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

Last Updated on 3rd November 2022 by Ajmer Singh

What is Internal Linking?

what is internal linking

An important practice in SEO is internal linking or the act of using hyperlinks to connect your website’s pages together.

There are several reasons why it is useful for SEO, including:

*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.

There are several ways that internal linking helps your SEO performance including:

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.”

what is internal linking

There are several ways to add internal links including:

1. Add links at the bottom of posts to other posts on your site.

2. Use headings and subheadings throughout your article to create a structure within it and link them together for users and crawlers.

3. Link to sister sites if you have them, like Medium or your Facebook page using the “share” function in those places.

4. Link relevant keywords together to help Google classify them as related topics.

5. Add links in your footer and navigation bars whenever possible for more exposure and ease of use.

If you want to make it easy for readers to explore similar content, links like these can be a good place for it.

what is internal linking

There are several types of internal links that can be included on your site:

1. Relative links These are links that take you to another page on your site.

2. Deep links Links to a page within the same domain, without the root, like /resources/.

3. Root relative links These are shortcuts that users can recognize in their browsers that go to pages within the same directory, many times leading to different parts of a website’s homepage, like ../../resources/.

4. Content-based links Links within the text to other pages on your site based on context.

For example: “For more information and inspiration, check out our blog post about this topic here.”

This type of link is best for user experience and SEO according to Moz.

5. Site-wide links Links in sidebars to other parts of your site that appear on every page, like a “resources” link or a “contact us” link.

6. Image-based links Images with alt text that use descriptive keywords, which is where it gets its value from depending on how descriptive it is.

10+ reasons: Why are images important for SEO and blog posts

Internal links are an important SEO strategy to help the crawlability of your site,

which will enable search engines to aggregate authority within a particular topic or theme across multiple pages on your site.

It also helps users stay on your site while they explore by linking similar content together and helps the overall UX of the website for users.

There are many different types of links you can include on your site,

But it’s important to keep in mind that links should be clear, easy to understand for users and crawlers alike, helpful, relevant, descriptive, purposeful, accurate/factual, and not spammy.

Links shouldn’t create confusion for users regarding the true topic of your site and they should be non-spammy for search engines.

what is internal linking

How to use internal links?

1. Add internal links to your content, like links to the author, date published, categories and tags at the bottom of posts.

2. Add headings within the text that link together using keywords that are related to one another for crawlers and users alike.

3. Use subheadings within your text and link them together to help Google crawl and classify the topic.

4. Use applicable keywords in your text that relate to other places on your site or topics you want to promote within the same category/tag.

5. Link relevant keywords together throughout your content for more exposure and easy classification by search engines of related topics.

6. Link images to other relevant images or posts on your site with descriptive alt text, which is a must for SEO.

7. Link relevant keywords together within the same directory and subdirectory using root-relative links (../../resources/).

8. Add links in your navigation bar and footer wherever possible for more exposure and ease of use.

9. Add links to relevant content from your social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter on your blog/website for increased exposure of new readers.

10. Add links in sidebars or footers to related websites for more exposure and traffic flow.

what is internal linking

11. If you have a blog, add links at the end of each post to similar/related posts within your own site that might be helpful, relevant or entertaining to readers.

12. To improve UX on your site, use internal links between like content for easy browsing and to make it easier to find related information.

13. Add an internal link table of contents (ToCs) at the top or bottom of your posts that help users jump to pages they are interested in within your site, especially if you have hundreds of blog posts.

14. Add links to high-quality outside sources for additional exposure and information.

15. Don’t include too many links per post, which makes it annoying for users and crawlers alike and is spammy.

Link with purpose and intent wherever possible and as needed.

16. Add internal links in your email newsletters that lead to related posts within the same category or tag.

Especially if they are catering to a similar audience who may be interested in one another’s posts.

17. Ensure that when you’re adding internal links throughout your site that they are keyword-focused, descriptive, relevant to the post, not spammy or too promotional.

18. Don’t use keywords in anchor text for internal links on your site since you’re only linking within your own content and it’s trusted by search engines already.

19. Keep internal links between posts consistent with titles, formatting, style and types of links used.

20. Ensure users can follow internal links to find additional content on your site by checking if they are navigable in the browser.

what is internal linking

Why link internally?

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.

what is internal linking

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.

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!

what is internal linking

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.

what is internal linking

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.

what is internal linking

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.

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.

what is internal linking

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.

Conclusion

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!

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