According to Backlinko, internal links help Google find, index, and understand all of the pages on your site. If you use them strategically, internal links can send page authority (also known as PageRank) to important pages. In short: internal linking is key for any site that wants higher rankings in Google.
This guide can help you with:
- Leading people to make a purchase
- Setting up a strong website structure
- Making it easier for search engines to crawl
- Increasing the value and influence of links
- Getting better results for keywords
So if you don’t know how internal linking helps SEO, learn smart approaches to completely change the way your website does SEO, bringing in more search traffic and sales.
Is Internal Linking Good For SEO?
Do you doubt if you’re thinking; do internal links help SEO? Really? Internal linking is a crucial but often overlooked aspect of SEO. It refers to links between pages within the same website.
When executed properly, internal linking provides tremendous SEO value in multiple ways.
- Firstly, internal links allow search engine crawlers to easily navigate and index your site.
- Secondly, internal links distribute authority and relevance signals throughout a website.
- Lastly, internal linking significantly enhances user experience.
In fact, a study by Moz found that sites with over 100 internal links had an average ranking position of #31, compared to #245 for sites with less than 100 internal links. The data clearly shows that internal links are incredibly beneficial for SEO and must not be overlooked.
By implementing an effective internal linking strategy, you can dramatically improve search traffic and conversions.
Different Types Of Internal Links
Internal links on a website can be categorized into a few main types based on their purpose and function:
Navigational Internal Links
Navigational internal links make up the main site navigation menu and help users find key sections and pages on a website. These links are usually found in the header or sidebar and assist with overall site navigation.
Some examples of navigational links are:
- Homepage links
- Category pages
- Contact pages
- Other top-level site pages
Contextual Internal Links
Contextual internal links provide additional information and context within a piece of content. They link out to related content to give the reader more background. Contextual links help improve the overall user experience by linking to other helpful resources.
Some examples are:
- Links to related posts
- Product pages from a blog post
- Links to glossary definitions from an article
Related Internal Links
Related internal links connect relevant pages. They allow readers to discover associated content around a topic.
Cross-linking related content keeps users engaged as they explore topics in-depth. Examples include:
- Linking to posts in a series
- Linking to related products
- Interlinking beginner and advanced guides.
Benefits Of Internal Linking For SEO
Here are some of the key ways that internal links can positively impact SEO:
Improving The User Experience
By creating internal links, you weave a web of connections between pieces of content related to a specific topic. This will enable your audience above and beyond the post or article they've fallen upon to find everything they need.
They also allow your audience to delve deeper and educate themselves further on a particular topic of interest. This helps to improve the user experience and keeps them coming back to your content.
Enhance Engagement Metrics
By providing a clear path for your audience to follow, you can urge them to explore more deeply into your site and look at more pages. This actively works to reduce the bounce rate and increase time spent on the page – two very important user experience metrics that are worth keeping an eye on
Guide Users Towards Conversion
It's possible to guide users toward conversion using internal links that direct them to pages created for selling. By linking to pages made to convert, you can improve the probability of users converting.
Create A Solid Website Architecture
Internal links help to create a sound website architecture by establishing a hierarchy of pages and content. It makes it easier for search engines to figure out how your pages are interrelated and connected.
A stable website structure can contribute to raising the rank of your website Crawl Efficiency Links embedded in your web pages help search engines crawl your website efficiently by providing an easy path for the search engine to follow as it moves from one page to the next.
If you do not grasp this idea, keep in mind that this helps search engines understand the structure of your site and how different pages are linked.
Boost Your Link Equity
Links from your site to other pages within it can pass along the "link love" of one page to another.
You can help to improve the authority of those pages by linking from high-quality pages to them, raising their position in the search engine results page.
Improving Keywords That Will Boost Your Ranking
By using internal links to connect to pages that are optimized for particular keywords, you can help improve your site's search engine rankings in association with those keywords.
This is because linking within your website helps other search engines understand which pages are related to each other and just what the relationship happens to be between these different sets of interconnected documents on your website.
Some of the key benefits of leveraging internal links for keyword optimization include:
- Improves keyword relevance
- Ranks key phrases higher
- Part of overall SEO
As part of an integrated SEO strategy, putting effort into internal link building and placement can have a significant impact on keyword performance.
SEO Internal Linking Best Practices: How Does It Improve Ranking?
Google and other search engines prioritize websites that satisfy user intent and provide a smooth on-site experience.
The search algorithm interprets longer session times and lower bounce rates as positive ranking signals.
So implementing an effective internal linking structure enhances SEO indirectly, by improving the overall user engagement metrics that search engines value.
Here are some SEO internal linking best practices:
Boosting Relevant Anchor Text Optimization
Anchor text refers to the visible, clickable words in a hyperlink. This text provides helpful context for users about where that link will navigate.
At the same time, anchor text acts as a strong SEO signal to search engines about the topic and relevance of that linked page.
For example, if you are linking to your pricing page from a features page, the anchor text could say "View our full pricing." This tells users they will be taken to pricing details, while also signaling to Google that the destination page contains pricing content.
Here are some tips for boosting anchor text optimization:
- Research which keywords are most important for each page you are linking to. Incorporate 1-2 of these keywords fluidly into the anchor text. [Don't overload it.]
- Use natural phrasing like "Learn about our services" rather than awkwardly forced keywords.
- Ensure the anchor text matches the on-page content of the linked page. Avoid misleading or unrelated anchor text.
- Include keywords in some links, while varying others for natural phrasing. A mix of keyword and descriptive anchors is ideal.
Establishing A Hierarchical Link Structure
Your website may have a Services page linking to all your major service offerings. Each service page would then link to specific content about that service. This shows engines and users that the service pages are the main topics, while each article or content page is a sub-level in the hierarchy.
Following a hierarchical internal link structure improves SEO rankings in a few key ways:
- Helps search engines fully crawl and index all relevant pages on your site
- Provides semantic signals about related content on your site, which engines use for understanding and rankings
- Distributes authority and link equity from broader pages to more specific deep pages
- Enables search engines to grasp the overall architecture and important pages on your site
- Logical flow between information from general to specific details
- Easy navigation between related content pages
- Reduced likelihood of getting lost in irrelevant content
- Ability to dive deep into a topic area with relevant linking at each level
Balancing Internal And External Links
When structuring internal links, be selective. Link to your most important pages using strong, keyword-rich anchor text. This distributes authority evenly across your site, preventing excessive equity from accruing on just a handful of pages.
External links should complement this internal linking for SEO structure. Place them strategically on pages where they make contextual sense. For example, link to an external industry report from your overview page on that topic.
Utilizing Breadcrumb Navigation
For users, breadcrumbs create a clear path back to the homepage or previous pages they've visited. This aids navigation tremendously, especially on complex websites with extensive menus and multiple layers. With a single click, users can orient themselves and understand the contextual hierarchy of where they are within the site architecture.
From an SEO standpoint, breadcrumbs offer search engines important signals about the structure and organization of content. By using descriptive anchor text and separating page sections with the designated delimiter (usually a greater-than symbol: Home > Products > Widgets), breadcrumbs allow crawlers to parse the contextual relationship between pages.
Creating A Sitemap For Internal Links
Creating a structured sitemap for internal links serves multiple purposes:
- It provides search engines with a clear picture of how pages are linked and related to each other. This facilitates more efficient crawling and indexing of the internal link structure.
- It allows you to highlight and prioritize internal links you want search engines to focus on. Pages you specifically want to be indexed can be added to the sitemap.
- It improves the ability of search engines to understand the overall informational architecture and hierarchy of your site.
- It aids in consolidating link equity and passing authority to your most important pages.
Once you've created the structured XML sitemap for internal links, it's important to submit this to Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Monitoring And Updating Internal Links
Outdated, broken, or irrelevant internal links can create a poor user experience and negatively impact your search engine rankings.
Users get frustrated when clicking on a link that goes nowhere or to unrelated content. Search engines also penalize sites with lots of dead links.
To avoid these issues, you should regularly check your internal links at least once a month. Look out for:
- Broken links that result in 404 errors. Fix or remove these links.
- Links pointing to old content that no longer exists. Update them to relevant new content.
- Links with anchor text that no longer reflects the destination page content. Change the anchor text for better context.
- Links to peripheral pages that are no longer related to the main content. Delete or replace them.
There are crawler tools that can automate the process of finding and diagnosing broken links. This saves you time while thoroughly checking links.
Avoiding Common Internal Linking Mistakes
When implementing an internal linking strategy, it's important to be aware of some common mistakes to maintain a healthy structure.
Here are some of the most frequent issues that can negatively impact user experience and SEO:
- Over-optimization: Too many internal links can make the text difficult to read and come across as spammy. Don't force links just for the sake of more internal links.
- Broken Links: Set reminders to regularly check for broken internal links using tools like ScreamingFrog. Replace or remove any broken links promptly.
- Irrelevant Anchor Text: Avoid text like "learn more" or "this article" that could apply to any page. Be specific with anchor texts tailored to each destination.
- Solutions for Healthy Linking: To keep your internal linking structure robust, focus on quality over quantity. Monitor your site for changes and broken links frequently. Use descriptive anchor text relevant to each destination page.
Get Started With The Best Automated Internal Linking
Automated tools like Linkbot most optimally can analyze your website architecture and dynamically insert optimized internal links between relevant pages.
- With its user-friendly interface, you simply connect Linkbot to your website and let its advanced AI do the heavy lifting.
- The bot continuously monitors your content and structures internal links most optimally.
Most importantly, if you really wanna know “Is internal linking good for SEO,” tools like this will boost your SEO rankings by distributing relevance signals and authority evenly across your website.
The benefits of automated internal linking are clear. So, let Linkbot unleash the full SEO potential of your content from the inside out.
How Many Internal Links Are Good For SEO?
There is no specific number of internal links that guarantees good SEO. The key is to have a balanced and relevant linking strategy, ensuring that all internal links add value to the user experience and provide logical pathways through your website's content. It's important to regularly review and audit your internal links to ensure they are still relevant and contribute positively to your SEO efforts.
Does Internal Linking Count As Backlinks?
No, internal links do not count as backlinks. Backlinks are external links from other websites that direct traffic to your site. Internal links, on the other hand, connect different pages within your website. While they may not directly impact your backlink profile, they play a crucial role in guiding search engine crawlers and users through your website's content.
How Do I Find Internal Links For SEO?
One way to find internal links for SEO is to use a website crawler tool. These tools can scan your website and generate reports that show all the internal links on your site. Another method is to manually review your website and add internal links wherever relevant, ensuring that they lead users to related content.
How Many Internal Links Per Page SEO?
There is no set number for the number of internal links per page that is considered optimal for SEO. The key is to make sure that all internal links are relevant and useful to users, rather than focusing on a specific quantity. A general rule of thumb is to include at least 3-4 internal links per page, but this can vary depending on the length and content of the page.