Ever had an SEO or marketing expert, while trying to improve your website SEO, tell you that you need to have internal links on your website to help it rank and thought “OK that’s great but that are internal links? “
To put it simply internal links are links that go from one page of a website to another page of that same website.
All websites will have internal links, certainly, all websites that want to rank well in the search engines will have internal links.
Without them, it’s harder for both crawlers and potential customers to make their way through your website.
However, despite their value, not having an internal linking strategy is actually one of the most common mistakes small business owners make.
If your website has limited or worse no internal links then not only will it be harder for your site to rank (actually almost impossible) but it will also mean you have a really high bounce rate and that your potential customers are less likely to go on and become actual customers.
There are different types of internal links and they can be found in various places throughout your website.
Some types of internal links are homepage links, menu links, post feed, footer links, contextual links.
When writing content for your main pages or your blog content its so important your remember to include relevent internal links
Then you have to think about if those links are “follow” or “no-follow” links and make sure you use the correct ones in the correct place.
Most if not all of your internal links should be “follow” links so they can boost your site, however, occasionally you may have “no-follow” links if there any pages that you don’t want to be crawled.
Now we have covered what are internal links, the next big question I often get asked is why do you need internal links?
Internal links are vital if you want Google to crawl and rank all the pages of your site.
They are also vital if you want your customers to stay on your site and really get to know what you have to offer.
Imagine your website as if it were a shop, you want people who visit to browse through everything you have to offer. Well, with your website you need internal links to make sure they can do that easily.
If people find themselves on a page of your website with no internal link to take them to another part of your site then they will simply leave the site, which will not only cost you a customer but will also negatively impact your bounce rate which in turn will negatively impact your SEO!
When it comes to SEO, internal links can play a really big part in how successful your website SEO performance is.
It’s why it’s always one of the first things I teach my clients when it comes to optimising their website for SEO.
The truth is adding internal links can have a massive impact on your website traffic.
One of our clients saw a 40% increase in traffic within a month of setting up internal linking on their website.
How To Use Internal Links?
The more internal links a page or post has the more link juice it has therefore it’s important that you work on a structure for your internal links.
You have to think about your ideal site structure. Normally if you think of it in a pyramid it’s home, category and then individual pages.
Your most important content should have the majority of internal links pointing to it in order for it to get the most impact, the links coming to this page should come from a variety of link types (contextual, navigation etc)
When you are deciding on internal links you will have to think about the relevance of the page, it’s relationship to other pages and the value of the page and the pages linking to it.
If you have several pieces of content that’s on related topics or a similar niche then you will want to group those together.
If for example, you have four different but related articles on the same topic, you should choose which of those is your cornerstone content and then make sure the other three all link to your piece of cornerstone content, while also making sure your cornerstone content links out to each of the four related blog posts.
Sometimes it can be a good idea to use a google sheet document to track your internal links!
So now we have covered what internal links, why you need them and how you can use them on your website. I would love to hear your thoughts, do you have a good internal linking structure on your site? Or does it need some work?
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Thank you for this, it really helps me make a plan for what I need to do with my website
No problem at all!
I have several blogs that don’t have any links on them, should I go back and fix those?
Yeah go back and find other posts that are relevant to the ones with no links and add links to them
Thanks for this, Im going to go back over my blogs and see where I can improve the internal links as I think I have some that don’t have any. Does each blog need to have the same amount?
No each one doesn’t have to have the same amount, the most important pages / posts should have the most but its important to make sure you have at least 1 going to all your blog posts and pages so they don’t end up as orphaned pages
This is great, I had no idea this was even a thing, Ive only had my blog a few months but saw your training session on Digital Women so came over to you site. Thank you
I really enjoyed that session as I love the digital women group its one of my favourites!
Hi Marion I attended your training for Kates membership, thank you it was great, I have a couple of questions about internal links, should the posts that are most important have the most links? And you mentioned orphaned pages but I had to leave for the school run before I heard what those were? Thanks
Hi Lucy, thanks glad you enjoyed it! Yes the pages that are most important should have the most links. Orphaned pages are pages that have no links coming to them from other pages on your site. A lot of times this happens to new blog posts where people remember to link from the post to other pages but forget to send links to the new post from older posts etc. Hope that helps