01 Aug How can you optimize SEO with internal linking
Bots and users alike can find their way around your website with the help of internal links. A page on your site has a great deal of value to them. In order to increase your authority and rank higher, you should follow the best practices for link building.
Links to relevant internal pages that rank already need to be created on engaging, high-quality pages. Your pages will soon be indexed and ranked by the search engine as a result.
- Ensure a great user experience by building contextual backlinks and linking to relevant pages.
- To keep customers on your website for longer, place internal links near the top of your page. It will help you improve your search engine optimization and reduce bounce rates.
- If you wish to avoid Google assuming that all pages should be identical on the same topic, do not use the same anchor text across multiple pages.
A webpage will have internal links which point to other webpages or site resources, such as videos, images, or documents.
User-friendly navigation is made possible by these types of links. The best practices for internal linking are essential to improving the SEO of your website.
We discussed internal links on the SEO On-Air Podcast with Portent’s Evan Hall.
Practices of internal linking are important
A Google crawl follows external and internal links when it crawls a website. After reaching a website’s homepage, the bot follows the first link it encounters. Links between website pages allow it to understand their relationships. A web page’s link value is divided by every link on it, along with understanding the relationship between various web pages.
Any website’s homepage carries the most link value since it usually has the most internal links on a single page. Links on these pages receive a link value that is divided between the other links on those pages.
In the context of a post, more links equal more value, since links pass on their link value. It’s also important to add links to different parts of your website so Google knows how your website is structured. By creating a site hierarchy, you can include more value on your site’s key pages and blogs. The SEO ranking of a blog post or page will be improved if it contains interlinks that are relevant.
Your internal linking strategy will also increase the number of pages ranked, since Google deems linked pages more valuable than those without.
Links Juice: what does it do?
An SEO term referred to as link juice. It is the transfer of value between sites via hyperlinks. A link is an endorsement of a website’s value and authenticity that is given by other websites, as seen earlier by search engines like Google. It is possible to build links in several ways, but they are generally classified as external and internal links.
For example, suppose Site 2 is linked by 2 different sites, while Site 1 receives four links from 4 different sites. Since Site 1 receives link juice from more sites than Site 2, it may rank higher than Site 2.
A measure of the amount of link juice received is also an important factor to consider. When Site 1 receives a hyperlink to another site, but Site 2 receives a hyperlink only linking to Site 2, then Site 2 will receive a larger percentage of link juice than Site 1.
A website’s outgoing links receive equal link juice when they are dofollow links. It is easy to calculate how much link juice a particular webpage can distribute by calculating internal linking juice. With this tool, check out how much link juice is passed along with each link on a page based on the number of links provided on that page. Your website should have an even distribution of link juice.
Using internal links to your advantage
The purpose of internal links, as you probably already know, is to establish site architecture and spread link juice throughout the site. To get a deeper understanding of how internal links are beneficial, let’s look at these best practices:
- User navigation on a website can be made easier by using internal links properly. Users may enjoy exploring relevant web pages which you can redirect them to by using anchor links within your content. Users tend to spend more time on your website when they find the content on the linked web pages to be relevant, which increases the number of views. By including internal links throughout the site, new users can discover topics of interest, and as a result, your conversion rate will improve.
- Using internal links is beneficial for pages having high PageRank to spread domain authority. The link juice received by those pages will boost their ranking and authority.
- Your site’s bounce rate can be reduced by internal links. The majority of people leave your website midway without reading all of your content if they do not find your content engaging. Bounce rates are greatly reduced if you optimize the content with relevant internal links. It is also beneficial for the ranking of your website to have a lower bounce rate.
- If you create a properly structured website, Google bots will make their way to rarely accessed pages if you follow the links and pages that are easily indexed. Rankings will also be improved as a result of these links.
Google’s thoughts on internal links
It has been confirmed by Google to be extremely important for SEO. It was asked by John Mueller if breadcrumbs were sufficient for internal links was sufficient during one of the office hours sessions.
As John explained, internal links are “extremely important to SEO” as they give users and Googlebot valuable information regarding the pages within a website.
As John points out, internal links help website owners identify the key pages that make up a website in order to make it easier for users and search engines to navigate the site.
It is not the primary purpose of the internal link that John emphasizes when he talks about breadcrumbs.
Moreover, he encourages webmasters to build strategic internal links in their content rather than just adding a few basic links. As a result, he aims to ensure that both humans and search engines can understand when he uses anchor text when linking internally.
In addition to the external links in the body, footer, and header, John gave clarification on them. In response to a question asked by a participant, John explained that Google treats internal links in the header and footer differently from those in body content.
Regardless of whether they’re in headers, footers, or the body, he says Google treats them all the same and gives them all the same weight.
Crawl depth: what does it mean?
In search engine indexing, crawl depth refers to how far search engines crawl a website’s content. Crawl depth influences how much of a site is indexed, and that is why high crawl depths are indexed more than low crawl depths. The search engines will have a harder time indexing a webpage that is three clicks away from the home page, for example, than one that’s accessible in one click.
As part of the crawl depth, internal links must be built. If your website lacks links, visitors will have difficulty navigating it. You’re less likely to be found online when less of your content is indexed. Breadcrumbs can be used to specify the path users have taken to reach a certain page, thereby making navigation easier.
Google indexes various websites for information found using its search engine. The Google crawl rate is determined by a number of factors, including how often the crawling and indexing of web pages occurs. If you want your site to be optimized for the Google crawl rate, you need to take into account all those factors.
It is important for a website to ensure that its speed is as fast as possible, in addition to linking to other pages on the website. Slow-loading websites will be indexed less frequently by Google.
How does ILS work?
A typical website structure includes a main home page that branches out into a number of menus and submenus. It is true that some websites are more ambitious in terms of their structure.
To improve keyword presence in a particular category, webmasters used the silo technique earlier. There is no need to make internal link building complicated.
Websites are discovered and indexed by Google crawlers by following link paths across the internet. Google crawlers can find and index new content within your site if your site has proper internal linking.
Consider reviewing your internal linking strategy if the indexing of your site’s vital pages fails, or if too many internal links are present on a less important page. It will only then be possible to give more value to important pages than to unimportant ones. Your website’s internal linking structure can be improved by organizing the navigation area and including drop-down menus.
Hierarchical internal linking
The internal links on your website are an important part of establishing the structure of your site and making navigation easier for users. It’s easier to navigate and users can discover new topics on your site.
It is possible to increase sales through an effective internal linking strategy. Google will gain positive signals pertaining to your website if users spend more time on it and see more page views.
Linking within your site is a quality part of on-page SEO that improves your rank on Google and makes your site easier to navigate for customers.
Using internal links effectively in 2023: Best practices
We will examine the best practices for building hyperlinks on your site now that you understand the significance and benefits of internal linking best practices.
1. Content Creation
Creating many internal pages and writing quality content is the key to creating many links within your website. It’s easier to build a good internal linking structure on your website with content that is comprehensive. There will be ample internal linking opportunities on your website if you have a lot of content.
2. Improve ranking by linking to high authority pages
A website’s primary SEO pages can be distributed link authority using the Authority Transfer technique. Adding internal links to such pages is possible with a tool such as Ahrefs. Ahrefs is the best tool for increasing authority of such SEO-driven pages by clicking on “Best by Links” within “Pages” after sorting by “RDs.”
3. Rank for your target anchor text
Keep the internal linking theme going by linking images instead of images using anchor texts to keep up with the content theme. Make sure the alt tags of your images are written correctly and describe each picture properly if you want to link to them. If you want your links not to appear spammy, use unoptimized and natural sentence fragments for the anchor text.
It is recommended that you avoid building a double type of link when building internal links. Your website’s homepage should be linked first. You have many links already to your homepage, so focus on linking your internal pages together instead of creating more links to it.
One of the most common mistakes marketers make is linking their post to the “Contact Us” section after it. If it’s not absolutely necessary, then this is not recommended. These pages are typically linked on the homepage through the menu bar, so it should be avoided linking them. Link those within the structure that are deep instead.
5. Use context-sensitive links
Internal links are primarily used to improve user experience; all other benefits follow later. A user-friendly website is preferred by Google.
By linking to internal pages within a piece of content, you’re letting the user know these pages are relevant to the content itself.
In this case, both parties win. Thanks to the efficient internal linking, users will find more content on your site, and you will rank higher.
6. Ensure internal links are relevant
Internal linking increases website ranking and provides good user experience, as discussed throughout the article. If you’re linking from another web page to a page within the same website, you should link to a webpage that connects to that page.
If you own an online medical store and have a website promoting sunscreen use, you might use the example above. Links to sunscreen product pages can be added to this page, but headache medication product pages cannot be linked.
7. Using internal links in a reasonable manner
Do not overlink your website just to make it look busy. You can build up to a maximum of 100 links within your website. The number of links you add per post depends on its length. An article with 1500 words should have 5 internal links. Also, avoid clustering links together close together and ensure that they are evenly distributed throughout the content.
8. Footer links should not be created sitewide
A few years ago, this practice was common, but it is no longer relevant. In the footer section of their websites, real estate and travel websites included keyword-rich internal links.
We used to count above 50. A penalty was issued in 2013 for linking to these footer pages. To get better results in 2020, avoid adding more footer links as Google will consider them spam.
9. Two different pages should not have the same anchor text
It is possible that Google may conclude that two different web pages are related when you use the same anchor text on two different web pages. Avoid confusion by using descriptive anchor text.
10. Ensure your site’s links are prominent
An internal link at the top of a page encourages visitors to spend more time on it and reduces the bounce rate. The first time someone opens an article with an internal link, they must do right away. As a result, your website will remain in their minds for longer. Although one or two internal links at the top don’t hurt, spread them throughout your web page’s content.
11. Indexing is made easier by using internal links
A website’s important pages are normally discovered and indexed by Google. Google might only be able to index some of your web pages if you have many web pages that exceed your crawl budget.
Best practices for internal linking make it easier for Google to find web pages buried deep within your site, allowing you to index them more easily.
What are the reasons for not automating internal links?
For several reasons, automated linking within websites should be avoided. There is a lack of knowledge about which web pages require maximum link juice in the plugins and tools used to create internal links. A large website can also end up with over 1000 anchor texts created for multiple pages due to link automation. Your site may be flagged as spam by search engines. An SEO expert would design links internally as a result of thinking from the user’s point of view. Link automation tools cannot do that.
An internal link structure can be easily improved by following these effective internal linking practices easily and effectively.
Maintaining good internal linking practices on the site will ensure your website’s SEO is improved and your link profile will be strong.