Internal linking is an important SEO practice for publishers. In this article, we will take a look at its importance as well as the some helpful tips for effective linking.

What exactly is Internal Linking?

Different web practitioners have different terms for this, but internal linking is the term that is well understood by the SEO community. In general terms, internal linking refers to any links from one web page on a domain which leads to another web page on that same domain. This can refer to the main site navigation or the links within articles to related content. In this article, we will focus more on the latter- the editorial links within articles because it is a more commonplace SEO tactic that is controlled by the site’s editors and writers as opposed to a tech team.

Why is Internal Linking so important?

The main reason why internal linking is important is because it’s one of the few tactics site owners can use to make it known to Google and site visitor’s that a particular page is important. From a strategic perspective, it also helps site owners to bridge the authority gap between their content that is more linkworthy with their content that is more profitable.

There are other reasons on its importance:

  • Internal linking provides your visitors with more reading options.
  • It can help you promote events and other paid services.
  • It helps Google crawl the site and index pages more effectively
  • Internal Linking helps you improve your ranking for certain keywords

There are instances where large websites like travel sites that have a huge amount of content and the differences between their landing pages are often very slight. Without correct interlinking, these subtleties could confuse Google, especially if there are no external links directing back to those pages.

How significant a role does Internal Linking play in rankings?

Internal linking is easily one of the most crucial and the most overlooked factors when it comes to achieving your ranking goals. One of the reasons internal linking is often overlooked as an important SEO tactic is because many people simply think that it’s not a concern anymore as sites today have such multifaceted navigation menus. Nevertheless, internal linking will help you drive considerable results solely on the back of optimizing internal navigation structures. Many SEO experts have now recognized that Interlinking related factors have strong weight within the Google algorithm.

How to use Internal Linking more effectively

  • If you’re using WordPress, there are plugins that will automatically turn keywords in page text to keyword relevant links directing to some of your most important content.
  • Though it’s a bit complicated, you can use pivot tables and filters in Excel on data exported from SEMRush to find the pages with the most rankings. Once you’ve recognized those pages, comb your site to find five to fifteen new links from the existing site content to those pages. The number depends on the size of your site.
  • Before inserting a link, ask yourself: what is the possibility that a user will click on it? The higher the chances are, the more effect this link will have and it will have the most value from an SEO perspective.
  • On the home page, make sure to add links to the most important pages. This could be the main categories or a product page; it depends on your SEO strategy.
  • Factors like the position of the link on a page, the anchor text, the font and color of the text, the context it’s used and its relevancy all influence the effect of the link.
  • Make sure that whenever you include new content that you are including links to relevant and important landing pages. This will guarantee that any links yourinclude in your content will also share a secondary benefit on the pages you have internally linked to.
  • Add internal links in moderation. Every link you place on a page will receive a share of the link authority of that page, so the more links you have, the less value it will collect.
  • Links included within content generally carry greater value because they are surrounded by contextual words which can have another benefit in terms of ranking for these related words.
  • Ensure that that links add value. Though SEO is a factor to focus on, links should also add value to your audience.
  • Make sure that internal links appear natural and not contrived. Links should be included along the natural flow of a piece of content and shouldn’t appear to be out of place to a reader.