When reading a blog post about a certain topic, oftentimes we encounter links on the page that allow us to dive deeper into a specific topic. Sometimes these links take us to another website, but other times they simply lead us to another page or post on the same domain. The latter example is what we call internal links.
What are internal links?
Internal links are links that lead from one page of your website to another. The links on your homepage, menu and post feed are considered internal links. Links placed within your content are also internal links. More specifically, they’re often referred to as contextual links.
Why are internal links important for search engines?
It’s not just users that follow your internal links. Search engines do as well. Search engines like Google use internal links to help navigate through your website and find other content relevant to a search query. Usually, if a post gets a lot of both internal and external links, this signals to Google the value of the post or page.
Internal links are also a good way to reduce the bounce rate on your website. Bounce rate is based on the number of pages a user visits before leaving (or bouncing) from your website. It’s considered a bounce if the number of pages a user visit is limited to one. Internal links help reduce that bounce rate by providing an opportunity for users to further explore a topic on other pages on your website.
Consider Link hierarchy
When building an internal link strategy, think about structuring your content into main and subtopics.
After you’ve organised your content in a way that makes sense, create parent pages with the main topic that link to child pages containing your subtopics. This type of organisation is important, especially for creating relevancy and authority for search engines.
What are Anchor Texts?
Anchor texts are the clickable text that your site visitors see. When inserting a contextual link, you have to consider what to choose as your anchor text.
It’s not enough to just choose the keyword you’re targeting as the anchor text. These days Google is smart enough to know that the content surrounding the anchor text refers more to the relevancy of the keyword rather than the anchor text itself. In other words, Google knows if the internal link is related to the keyword you’re targeting without having to rely on whether the anchor text contains your keyword or not.
The importance of an internal linking strategy
Internal linking is a vital factor that helps improve your site’s SEO. They redirect users to other more relevant content on your website and help create a structure for Google to follow and understand.
Creating and building Pillar Pages, or content clusters is one internal linking strategy that every business can take advantage of. Content clusters refer to groups of content that surround a specific topic.
A good example of a content cluster could be pages built around the different types of nutritional diets available for those looking to lose weight. One page could cover Keto, another Vegan, and another Paleo.
Another example of a content cluster could be most ‘How to’ content. When it comes to building and designing websites, for example, there are a lot of questions and tasks that involve creating a working website. Different pieces of content that cover topics ranging from, “How to create a clickable button” to “How to install Google Analytics on your website” could altogether form one content cluster with internal links leading from one to another.
When building your internal linking strategy, then, always take into consideration the following:
- Decide which pieces of content are most important (your cornerstone content)
- Link to recent or popular posts
- Add a related posts section
If You Need Help With Your Internal Linking Strategy, The Search Marketing Experts Team Has You Covered
Strategising and building an internal linking strategy can be time-consuming, especially for entrepreneurs and business owners who spend most of their time managing their businesses. But now that you’re familiar with the basics of how internal works and how you can put it to your advantage, all that’s left is to build up a linking strategy and start connecting your posts and pages to one another. That should help you see an increase in your traffic and a reduction in your bounce rates.