Having internal links on your website essentially acts as a guide that shows search engines and users around your website and helps them navigate through the content on the pages. In this article, we will be looking at what exactly internal links are, why they are important, and some best practices when using them to ensure your website is set up for success and will be positively received by both search engines and online visitors. As an experienced SEO agency Wirral, the team at Deliver know a thing or two about internal links.
What is internal linking?
An internal link is a link that will connect one page of your website to another, setting out a digital map for Google and your website visitors to follow. Internal links make it easier for users to access the content they are looking for more quickly and easily without having to go through each and every page trying to find the product, service, or information they clicked onto your website to see.
Equally, search engines won’t be able to see a webpage if there aren’t any internal links going to it. The links help Google navigate your website and understand your content when crawling so it can determine how your website should rank on the search results page.
There are multiple different types of internal links, the main places you will find them on a website is on the homepage, in the menu, and on your post feed, these are called structural links. However, they can also be added into the body of the content itself, these are known as contextual links. The aim of contextual links is to direct the user to related content on your site to what they are currently reading that they would find useful and interesting, which is why contextual links are often found in blog posts.
Also, they are particularly beneficial in helping search engines to determine the value of your website and content. If a main page has the right number of useful internal links, it will be perceived as more important to search engines and ultimately rank higher in search results. This shows just how valuable and essential internal linking is to your website.
Why is internal linking important?
The most important reasons why internal linking is important and should be a must on your website is the role it plays in allowing Google to crawl your site easier, giving it a path to follow through your content, and how helpful it is for the overall user experience.
Using descriptive and relevant anchor text with links connecting your website in a clear and concise way it tells Google that your website will be useful and relevant to users and should be ranked higher in the search results. Additionally, if users can easily find their way through your site to the content, they need then this could improve engagement and help you make more conversions.
Is there a limit on how many internal links you should use?
There isn’t necessarily a set number on how many internal links is too many on a website and Google has stated that it is capable of crawling hundreds of links per webpage. It’s not just search engines you need to consider when trying to internal link effectively though. Too many links can come across as spammy and not look good to users.
So, it’s important to get the right balance between having enough links to benefit your SEO and position in the rankings with Google, but not so many that it puts visitors off from exploring your website. This leads us nicely onto some of the best practices that you should consider when using internal links.
How to use internal linking effectively
There are few things you can do to ensure your internal links are put in place as effectively as possible.
Use keywords in your anchor text
Google itself has recommended that you use keywords in your anchor text as it is more helpful for the search engine to understand your site and content better when crawling. However, this doesn’t mean that all your anchor text should be the same keywords as it comes across as spammy.
It won’t negatively impact you with search engines or your SEO if you use the same anchor text many times, but it doesn’t look great and it might detract from the user experience slightly if the text looks like it has been forced in simply to get an internal link.
Internal link to your most important pages
Internal linking to other pages on your website sends a certain amount of authority to that page. These might not be as impactful has having external links from other sites linking to you, but they certainly can help that particular page rank better. The process is known as strategic linking, so rather than simply linking to every page, you focus on the most important ones to boost their authority and encourage search engines to rank them higher as much as possible.
Avoid using the same anchor text on different pages
Using the same anchor text on two different pages is very confusing to both search engines and users, as you would expect both pages to be talking about the same topic and they probably won’t be. Even if the topics on the pages are similar, make sure you use different anchor text in your internal to links to make it as simple and clear as possible as to where the link is going and what the content is about.
Place links higher up on your pages
When you put your internal links closer to the top of your page content it can reduce your bounce rate and increase how much time users spend on your website. This is beneficial not only because it shows users are enjoying the content on the website and using the links to learn more about you, following the quick and clear pathway you have laid out, but also Google will pick up on the fact that people are spending more time on a page and potentially place it higher in the rankings as a result.
As you can see, internal link building plays an essential role in your website and SEO. The best way to be successful with your internal linking if you aren’t familiar with it is to use professional technical SEO services. Deliver Media are a full service digital marketing agency with the knowledge and skills to help businesses in a range of industries with their website design, development, and long-term digital marketing strategies.
Request a free audit from us today to see how your current marketing is performing and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.