Internal links play a very important role in your website, especially if you run a blog, and this importance is what led me to write this article. I hope that I could encourage you to use internal linking as an SEO technique and a way to improve the overall user experience of your readers.
How Internal Links Contribute to SEO
Internal link is a type of hyperlink that connects two webpages to one another, both of which coming from the same domain. In a single page, internal links include not just those that are in the body (the content of the website). The links in the header menu, sidebars, and footer are included in the count as well.
It is therefore important to organize your internal links because they can impact your on-page SEO in many ways. Here’s how:
1. Internal links provide easier navigation and greater usability. Real people are browsing content in your website. You want to give them a great user experience by showing them all the important resources in your website. Whether it’s a related blog post or squeeze page you want them to go, you do it through internal linking.
2. Crawling becomes easier for search engine spiders. If your pages are nicely interconnected to each other, then Google’s bots (also known as spiders) will find it easier to crawl those pages. These software programs can think like humans and that their only objective is to determine what your website truly is. This results to better indexing in the search engines.
3. Link juice flows to pages that are internally linked. Authority is important in order to rank your pages higher. And by internal linking, you are passing on the authority, often known as “link juice, to the pages that need it. This implies that although a particular page isn’t popular, it can become one if you tie it to something authoritative.
4. It creates a hierarchy in your website. Search engines will understand which pages to prioritize in indexing if you have a good internal linking structure present on your website. It will also guide the spiders towards the deep pages that are important and leave those that are not.
5. It improves bounce rate, page views, and time on page. When a reader clicks on an internal link, it means that he or she might be interested in your site. This results to a lower bounce rate, increase in page views, and a longer time on page, which are all essential ingredients to ranking higher in search.
How to Do Internal Linking More Effectively
In this part, I’m going to share what you can do right now to improve your internal linking structure for SEO. The tips below are simple, and everyone (including beginners) can do this.
1. Manage Your Main Navigational Menu
Top-level navigation is the very first thing a reader sees in your website. The part that has the About, Blog, and Contact page are the ones usually present in almost all the pages and posts you have on your website. Plus, you’ll notice that these same webpages are the ones normally on the first page of search.
If that’s the case, then why not place your most important posts and pages in this section of the site? The more often these links show up, the more opportunities for it to rank higher than the rest of your content.
2. Modify Your Sidebar and Footer
Don’t forget the sidebar as well as the footer of your website for it’s also a ranking factor in SERPs. On the sidebar, the most common links include latest posts, popular posts, or sometimes your categories or tags page. So play with it and see if it can make some clicks.
3. Have Important Links in Your Homepage
Your homepage is the most important part of your website, which has the best page authority (PA) and domain authority (DA) scores. All other pages and posts in your site have almost near to nothing in their PA score, but carry the same DA all throughout. So it helps to pass on some of the link juice by linking your homepage to deeper pages in your website.
I recommend that you only focus on the most important content when choosing a link to add. In this way, searchers stumbling on your website can easily understand the value you have to offer.
4. Use Breadcrumb Navigation
Breadcrumb is the best way to set a hierarchy for your posts and pages. Don’t you just love browsing when you know everything is organized and easy to navigate on? You don’t feel lost because you know what level you’re currently browsing on.
I suggest you only do this when you have hundreds of posts and pages that need organizing. Other than that, it’s recommended that you place them instead in the most important part of your blog: the body.
5. Include Links Naturally in Your Blog Posts
And of course, the best way to place internal links that convert is obviously through your blog posts. The body is where most readers pay their attention to, that’s why it helps to provide links to relevant content that could further engage your readers. Plus, doesn’t it look colorful to place links on your site rather than the usual all-black text? Colored text definitely takes the boredom off of reading.
While doing this, I strongly recommend that you place internal links naturally as you write your content. Don’t force yourself to create anchor texts that are really far from the actual content on the page. Also, don’t forget to go back to your old posts and see if there are opportunities to link to great content.
Learn More Tips on SEO and Links
I hope these tips can help you get started towards a stronger internal linking structure for your website. After applying them, I want you to optimize the links and see whether it improved the authority of your pages or not.
You can check your performance either through the search data (spiders), or the Google Analytics report (humans) and see if the links improved your bounce rate and pageviews.
Building internal links to your website is only one of the hundreds of ways that you can practice SEO for your website. To really understand how the process works, I recommend you try a free online training that covers all the SEO basics.
Anyways, I appreciate the time you’ve taken to read my blog post. But before I leave you here, I want to know your thoughts on internal linking and how you’re implementing them in your website. Just drop a comment below and let’s talk about it.