategy, you can improve user experience, improve SEO, and drive organic traffic to your website.
Remember, internal linking is a continuous process, and it’s important to monitor the performance of your internal links regularly. Analyze user behavior, search engine rankings, and other relevant metrics to identify areas for improvement and refine your internal linking strategy accordingly.
Remember to review and update your internal linking strategy periodically.