A well-defined internal linking strategy is critical for SEO. It helps search engines understand your website’s structure, improves your ranking, and makes it easier for users to navigate between relevant pages on your site. Learn the fundamentals of building a solid internal linking strategy for search engines and your visitors.
What Are Internal Links?
Internal links point from one page to another on the same domain. When you link from one page to another within your site, you are creating internal links.
Internal linking is a powerful SEO strategy. It helps search engines understand the structure of your website and pass authority between pages. The more internal links there are pointing to a page, the more likely it will rank well in search results.
Benefits of Having an Internal Linking Strategy
An internal linking strategy is crucial for:
- Helping search engines understand your site’s structure
- Improving organic search traffic
- Increasing user engagement
Help Search Engines Understand Your Site’s Structure
Linking pages together is one of the best ways to help search engines understand your site’s structure. It establishes the relationships between your pages:
- What they are about
- Who they are targeting
- How they fit into your website
To rank well, you want search engines to comprehend the topic of your pages. Let’s say you have a blog article about the best burgers in San Francisco. If you link to a page that discusses burgers in general, Google knows that the two relate. In turn, it provides visitors with better search results.
Boost Your Website’s SEO & Ranking
An internal linking strategy is vital for search engine optimization. Strong internal links tell search engines which pages are most relevant to people’s queries. In turn, Google ranks those pages higher in their search engine results pages (SERPs).
Furthermore, an internal linking strategy is beneficial for anyone aiming to be a well-known authority in their niche. It is a great way to bring exposure to other pages and informative articles on your website. Internal linking passes authority, which in turn boosts your rankings. Since internal links help search engines understand your site’s structure, it improves their ability to crawl and index it.
Make It Easy for Visitors to Navigate Your Site
A strong internal linking strategy helps users navigate between relevant content on your site without leaving the current page. It also removes the need to click through many pages to get where they need to be. This makes it easier for them to find what they are looking for without getting distracted.
Let’s say you have an article about how to use Adobe Photoshop. There are several sections within that article including an intro, a lengthy step-by-step guide, and a conclusion. It can be helpful to have a link at the bottom of each section directing viewers back to the beginning of that section. This helps users navigate your article without having to scroll around.
If you have other blog posts related to Adobe Photoshop, find an opportunity to link to them. Think about what kind of information people may be looking for. For example, photographers use Photoshop to edit photos. So, an existing article about photography tips may be a seamless tie-in to the current piece.
Best Practices for Internal Linking
Internal links, the ‘bread and butter’ of SEO, are a powerful way to guide users through your website. But you want to make sure to use them correctly. When building an internal linking strategy, consider these three things:
- The number and placement of your internal links (where will they point?)
- The relevance of your internal links (do they fit well within the context around them?)
- The number of keywords in the anchor text
Create Ample Content
Before you start building your internal linking strategy, you need enough content. Make sure that there are several valuable pages on your website for people to find.
Many businesses use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to find out the number of pages they have on their website. Use their “Pages” report to see all the pages within any given URL. It displays how many indexed URLs there are within that domain and subdomain level.
Not familiar with these tools yet? Don’t worry. Both offer free trials! The best way to become familiar with them is to explore their features. There are also plenty of YouTube videos showing handy tips and tricks to help you learn the ropes.
Types of Links to Use
There are two types of internal links you can use to support your strategy: navigational and contextual internal links.
Navigational Internal Links
Navigational internal links are the most common. They live in the header and footer of your website and make it easy for users to navigate through the pages. Navigational internal links help people quickly find the information they are looking for.
Contextual Internal Links
Contextual internal links are popular in blog articles on a website. When you write new blog posts and link to older relevant ones, you are incorporating contextual internal
links. These links encourage users to explore related reading material without leaving their place.
A Proper Internal Linking Strategy Boosts Organic Rankings and Traffic
Internal links are the foundation of your site’s architecture. They help search engines understand your site’s structure, pass authority and improve rankings, and make site navigation a breeze for users. But creating a robust internal linking strategy can be overwhelming and time-consuming. In fact, according to a benchmark study, 41% of SEO experts say that link building is the hardest part of search optimization.
Seven Oaks Consulting is a unique content marketing agency that can help. We have a team of talented writers that produce quality SEO articles. The more content you have, the more internal links you can build! Visit our website to discover how our services can bring your business to the next level.
Sharon Wu is a freelance content writer with 8+ years of experience. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from UC San Diego, she wrote for brands such as West Elm, COVERGIRL, and TJX Companies. Now, she is an active contributing writer with Seven Oaks Consulting. She is passionate about helping businesses build consumer trust and crafting educational lifestyle content in various industries. In her free time, Share enjoys going to the beach with her pugs, staying active, and attending car meets in her convertible!