5 Ways to Build Your Internal Linking Strategy - A Proven Guide for Internal Link Building

                                                            Ways to Build Your Internal Linking Strategy
Ways to Build Your Internal Linking Strategy

Think of the people who visit your website as eager guests who get lost and angry when there aren't any clear directions. 

Internal links are like traffic lights; they lead people deeper into your content and search engines to the pages they want.

Without internal links, it's hard for users to find their way around, and search engines get confused. This article shows you 5 tried-and-true ways to build a strong network of internal links on your website, which will make it SEO-friendly and easy for people to use. 

Get ready to improve your site's structure, user engagement, and online profile!

Understanding Internal Linking And the Purpose of Using It In SEO

Internal Linking And the Purpose of Using It In SEO

Internal linking is the process of creating hyperlinks between pages within the same website. It is a crucial strategy for both user experience and search engine optimization (SEO). 

Internal links allow users to easily navigate between related content on your site. This improves user experience by enabling intuitive flows between pages. It also signals to search engines which pages are most important and topically relevant on your site.  

Linking internally has several key benefits:

  • Directs link equity (ranking power) to important pages, helping them rank higher in search engines.
  • Creates more apparent information architecture and site hierarchy for search bots to crawl and index.
  • Retains visitors by enabling them to easily find related content.
  • Provides faster navigation between pages compared to forcing users back to search or site home.
  • Improves page authority scores by consolidating ranking power through deliberate links.

With thoughtful internal linking, you can significantly boost your site's findability, browseability, and overall SEO. 

Let’s find 5 proven strategies and best practices for maximizing your internal link-building efforts.

The first step in building your internal linking strategy is to analyze your existing internal link structure. This allows you to identify any issues or gaps that need to be addressed. 

To conduct an internal link audit:

  • Use a spreadsheet to map out all pages on your site and the internal links pointing to each one. This gives you a bird's eye view of your internal linking and helps uncover orphaned pages or sections that lack links.
  • Alternatively, you can use a tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush to crawl your site and generate a report on your internal links. These tools will visualize your internal link structure, highlight broken links, and show pages with thin or missing internal links.
  • Review orphaned pages that have no backlinks from other pages on your site. Determine whether these pages should be more internally linked, or potentially removed if low value.
  • Identify cornerstone content, popular pages, or conversion pages that you want to get more internal links. These pages should be easy to navigate to from other relevant pages.
  • Look for improper linking patterns such as over-optimized anchor text, links skipping proper site architecture flow, or lack of contextual links between related posts. 
  • Check for broken links pointing to deleted or removed pages. Redirect or remove bad links.
  • Regularly auditing your internal links helps inform your linking strategy and improves user experience by fixing broken paths and optimizing site navigation. Focus on developing contextual links that logically connect related content based on the insights from your audit.
Identify Important Pages to Internally Link To

When constructing an internal linking strategy, it's crucial to identify the most important pages on your site that should receive a high number of internal links. These are typically pages that cover your core topics, service offerings, main categories, location pages, and other high authority pages you want to pass link equity to.

Some tips for determining key pages:

  • Homepage - The homepage naturally warrants many internal links as it's the starting point for navigation.
  • Service pages - Flagship services or offerings should have priority for internal links. These are major content pillars and conversion pages.
  • Location pages - For local sites, location pages tend to rank well and aid geo-targeting, so link to them frequently.
  • Category and subcategory pages - Funnel link equity through your main categories down to deeper content.
  • Popular pages - Look at your analytics to identify visitor favorites to link to them more.
  • High-authority pages - Pages ranking well already that cover the main topic should receive more internal links to retain their authority.
  • New important pages - When adding new cornerstone content, ensure it gets interconnected with ample internal links.

Create Content Pillars and Cluster Similar Topics

Create Content Pillars and Cluster Similar Topics

Dividing your site content into thematic pillars or categories and clustering related pages within each pillar makes the internal site structure more intuitive and allows for easy interlinking between relevant content.  

For example, an e-commerce site could have categories for men's clothing, women's clothing, electronics, home goods, etc. Within the men's clothing pillar, related pages like shirts, pants, accessories could be clustered.  and

When organizing content into pillars and clusters:

  • Group pages with similar topics that logically fit together semantically.
  • Make sure pillar categories are distinct and do not significantly overlap in topic. 
  • Consider both user intent and site architecture when mapping pages into topic clusters.
  • Keep pillar categories broad at the highest level, with increasingly specific clusters of subpages. 
  • Cross-link related pages from different pillars when appropriate. 
  • Update site navigation and menus to match the pillar/cluster structure for easy internal linking.

Update Navigation Menus for Optimal IA

Optimizing your information architecture and navigation menus is key for creating an intuitive user experience that makes related content easy to find. 

Your site navigation should match users' mental models of your content and make logical connections between topics through effective menu structures and labeling.  

When updating your menus, consider:

  • Organizing content in a hierarchical structure from broad topics to narrower subtopics. 
  • Use clear, descriptive labels that match what users will look for. 
  • Limiting the number of items in a menu section. Too many can overwhelm users.
  • Implementing breadcrumb navigation to show page hierarchy.
  • Adding links to related content in sidebars and footers to connect topics.
  • Setting up site search to help users quickly find specific pages.
  • Using consistent navigation placement and styling across all pages.
Interlink Related Content

Interlinking related content together helps users easily discover more relevant information on your site. It also signals to search engines which pages cover complementary topics. 

Here are some tips for effectively interlinking related content:

  • When mentioning a concept, product, or idea, link to your most useful content on that topic using anchor text. For example, if you reference "keywords" in a content strategy article, link to your keyword research guide.
  • At the end of blog posts or articles, include a "Related reading" section linking to 3-5 complementary pieces of content. For example, link to other posts in that subtopic or series.
  • In your product or service pages, link to related buying guides, step-by-step tutorials, comparison articles, and other resources to guide users further down the conversion funnel.
  • Use related links and CTAs (Calls to Action) within on-page content to connect your content pillars and clusters. If you have a content hub about "cloud computing," link to your security and storage articles. 
  • When linking to category, tag, or section pages from article content, include links on keywords relevant to those broader topics. For example, an article on agile project management could link to your `Project Management` section.
  • Install related posts plugins in WordPress to automatically link older and newer articles at the bottom of blog posts. Manually customize some of these recommendations.
  • Place highly visible Calls to Action above the fold linking to related content for users to take their next action. For example, link to a product page and shopping cart to encourage sales.

Proactively interlinking related resources helps users immediately access other useful information on your site. It shows engines which pages provide context for each other. Monitor analytics to see which links get the most clicks.

Now that we've covered the ins and outs of internal linking strategy, it's clear that mastering this skill is essential for improving site layout, user experience, and SEO performance. 

Every step, from carefully checking internal links to smartly linking related content, makes the digital environment work better as a whole.

As we try to improve our internal links, adding Linkbot turns out to be a huge help. 

With its easy-to-use internal linking tools and full data, Linkbot fits right into strategies for building internal links that work. 

It makes internal link structures more useful by automating link creation and giving us useful information about how people use websites. This improves site navigation, user engagement, and SEO exposure.

FAQs – Get More Answers Here!

Answer: Internal links SEO is crucial for search engine optimization. They establish a hierarchy of information on your site, distribute page authority, and guide search engines to index and rank your pages more effectively.

What are some internal linking best practices for SEO?

Answer: Internal linking best practices include using descriptive anchor text, linking to relevant content, ensuring a natural flow within the content, and avoiding excessive links. This helps search engines and users navigate your site efficiently.

Can you provide tips for an effective SEO internal linking strategy?

Answer: An effective SEO internal linking strategy involves creating a logical site structure, using keyword-rich anchor text, prioritizing important pages with more links, and regularly auditing and updating your internal links for relevance.

Answer: Interlinking SEO refers to the practice of linking between different pages within your website, while internal links connect pages within the same domain. External links, on the other hand, point to pages on external domains. Both types contribute to SEO, but interlinking specifically emphasizes connections within your site.

Answer: Internal linking SEO best practices are essential because they help search engines understand the context and relevance of your content. This, in turn, improves the overall visibility and ranking of your pages in search engine results.

Answer: Balancing internal and external links in SEO involves prioritizing internal links for navigation and context within your site, while external links should be authoritative and relevant sources. Striking this balance enhances both user experience and search engine credibility.