You’ve got world-changing products, red-hot content and slick graphics on hundreds of dazzling pages. How do you bring it all together?
Link it up. One of the best things you can do when starting a new website or adding content to an existing one is to build your internal linking.
External links (backlinks) point to your content from outside your site, while internal links connect pages within your site. While building quality backlinks is an immensely important aspect of SEO, the process of reaching out to other relevant sites with unique, linkable content will take patience and hard work.
On the other hand, internal linking is part of on-page SEO, which means – 1) it’s an aspect of your own existing content and source code, fully controllable by you, and 2) you can start whenever you want, for free!
Today, we will cover in-text internal linking – links within the main body copy on your webpages. Internal links can also be found in headers, footers, and menus.
Optimise your anchor text for readability and value
Well-chosen, descriptive anchor text adds value to your internal links by providing context and including relevant keywords.
Instead of using stock phrases like “click here” or “read more,” signpost your content and encourage readers to click by incorporating the subject into the anchor text.
Natural keyword variants and brand terms are easiest for readers to digest. When a page is properly written to target a certain subject (such as how to divide your search marketing budget) and its keywords, optimised anchor text will help elevate the page’s chance of ranking for the correct terms.
For example, the internal links in the paragraph below are placed on anchor text within a sentence:
Anchor text should accurately describe the linked content. Users can then easily digest the anchor text and click to find the content and products they need.
Internal linking does wonders for your site’s authority and ability to rank. Google uses links to establish the relevance of your content, and indexes it accordingly. Pages with more quality, relevant links will place higher in Google’s rankings.
Google can index your site faster if you have proper internal linking implemented.
An internal linking network helps to guide users around the site, so they can easily find the information they are looking for.
This easy navigability can help improve interaction rates and increase the possibility of conversions.
“Orphan” pages are not linked to any other pages on a website. These pages are much harder for Google’s crawlers to find and index, and much less likely to rank in the top results for a search.
Start placing internal links your most valuable, relevant pages first. For many e-commerce owners, these are the homepage and key product pages. If you have a blog, your most important pages may be the homepage and a few of your most popular posts.
Link pages that contain relevant related content. Whenever Google crawls a page, it divides link value (PageRank) between every link found on the page and assigns a score judging the importance and authority. To drive more traffic to a certain page, link to it from a higher-ranking page on your site. Your homepage usually has the greatest link value – thus, linking to other important pages from the homepage will allow them to piggyback on the homepage’s link value.
Internal linking – How much is too much?
You might wonder – do I have enough internal links? Or too many? When planning an internal linking strategy, your top question should be “What links will my readers click on?” Understanding what your reader needs will help you determine which related internal content you can link.
Google may consider a high ratio of links on a page as spammy – if the links use misleading, irrelevant anchor text or are unrelated to the page topic.
Rather than thinking of a set minimum or maximum links per page, your guideline should be: Will this internal link benefit my site visitors? If a link won’t help the user find what they want, don’t include it.
Remember, link value is shared between all the links on a given page, so adding an excessive amount of links will dilute link equity. Aim to keep the number of internal links per page to under 100.
Sometimes, your page may contain links that don’t need to count toward the ranking of a page. Tell Google to disregard these links in places such as comment sections by using nofollow tags.
First steps to implement internal links:
Review your site structure. Determine which of your pages are currently ranking highest for their target terms.
Next, note which of these pages are most closely related and work down this list, linking them in your navigational menus and through optimised in-text links.
Use a mix of relevant, engaging anchor text and natural brand terms – e.g. “puppy training lessons” and “Puppy Trainers Inc.”
We're a friendly team of digital marketing experts in Wynyard Quarter, Auckland - come visit us at Level 5, 12 Madden Street or give us a ring at +64 9 950 2633. For comprehensive answers to all your digital marketing questions, reach out to us anytime. We love talking search with anyone who’ll listen!
About us and this blog
We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.