If you’re linking to related blog posts and articles on your website, then you’ve laid a decent foundation. With that said, you can get the most out of your internal links if you take the time to follow some of the key best practices to create and maintain them.
In this article, we will see why internal linking is so important for SEO. Here’s how to use internal links to increase your session length, improve your search engine results, and more while avoiding Google penalties and banning broken links.
What is internal linking?
Internal links are those that point from one page to another on your site. External links, on the other hand, are those that point to a page from another domain.
For example, a link to the SEMrush features page in this article is an internal link and a link to the Google Keyword Planner tool is an external link.
We can get so focused on building natural links from external sources that we overlook internal improvements. This is an area of SEO where mistakes are often made, so let’s take a look at how you can avoid the pitfalls to create a solid strategy that works for you.
Understand the importance of internal links for SEO
Google uses internal links to help discover new content.
Let’s say you publish a new web page and forget to link to it from another part of your site. If we assume the page isn’t on your sitemap and doesn’t have a backlink, then Google won’t know it exists. This is because your web crawler cannot find it.
Pages that do not have internal links to them are called orphan pages; we will talk about that later.
Internal links also help the PageRank flow to your site. Its a big problem. Generally speaking, the more internal links a page has, the higher its PageRank. However, it is not just about quantity; The quality of the link also plays a fundamental role.
How to build a successful internal linking strategy
As a site owner, internal linking is an SEO strategy completely under your control. Here are seven ways to support them and increase your site’s visibility.
1.Use informative and relevant anchor text
Anchor text is the visible text of a link that can be clicked. It tells users and search engines what the linked content is about, so include relevant keywords whenever possible.
Be careful, however, not to overdo it. Search engines also take into account metrics such as session length and number of pages visited. Your priority should be to get visitors to click on your link. This means that your anchor text should be attractive to readers, even if it comes at the expense of a few keywords.
Also, avoid using artificial phrases like click here or check out this link. These words do not communicate anything about the related content to search engines or readers.
2. Make sure your links add value
Readers are more likely to click on a relevant link in the context of the source. If you’re not sure whether a particular link is relevant, ask yourself, “Would the reader benefit from leaving the current page to read the linked content?” “
Search engines focus on user experience (UX). Unnecessary links could hurt your SEO, especially if Google perceives them as spam. If a link offers little or no value to readers, it’s best for you without it.
It’s also beneficial to prioritize “deep links,” which take readers beyond your home page to more specific content on your site. Directing visitors to articles or pages that provide information that they may be interested in, rather than a generic page, can more effectively demonstrate your value and expertise.
3. Use a reasonable amount of internal links.
When it comes to internal linking, you should aim for quality over quantity. Google’s webmaster guidelines recommend “limiting the number of links on a page to a reasonable number (a few thousand maximum).”
This begs the question: what is a reasonable number of links? This can vary based on factors such as your target audience, the length and subject of the source content, and the number of relevant pages you can link to. Ultimately, you should include the links that you find useful to the reader.
4. Don’t bundle links in the footer or sidebar.
It can be tempting to include a lot of links in designated areas of your website. For example, some websites include keyword-rich internal links in their footers or sidebars. This type of link can be dangerous, especially for large hierarchical websites.
With this technique, you could quickly end up with thousands of duplicate links. This repetition adds little value to visitors and search engines may even charge you a spam penalty. It can have devastating effects on your website.
Search engines are also known to tweak their algorithms. The fact that it has not been sanctioned does not mean that it will not be in the future.
If you want to display a lot of internal links, one solution is to use dynamic content. Instead of displaying the same sidebar or footer on each page, you can create multiple layouts with Elementor and then specify which pages you want them to appear on:
5. Consider creating a master document
If you have a large website, it can be useful to record all of its content in a spreadsheet so that you can track internal linking opportunities. When writing new content, you can use this document to identify relevant articles to which you can link.
While creating your spreadsheet, you can save the information that matters most to you. However, at a minimum, we recommend that you include the page title, URL, keywords, linked pages, and anchor text:
6. Audit your old content
Adding links to future content is a good start. However, you should also review your previous content to find opportunities to add or replace internal links. By analyzing your past posts, you can create an interconnected content chain that spans months or even years.
To get the most out of your internal linking strategy, you should also incorporate link building into your content audits. By constantly re-evaluating this aspect of your posts and pages, you can continually refine your SEO, boost engagement, and improve your site’s UX.
7. Check the status of your links.
Links that don’t go anywhere can hurt your SEO and lead to a bad user experience. There are several ways to resolve broken links, including implementing 301 redirects. However, in order to do this, there must first be a problem that needs to be addressed.
Manually checking every link on your website would be a frustrating and time consuming process. It checks your site daily and alerts you if it finds any broken or unresponsive links. If ManageWP detects a broken link, you can quickly change it right from your dashboard.
While backlinks are getting a lot of attention as a way to improve your search rankings and reach new audiences, internal linking can have a positive effect on SEO as well. Plus, they’re completely under your control, so you can link to the content that matters most to you and your target audience.
Do you have a question on how to boost your SEO with a successful internal linking strategy? Ask us in the comment section below!
Do internal links help SEO?
An internal link is any link from one page on your website to another page on your website. Both your users and search engines use links to find content on your website. … The more links an important page receives, the more important it will seem to search engines. Therefore, good internal links are crucial to your SEO.
What are the 3 types of internal links?
Navigational links include links in your header, footer, and navigation bars to help users find other pages within the same domain as search engines crawl your website. Contextual links—which is what we’re talking about in this article—appear in your pages’ content and they have higher SEO value.
What is an example of an internal link?
An internal link is a link from one page to another page on the same domain. They’re simply text hyperlinks from one page to another page on your website. Of course, your website navigation is an example of internal linking, but here we’re talking about links on the page, in the content.