Internal Links are hypertext links which lead to various domains within the domain that they exist on. Generally, internal links point to a different page within the same website. Internal links are helpful for building site architecture and spreading link equity.
It is crucial to use internal links in SEO practice since Google uses internal links to discover new content on your website. Let’s assume that you forget to link to a new web page from somewhere else in your site.
If the page isn’t in your sitemap, and there are no backlinks to it, then Google won’t know it exists. The reason is that their search engine cannot locate it. It is therefore essential to use internal links within your website to assist google in this matter and, as a result, benefit your SEO.
How Do You Use Internal Links?
The process behind using internal links is simple in hindsight, but becomes more complicated as you delve further into the theory process behind it. There are a few key steps you should work around when using internal links.
You need to create a lot of content on your website. You cannot have strong internal linking if you have no content to link too. Creating keyword rich content with a lot of anchor text will help google’s web crawler find all your internal web pages.
Only use links that are natural to the reader of the content. Adding too many links to a single paragraph will look confusing to the reader and will most likely lead to the exiting of the page rather than the clicking of internal links.
It is better to keep links clear and to a reasonable amount. Making sure to only include relevant links is also important, as additional links which serve no purpose will waste the user’s time and may cause a loss in leads.
Types of Internal Links
While you have the simple forms of internal links found in footers, headers, and navbars, there are also other types of internal links. Anchor text, for example, is a form of internal linking where links are made from pieces of text within the page’s content.
This is a very useful form of internal linking because it not only provides google’s web crawler with a resource to discover but it also allows users to easily see and open up a relevant webpage based on what they were reading.
Nofollow links are another form of internal linking where an internal link can be set to have a “nofollow” tag. This essentially tells google’s web crawler that this link leads to an unimportant page (a login page for example).
These nofollow links are used on internal links which are unimportant for SEO. A “noindex tag” can also be set to tell Google not to render the page and not to give the content a place in its index to appear in search results. There also exists a “dofollow” tag which does the opposite of the “nofollow” tag, telling google it should go to that page.
The following are some best practices to follow when doing internal linking:
Link to important pages, pages from high traffic to high conversion, and pages with high authority to almost high ranked
Don’t use too many internal links
Don’t use the same link for 2 different pages
Use keyword heavy anchor text
Put internal links high up on your page and wherever it helps the reader
Manage your internal links and make sure none of them are broken
What Are the Benefits of Internal Linking?
There are three major purposes behind the use of internal linking; Aids with navigation on websites, defines the architectural structure and hierarchy of your website, and makes sure the site is distributing the authority and ranking power throughout.
You need links for your content to rank. Google finds your content best if it’s linked from a place on the internet. Internal links connect your content to the structure of your website and show google the organisation of your site. Internal links can be used to establish a hierarchy on your site, giving the most important pages/posts, more link value than other, less important pages.
When you have the proper internal links, you can guide visitors and Google to the most important pages of your site. Therefore, using an internal linking strategy will boost your SEO!