While most website publishers are aware of the significance of external linking (or backlinking), internal linking as part of the overall SEO strategy is often neglected.
However, experienced digital marketers never ignore internal linking. This is because internal links are essential to improve the visibility of external links by offering:
As the name indicates, an internal link directs a viewer to another internal page of the same website. In other words, an internal link directs viewers from one page on a particular domain to another internal page on the same domain. These are generally used for making navigation easier on web pages.
There are three major reasons why internal linking is important:
You can make the most of your website by linking various relevant pages and blog posts on the same website.
The best thing about this strategy is that it’s possible to control every aspect of hyperlinking content, from their page location to the anchor text. Unlike external linking, you are in total control when you create internal links. So, overlooking this SEO strategy could be a huge mistake!
Experienced digital marketers never ignore internal linking. In fact, many SEO teams create standard guidelines for SEO content writers and those responsible for publishing the content online to make sure all new and recently updated pieces of content are interlinked correctly.
Below are some of the most valuable benefits that you stand to accrue by making internal linking a part of your SEO strategy:
Although external linking and getting do-follow backlinks are crucial to build domain authority, internal linking is also useful in spreading link juice to other blog posts or pages of a website.
When you link to internal pages, it helps spread the link equity on your site. To make the most of this benefit, you need to have a good understanding of how link juice spreads to your most important landing pages through internal links.
With proper internal linking, search engines become aware of how internal pages interact with each other, as well as which particular pages are more important than the rest. The website structure further enables search crawlers to understand and navigate the website seamlessly.
For instance, the more you add internal links to your pages, the more likely search engine bots are to know which pages are important and must be shown on the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Google does not consider “domain authority.” The concept has been around since 1999 but Google officials have time and again reiterated that the company does not use it.
However, Google is more likely to rank your most valuable web pages higher up on the SERPs (in comparison to other, less important pages) if they are linked to frequently from other pages on your website. So, if you have certain landing pages with a proven track record of high conversion rate, you may want to include them prominently in your interlinking strategy for better SEO.
Internal linking also increases your pageviews. For instance, if the content connected via dozens of internal links is relevant to your target audience, viewers are more likely to browse through and spend more time on your website. This ultimately helps in improving a website’s conversion rate.
If one of your web pages on a topic, say, “SEO Basics,” gets 10,000 hits from SERPs each month, you can get thousands of your visitors to visit dozens of other, related pages on your website by following interlinking strategies.
A higher session time and more pageviews per visit indicate a positive user experience (UX). And, as we know with the Page Experience update rolling out, Google does factor in UX while ranking web pages.
As we mentioned before, internal linking helps viewers to easily navigate a website. It even improves usability with the help of proper anchor text. The anchor text must be directed to related and relevant content that might interest your target audience.
For instance, if you are elaborating upon a problem and its solution within a content piece, you can redirect the reader to one of your earlier articles that explains a specific issue in more detail with a suitable, keyword-optimized anchor text. Using different anchor text on different pages also helps prevent problems of duplication.
Since Google’s bots are constantly at work to provide relevant content to the users, they are likely to visit your website and crawl through all the internal links and pages for indexing. A strong internal linking architecture enables these bots to find pages that are buried deeper and less visited.
When bots are able to reach a high number of pages on a website with ease, they’re likely to index your website more quickly. With the help of these internal links, the internal pages can be boosted while helping your website rank higher.
Internal linking helps improve UX while promising better SEO outcomes. After all, we all want search engine crawlers to find the maximum number of web pages on our sites and rank certain pages higher up on the SERPs.
Unless you are trying to optimize a single-page website, make sure internal linking is a part of your SEO strategy.