When it comes to SEO, content is king. But as you may already know, creating high-quality content alone isn’t enough to give you a high ranking in search results. You need to cater to search engines as well as visitors in order to improve page visibility and help users discover your content.
An internal link is a type of hyperlink on a web page which links to another page or resource within the same website domain. It is essential to any website, as, among other things, it helps establish your site architecture, build page authority, improve user experience, and can affect your overall rankings.
Anchor Texts Improve Usability
Internal linking helps users navigate your site. Anchor texts within a page or article should point to relevant or related content that’s likely to interest your readers. Rather than using generic text, using anchor text which is relevant to the page you’re linking to will also help search engines understand what the page is about and improve your SEO.
Internal links can also help prevent the duplication of content on your website. Instead of having to repeat something you’ve already written about in another article and keep your content unique, you can help users find the information they’re looking for through links to other internal pages..
For instance, if you’ve posted an article about the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and want to touch the subject of a healthy diet – which you’ve written about in a previous post – internal linking will guide your readers to useful, relevant information without the need to re-write content.
Spread Traffic Throughout Your Site
Whilst links from external sites pointing towards your domain will help you build authority, internal linking can help you spread traffic and authority (commonly called ‘link juice’) to pages other pages on your site.
Let’s say a visitor discovers your page whilst reading an article on a different website. They click on the link to read more on your website, then come across an internal link which leads them to another source of interest. Without internal linking, this visitor may have left immediately after reading the information they accessed via an external link.
Using internal links to help users navigate your site should boost page views and increase site conversion rate, as you’re helping readers discover relevant content. This can lead them to take a desired action such as signing up to a mailing list or completing a sale (as they are experiencing more of your brand).
Increase Time on Site
Helping users discover more pages on your website by linking to related post can help increase time spent on site and lower your bounce rate (which is when a visitor immediately leaves your site after viewing one page). As bounce rate and time on site can both affect your rankings, they’re important numbers to monitor.
If your internal linking offers content of real value, it will help retain visitors on your site for longer and improve user experience, giving you a step ahead in your SEO efforts.
PageRank is an algorithm used by Google to measure the importance of a web page based on how many backlinks the web page receives. Google uses this score as part of determining your ranking factor, so it’s an important measure to be aware of.
Internal linking on a page with a high PageRank will help spread views to other connected pages, in turn helping those pages get a boost in page authority and rankings.
Better Crawling and Indexing
Google bots are designed to recreate a user’s thinking process and will follow all links and pages that are easily indexed when visiting your site. A strong internal architecture with properly built internal links will help bots find deeper pages that aren’t always visited.
Again, these links can boost other pages and help increase your overall ranking.
To reap the benefits of internal linking, you need to ensure you’re linking to related, useful content using rich anchor text. When done correctly, it can support your SEO by driving traffic and authority to other pages and also improve your content marketing strategy.
So to build page authority and visibility, improve user experience, and create strong connections between pages, try to focus on the quality of your internal links.
About The Author: Peter Bailey is the owner of American Display – a manufacturer of offline marketing products. In his spare time, he enjoys writing about his knowledge of traditional marketing principles, but adapting them for the online marketing environment.