The power of internal links is often overlooked by marketers and website owners. Still, it is an excellent method for getting a website to rank better in search engines. External links, also known as backlinks, are recognized as an important ranking factor. But actually, internal links are just as essential.
In this blog, we want to give internal links the credit they deserve. We do this by explaining why internal links are beneficial for SEO and by performing a number of tips that you can easily apply to your own website. After reading this blog you can assume that you have gained some practical knowledge for raising your website’s rank.
What are internal links and why are they important for SEO?
Contrary to an external link, an internal link is a link pointing to a page within the same domain. You can recognize both internal and external links by a colored link text, which are also called ‘anchor links’. This text indicates what the visitor can expect when a link is clicked. This way you keep your website clear and navigable.
Like external links, internal links are beneficial for SEO. Although the number of external links is seen as a measure of the quality of a website, internal links mainly serve as amplifiers for the relevancy of pages. For example, internal links can encourage visitors to stay longer on a website by referring them to relevant content. In this way, they increase the authority of pages and the website as a whole.
The visibility of a website in the rankings is also improved by a strong internal link structure. Because important keywords are usually included in the internal link text, it is easier for the search engines to understand the website. This increases the chance that your pages will be indexed properly and that you will be found more easily.
Internal linking strategies and tips
In itself, it is not difficult to create an internal link on a page. The only question is whether you achieve the intended effect by blindly placing some links. As with most things, there is also a strategy behind placing internal links. If you want to do it right, it’s smart to follow the practical tips presented below.
1. Make sure the posted internal link is relevant
Nobody likes to read a text where a link to another page is placed every other day. So be sparing with the internal links you post. This not only contributes to the readability of the text but also prevents the page containing the links from being marked as spam by the search engines. A good guideline is a maximum of one link per paragraph of between 75-100 words.
Another important precondition is that the page you link to must have something to do with the topic you are writing about. For example, in this blog, we refer to our SEO services and other blogs that are about SEO.
2. Use the right anchor texts
The anchor text, or link text, says something about what the visitor will be redirected to when the link is clicked. A must is that these anchor texts must have something to do with the page being linked to. The smartest thing to do is consciously check which keyword rankings of your website need a boost and adjust the anchor text accordingly. How do you do this? We’ll show you with an example:
The fictitious webshop ‘Babymode.nl’ sells different types of baby clothes and accessories. On one of their landing pages where various baby shoes can be found, the category description links to another category called ‘baby tights and socks’. Baby fashion has consciously thought about which keyword needs a boost, namely ‘baby tights’. That is why they have chosen this keyword as anchor text.
Do you want to know how to do good keyword research? We also wrote a blog about this.
3. Link to as many important pages as possible
Linking to different pages of your website makes your website more readable for Google. This will index more pages and give you a better chance of improving your rankings. The website will also be easier to navigate for the visitor if a clear link structure has been considered.
For example, you can place links in your navigation menus at the top and bottom of your website to help visitors get to each important page. Placing internal links in blogs can also contribute to better rankings. These types of links are also called contextual links and have a higher SEO value than navigation links in a menu.
4. Link to pages that receive little direct traffic
In general, not all pages of a website receive the same amount of traffic. You probably also have a number of pages that could use a boost. You can easily investigate this by studying your pageviews in Google Analytics. Have you discovered some important pages that you want to rank higher? Try to create content around these pages and develop an internal linking structure.
5. Adjust your internal link strategy to your conversion funnel
Do you sell a product or service that requires a lot of persuasions and gaining trust? Then let an internal link structure work for you by creating a conversion funnel of different pages.
What we mean by this: if you sell luxury mattresses, it generally does not work to only make one page on which the visitor is convinced to purchase a mattress. No, this requires multiple pages and incentives.
It is probably more effective to have three pages that together lead to a conversion. For example, an article describing the benefits of the mattresses, which then redirects to the category page where different mattresses can be found and leads this in turn to a specific product page. All using internal links.
It is important to keep in mind that you should only do this if it is relevant to your services or products. Redirecting visitors can also lead to unsubscribing.
6. Make your link structure shallow
Although it can help to develop a conversion funnel using an internal link structure, it is important that you keep your link structure as shallow as possible. This means you should be able to navigate to the most important pages with as few clicks as possible.
As a rule of thumb, the most important pages should be accessible from any other page within two to three clicks. Of course, it helps a lot if you have the most important pages in your navigation menus.
To find out the depth of your link structure, you can use the Screaming Frog. This tool shows the click depth per page. In other words, how often you have to click from a page to get to your (most important) pages.
Need help with internal links?
Now that you’re familiar with what you can do with internal links and how they improve your rankings, it’s time to develop an internal link structure! Could you use some help with this? Then take a look at our SEO services. Whether it’s developing an internal link strategy or improving the speed of your WordPress website, we are happy to help you get that top position in Google!
for website maintenance service contact us.