Building a website is similar to constructing a building. Starting from the ground up, a sturdy foundation is necessary to ensure stability and longevity. If the foundation is weak, chances are, it’ll collapse. In terms of a website, establishing a strong foundation or site structure comes in many ways, but internal linking throughout a site continues to prove it’s importance. Let’s walk through the logic and reason behind kick-ass internal linking, as well as a few key reasons why all sites should get their hands dirty with links.
What Is Internal Linking?
Internal linking is an on-page SEO best practice for a few reasons. By definition, internal linking is the practice of linking a page on one domain to another page on the same domain. It sounds simple because it is. But, don’t be fooled thinking something so simple doesn’t produce huge benefits. We often think about external link building, which requires more effort and resources than internal link building. Indeed, build a website with the foundation of proper link building and watch it produce SEO wonders. Now you know the basics of what internal linking is.
Improving the internal linking throughout your content can help create a better user experience for your readers by presenting other relevant content you have created that further explains and elaborates on a topic you briefly touched on. On top of this, it improves accessibility by resurfacing old content that may have been buried far deep in your blog.
In short, the concept of backlinks also applies to internal links. Links = good!
Best SEO Tips for Proper Internal Linking
The anchor text is the term we use to refer to the words that are hyperlinked to link to another page on the Internet. Like this! Anchor texts can be very useful for readers to get an idea of what the content on the other page is about without having to click. This is why in SEO, anchor texts provide huge contextual relevance for search engines to understand the relationship between content in the larger ecosystem.
Choosing an anchor text is pretty straightforward. Select anchor text words or phrases that tell the visitors on your site what they’re going to be directed to. Use words or phrases that describe what the target page is about to encourage visitors to click through and learn more about the topic or theme of the content. This way, you use SEO best practices and provide your visitors with content that is beneficial.
Don’t Skimp, But Don’t Overdo It
It’s important to internally link to your content anytime it makes sense for the reader to find more information on a particular topic. Depending on the length of content on a page, excessive linking can be problematic if the content itself doesn’t provide any inherent value to the readers. In other words, if you have 200 words of content with 10 links, does it really provide any value? It could! For example, if the page was a roundup of the top 10 most popular alternatives for MS Paint. Of course, in this case, we would want a bit more information as to why each one would be on the list, but it can still be useful. Alternatively, if you publish an Opinion or Company Update article in your blog, you’re probably not going to have many links.
Generally speaking, we advise internally linking anywhere from 3-5 times per 800 words of content. As you update old content on your site, another great SEO practice is to continue to internally link to new pages and any pages that are relevant to the topic.
Link For The Site’s Visitor
All of our SEO efforts are centered around providing useful, relevant content. When internally linking, it’s important to do so in the same manner. Don’t follow black hat SEO techniques by overusing anchor text phrases or using irrelevant anchor texts. Use relevant anchor texts that help site visitors find more useful information on other pages. Internally linked anchor text phrases communicate with search engines that the linked page is thematically relevant to its anchor text. When it’s not linked correctly, or you’re using generic anchor texts, search engines may deem a site as less relevant. There’s a strategy behind internal linking, so don’t just link for the hell of it!
3 Reasons for Internal Link Building
The first reason is navigation. Link building helps site visitors navigate throughout the web easily and in a meaningful manner. Internal linking creates a site structure for search engines to crawl and index, making the process more efficient and using fewer resources. The easier to crawl, the better a site’s rank on search result pages, as it also helps them understand your content. Exceptional Villas does a hell of a job internally linking throughout site pages, allowing search engine crawlers to navigate their site with ease. Quality on-page content is often unrecognizable to search engine crawlers due to difficulty navigating throughout a website, sometimes being unable to find your pages. If links aren’t properly used, search engines have a difficult time indexing your pages.
The Hierarchy of Information
Next, connect pages on your site to develop a hierarchy throughout your core pages, sub-pages, and so on. Search engines crawl sites periodically to index pages and rank domains according to the authoritative aspects a site yields. An example being, internal links that use keyword-focused anchor text. Site pages that link to core pages, help by communicating that those core pages are the foundation of a site or the beginning of the “hierarchy of information”.
During crawls, search engine spiders navigate through proper link building and follow the daisy chain of links towards most authoritative pages. A hierarchy of thematic information communicates authority that a site has over a topic, industry, verticals, etc. to search engines, boosting the quality and purpose of your site and services.
The Power of Link Juice
An easily crawlable site with proper link building helps create “link juice” throughout the site. This link juice is the ranking power search engine spiders assign to a site. The more ranking power, the better a site ranks on search engine result pages (SERPs). A site’s streamlined navigational and informational properties play a major role in SEO!
Proper internal linking is a key ingredient for any rich and nutritious SEO recipe. A daisy chain of links makes sites easy to navigate, allowing site visitors to conveniently arrive on valuable content you offer. But it doesn’t end there. Site visitors eat up useful content and get hungry for more. And over time, this turns visitors into leads, and leads into customers.
Start with a good site foundation. Use proper internal linking and other best practices to reap all the benefits for your SEO campaign. You won’t regret it.