We all try to use the most advanced techniques and methods to optimize our website to rank in the top results of SERPs. However, sometimes, we tend to overlook the basic yet fundamental practices that can help our website rank well. One of these is the on-page SEO technique, internal linking. And this is what we will read about today.
What is Internal Linking?
Internal linking is a method to link or connect a page to another page of your website. Sounds easy right? However, using this technique effectively is essential. There are already a lot of links present on your website in the drop-down menus and navigation panel. Using your on-page content to leverage internal linking makes it a vital SEO technique.
Below is the syntax of the code used for internal linking:
<a href=”https://www.abcschool.com”>Visit ABC School</a>
Why is Internal Linking Important?
Primarily, internal linking helps Google discover, index and understand the pages on your website, thereby defining your website architecture to the search engine. When done strategically, it can help you pass link juice from the higher authority page to lower ones that can contribute to better ranking.
Here is what Google says:
“Google must constantly search for new pages and add them to its list of known pages. Some pages are known because Google has already crawled them before. Other pages are discovered when Google follows a link from a known page to a new page.”
Internal linking also enhances the user experience by helping them navigate through similar topics through the content. This helps the user to explore your website, which increases the number of page views and reduces the bounce rate, helping you bump up your SEO ranking.
Pages with no internal links pointing to them are known as orphan pages. And if these pages are multiple clicks away from your home page, there is a chance that the crawler may not crawl and index these pages. This is done to optimize your crawl budget. Also, the users may miss out on these pages, which is certainly not good for your search rankings.
The following statement by Google puts it simply:
“The number of internal links pointing to a page is a signal to search engines about the relative importance of that page.”
Now that we know about the importance of internal linking, let’s see how do we go about doing this. To begin with, you need to have a content piece that can be published on your website. Also, you need to get into a habit of coming up with some fresh content or updating the content regularly.
What are the best practices for Internal Linking?
- Use keywords in your anchor text and be descriptive: The anchor text helps Google and its users understand what the page you’re linking to is about what. However, if all your anchor text is the same, it can look spammy to search engines. A good practice here is to include keywords descriptively in the form of a phrase to help Google understand the relevance of the page.
Example: “How important is it to learn technical SEO” or “Implementing technical SEO can help you rank better on SERPs”. This will help you avoid the ‘exact match anchor text’ technique, which has resulted in SEO penalties due to the Penguin update.
- Link from a high page-authority page: Linking your page from one of the top page-authority pages can pass some link juice or link equity, and this can sometimes help you boost the ranking of the linked pages. Your homepage is an example of a high page-authority page.
- Add links wherever relevant in the content: Always add a link where it would add value to the users in terms of information. The linked page should relate to the content that the user is reading. Linking to a page that is non-contextual will cause the user to leave.
- Keep an optimum number of links per page: There is no definite guide that states the number of links to be placed per page. This count can vary from domain to domain. Each page can pass only a limited amount of authority, and this gets distributed among the links on the page. However, we suggest using 75-100 internal links for an enterprise website and about 200 links per page for an e-commerce website.
- Placement of the links: Try to add the internal links at the start of the content or towards the top of the page, giving an opportunity to the user to click right away and in turn, increase the dwell-time on your website. This indicates to Google that the users love the results, and this can be an excellent outcome for that keyword, which can ultimately boost your ranking.
- Link your high-traffic page to top conversion pages: If you have strong and compelling content on your page with high traffic volume, always try to link them with your conversion page with a powerful call to action. This is how you can leverage SEO to have revenue value too.
- Identify and fix broken links: Check frequently for any broken links on your website and get them fixed ASAP. This can happen when the URL of a page is changed, so be careful when you do so. Remember, broken internal links are bad for SEO.
- Interlink between your new and old article: Internal linking is not only about linking from your new content to the old one. You should also link to your new content from the old one. The reason being, your old content is already indexed and is ranking; this will pass some link equity to the new and not-ranking content. Also, this will revive the old content, and the crawlers will try to re-index it.
What should you avoid while internal linking?
- Use of same anchor text for linking different pages: Avoid using the same anchor text to link two different pages in terms of content. This will confuse the crawler about what the page is actually about and can affect your ranking.
- Do not squeeze in keywords if it doesn’t sound right: If adding the keyword in the anchor text doesn’t sound right, avoid stuffing it in. You can add them to the bottom of the page in the ‘Footer Links’ or ‘Related links’ section, which is also a way of internal linking.
- Avoid automation: Using a plugin or a tool will not help you to do good internal linking. You need to do it manually to strategize the process properly. Also, using automation can generate a lot of exact-match anchor text for internal links which can hamper your internal linking process.
Internal Linking can help you boost your SEO performance. You do not want to miss the benefits of this technique. Always use internal linking considering your user’s experience. This will also help you build a robust internal architecture, and you will see growth in SEO rankings.
Follow the above guidelines and let us know how they worked for your website in the comments section below.
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