What is Internal Linking and Why it is Important for SEO?

Last Updated on 20th February 2023 by Ajmer Singh

Internal linking refers to the process of linking one page of a website to another page within the same website.

This is an important aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because it helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of a website and how its pages are related to one another.

Additionally, internal links can help distribute link equity (ranking power) throughout a website, which can help improve the search engine rankings of individual pages.

Properly implemented internal links can also improve the user experience by making it easier for visitors to navigate a website and find the information they are looking for.

Table Of Contents show

What is Internal Linking?

internal linking in seo

Internal linking is a strategy used by website owners and marketers to link pages within their website.

By linking pages together, internal linking enhances site navigation and user experience while also impacting the SEO ranking of the website.

Internal linking is an essential part of an SEO strategy as it helps search engines to understand the structure of your website and how your pages are related.

Reasons why it is useful for SEO!

internal linking in seo

*It increases page views by having users stay on your site.

*It helps aggregate authority within a particular topic across multiple pages on your site.

*It helps your pages rank better.

*It can act as a natural deterrent to spammers or people trying to game the system.

Internal linking is especially important for brands with lots of content like Buzzfeed, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur.

Who all use internal linking in their bottom navigation bars, which is an easy place most users will see it.

How does internal linking help your SEO performance?

internal linking in seo

1). It’s important for crawlability because search engines look at links within the site as votes for other content on the site to be included in their index.

The more links there are, the more likely it is they will decide which pages to crawl and add to their index.

2). When links exist on the site, it helps search engines determine what you consider important when they are ranking your pages.

This can be seen by users in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) like Google at the top of the page where they highlight “recommended” and “expert.”

3). When links point to the same topic on different pages, it tells search engines that you believe this is an important topic.

This can be seen by users in SERPs like Google at the bottom of the page where they highlight “related.”

internal linking in seo

Understanding Internal Linking

Internal linking is the process of linking one page on your website to another page on the same website.

The primary goal of internal linking is to create a network of web pages that are connected and organized in a logical manner.

Internal linking makes it easier for users to navigate your website, find related content and increases the time users spend on your website.

It also helps search engines to understand the structure of your website and the relationships between your pages.

Types of internal linking:

  1. Contextual Links – Links that are placed within the content of a page and provide additional information on a specific topic.
  2. Navigation Links – Links that are placed in the main navigation or footer of your website.
  3. Related Posts/Content Links – Links that are placed at the end of a blog post or page that suggest additional content or resources.
  4. Breadcrumb Links – Links that show the user the path they took to get to a particular page.

Importance of Internal Linking in SEO

internal linking in seo

1. Enhanced Site Navigation and User Experience:

Internal linking makes it easier for users to navigate your website and find the content they are looking for.

This leads to increased engagement, higher time on site, and a lower bounce rate, all of which are essential factors for SEO ranking.

2. Improved Indexing and Crawling:

By linking pages together, search engines can easily find and index your pages.

Internal linking helps search engines to understand the structure of your website and how your pages are related.

3. Increased Page Authority:

Pages that are linked to more often tend to have higher page authority, which can lead to better search engine rankings.

4. Better Keyword Rankings and Targeted Pages:

Internal linking helps to pass link equity from one page to another, improving the ranking of the targeted page.

By using internal links with optimized anchor text, you can target specific keywords and boost the ranking of pages for those keywords.

5. Reduced Bounce Rate:

Internal linking helps to keep users on your website for longer by providing related content and information.

This reduces bounce rate, which is a key factor in SEO ranking.

Best Practices for Internal Linking

internal linking in seo

1. Anchor Text Optimization:

Use descriptive and relevant anchor text for internal links. This helps search engines to understand the context of the link and improve the ranking of the targeted page.

2. Link Relevancy and Context:

Link pages that are relevant to each other and have a clear relationship. The content should be relevant and provide additional value to the user.

3. Link Depth and Distribution:

Limit the number of clicks it takes to get to a page and make sure every page can be reached within three clicks. Distribute links evenly across your website, and avoid linking to the same pages repeatedly.

4. Avoiding Broken Links and Orphan Pages:

Check regularly for broken links and orphan pages, which are pages that have no links to them. These can negatively impact SEO ranking and user experience.

5. Limiting the Use of NoFollow Links:

While it’s essential to use NoFollow links for pages you don’t want to be crawled or indexed, using too many NoFollow links on your website can hurt your SEO ranking.

Tools for Internal Linking

internal linking in seo

1. Google Search Console:

The search console provides a comprehensive analysis of your website’s internal linking and identifies any issues or errors that need to be fixed.

It also provides suggestions on how to improve internal linking on your website.

2. Ahrefs:

Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO tool that includes a feature to analyze internal linking.

It provides information on the number of internal links a page has, the pages that link to it, and suggestions for improving internal linking on your website.

3. Screaming Frog:

Screaming Frog is a web crawling tool that analyzes your website’s internal linking structure, providing a report on broken links, redirects, and other issues that need to be fixed.

It also provides recommendations for improving internal linking on your website.

4. SEMrush:

SEMrush is an SEO tool that includes a feature to analyze internal linking on your website.

It provides information on the number of internal links a page has, the pages that link to it, and suggestions for improving internal linking on your website.

5. Majestic:

Majestic is an SEO tool that includes a feature to analyze the internal linking structure of your website.

It provides information on the number of internal links a page has, the pages that link to it, and suggestions for improving internal linking on your website.

Why link internally?

internal linking in seo

1. Lowers bounce rate by keeping users on the same site.

2. Increases time on site by providing additional content to readers where they are in the purchase funnel.

3. Improves UX through continuity vs. leaving users wondering what to do next when they finish a page.

Especially if it’s an informational page that leads them to another website if there are no clear internal links for them to follow.

4. Links are more likely to be clicked if included throughout the content where they might be helpful or relevant.

Especially for informational pages that don’t have any other direction or motivation for the reader to click elsewhere.

5. Helps Google classify your site and its contents better based on interconnections of keywords used in text and anchor texts.

6. Helps Google index all related content from your site in a reasonable time frame when search crawlers crawl the full website and find multiple internal links to related pages of information.

7. Makes it easier for Google crawlers to access important parts of your site, like blog posts and product pages, which is especially helpful for e-commerce sites.

8. Links to related posts and pages increase the possibility that related posts will be clicked and viewed by users more than if they were randomly placed throughout a site without purpose or intent.

9. Helpful for SEO, since internal linking of relevant keywords throughout your website helps Google index your site better and can improve rankings if done correctly.

10. Internal linking from outside sources can help you increase your search traffic from those sites over time as well as help them raise their own rankings.

Since they are providing a link to yours both of which could improve your site’s search traffic and rankings as well.

11. Helps Google determine user intent, especially if you’re linking to other non-competitive, informational pages within your own site.

12. Internal linking from the same website keeps content together and allows users to quickly access it,

if they have been there before or found it via an external site since it will be in a familiar location where related information is at.

internal linking in seo

13. Adding internal links throughout your posts or pages helps you to connect the dots and lead users to other relevant information, especially if they are in a purchase funnel.

This can help them get more out of your website and provide additional content without taking readers completely off your site.

14. Helps search engines index all related pages on your site faster since they can see internal links to important parts of your website.

15. Helps users find other valuable content on your site that they may want to visit or return to later if you include internal links within them to related pages or posts.

16. Internal linking can help spread link juice through your website since you are providing additional relevant links for search engines to crawl and index.

Which can lead to a better user experience and more pages being crawled over time.

17. Helps search engines crawl your website easier by providing a map of your site.

That is easy to follow and find all pages, especially if many are linking from the same domain.

18. Internal links help users who have been to your site before or found it somewhere else to return to it easily.

Rather than having to search for the page, they were previously on if none of your internal links leads back there.

19. Links from other pages across the web can signal relevancy and value which helps keep users’ trust in your website.

Since you are sharing similar information between sites without trying to take them off your site.

20. Internal links can help users find their way around your site and feel more comfortable navigating it,

while also providing a better experience for all users who visit your site by keeping them on it longer rather than taking them off through a series of clicks to other websites.

FAQS on Internal Links!

internal linking in seo

Q: If I want to move a page and it already has internal links, do I need to update those links?

A: Yes. Changing the URL of a webpage automatically breaks any existing links pointing to that page.

It’s recommended that you use a 301 redirect so that incoming links continue to work as expected, which will help preserve the value passed by those links.

A 302 redirect does not pass on that value.

Q: Is internal linking more important for some websites than others?

A: Yes, it is more important for sites with lots of pages and more internal links to them since the deeper the site gets, the harder it can be to crawl.

Q: What types of internal links should I use?

A: The best types of internal links to use are contextual links that reference other pages on your website, or from related posts.

It can also help to add some navigational links within your site if it is deeper in order to make it easier for users and search engines to navigate through your site.

Q: Is it better to create internal links in HTML or text?

A: There are pros and cons to both that may depend on the situation, but most of the time you can get away with using either.

It is important not to overdo each option since too many links within the plain text, for instance, might be seen as spammy if not done well.

It can be done through both text and HTML links which means that the choice is up to you as to what you want to use.

Though either method should not hurt your rankings since it’s simply helping users find their way around your website better.

internal linking in seo

Q: Will internal linking hurt my rankings?

A: No, it should not hurt your rankings.

Since the only thing doing internal links will do is help users find what they are looking for on your website which has value to search engines as well.

It can actually help improve user experience and thus improve organic rankings over time if done correctly.

Q: Is it possible to do interlinking with pages on other websites?

A: No, it is not possible to do internal linking externally through other websites, or by having a service create them automatically.

You either need to do it manually yourself or pay someone to do it for you if needed.

Q: How important are interlinking sub-pages on a site?

A: Interlinking sub-pages is not as important as internal links.

But if possible it can be helpful to include some navigational links at the top of your sub-pages that back up to your home page which is beneficial to both users and search engines.

Q: What is the best internal linking structure for a website?

A: The best internal link structures vary from site to site but it’s always good to keep them relevant and as natural as possible.

There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way of doing things.

But if done well it can really help improve the site in terms of user experience, internal linking structure and how it ranks organically.

internal linking in seo

Q: Do I need to use keywords when internal linking?

A: While you can include keywords if you’d like, it is not necessary to do so since internal links are used mostly for navigation between pages on your website.

It does not matter what keywords or phrases you use currently, but it’s a good idea to make sure the links are relevant and helpful to both users and search engines.

Q: What is dofollow internal linking?

A: Dofollow links are used mostly in blogs where they help provide more value.

Since anyone can link to another website including search engines which helps increase that site’s profile.

Dofollow links are good for sites of all types, but especially those with lots of pages which can be hard to keep track of otherwise.

Q: What is nofollow internal linking?

A: Nofollow links are used on pages that might have affiliate offers for instance, or any site trying to prevent users from being tricked into clicking a link that does not sound relevant.

They can be helpful in some situations, but they aren’t necessary and will not hurt your rankings when done correctly.

Q: Is it important to use anchor text when linking internally?

A: While you can use anchor text as a way of providing more information as to why the link is there, it isn’t necessary and should not be overused.

In general, your internal links should have less than 60% using anchor text in order for them to be seen as natural and not spammy.

internal linking in seo

Q: Can I use more than just one keyword for internal linking?

A: Yes, there is nothing wrong with using multiple keywords or phrases when doing internal linking as long as they are relevant to the page in question.

Even if you were linked to another website and provided an anchor text phrase it wouldn’t matter since it is being done internally to your own site.

Q: Can I use keywords or phrases that may not be relevant in anchor text?

A: Yes, it is fine to use keywords that are related even if they might not be entirely relevant to the link’s anchor text.

For instance, you could say “here” as the phrase when linking internally even if it isn’t a perfect match, but it will still help provide more information as to why the link is being provided.


Internal linking is an important part of SEO, but it’s also a great way to help your website visitors find the information they need. 

Internal linking is an important aspect of search engine optimization.

It can be difficult to keep track of how many links you’ve created or where they are located, but the work will pay off when you start seeing higher rankings in organic searches and more traffic coming from Google.

Use this article as a starting point for understanding what internal linking means and why it’s so crucial for your SEO strategy!

So what do you think? Have you ever used internal linking in your own content strategy? We’d love to hear about it!