What is internal linking? How does internal linking improve your website’s SEO? This post will shed some light and help you implement great internal linking for optimal results!
What is an internal link?
An internal link is a URL (web address) that takes you from one page to another within the same website. For example, this link takes you to my main blog page; this is an internal link because it takes you from one spot on my website to another.
The purpose of an internal link is to drive visitors who are visiting one part of your site to other key pages or posts. For example, if you’ve written a blog post highlighting an aspect of your service– an internal link will bring those visitors over to your main services page. Or, perhaps you want to have a Call to Action on your About page, which links website users to your Contact page. The internal linking possibilities are endless!
How does internal linking help SEO?
There are many benefits to having proper internal linking such as a better navigational experience for your users, and an improved bounce rate. But, in this post, we want to focus on the impact that internal linking has directly on your search engine optimization.
Search engines, like Google, use something called a “spider” to “crawl” your website. Sounds creepy, right? But this simply means their robots are periodically scanning your website’s posts & pages. When it scans your site, it is looking to see how your content is connected to other sites (these are called external links) and to itself– your internal links!
The more high-quality links to a page or post, the more “authority” it is given. And the more “search authority” your page or post has, the more likely it will be to come up in search results.
Internal link best practices
Put People First
Google notoriously holds their cards close to their chest, but they do offer the following guideline:
“… ask, ‘Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?'”via Google Support
Yes, having internal links can help your SEO, but it is essential to put the visitor experience first. Only use internal links that you consider to be helpful to your users. I like to ask myself, “is this link relevant?” and “are the number of links on this page/post reasonable?” If the answer is yes to both questions, I keep the link!
Use Thoughtful Anchor Text
Anchor text is the clickable text on your page or post, and it is important to put a little thought into the text you write. Here are a few tips:
- Use keywords in your anchor text, but don’t forget the guidelines above! Use your keywords naturally, with your user in mind. And don’t overuse keywords; this is called “keyword stuffing” and Google hates it!
- Try to avoid using the same anchor text on two different pages or posts; Google & other search engines like unique content.
- When possible, put your links toward the top of your page; links higher up on a page tend to have a higher click-through-rate.
Monitor your Internal Links with Search Console
You can use your Google Search Console account to review the internal links already on your site; see yellow highlight below.
Periodically auditing this list helps you make sure your most valuable website content has links throughout your entire site.
Don’t have a Google Search Console account? Let me know; Dahl House Designs can help you get one set-up!
How to up your internal linking game
Finding new internal links for your website can be time-consuming, especially when you start to get a lot of content on your site. Don’t waste time trying to find relevant links yourself; let AI do the work for you!
Yoast SEO Premium
If you are already working with Yoast SEO Premium, they have an internal link feature built right into their dashboard. In addition to the other SEO features it provides, Yoast SEO Premium will give you internal linking suggestions as you write.
Use Related Posts
You might also consider a “Related Posts” plugin; there are many great options out there. This approach would be a fantastic addition to either of the internal linking plugin options above.
Do you have any questions about internal linking for your website? Let me know in the comments below!