Internal linking is the process of providing a link from one page of your website to another page of your website. It is used by both the user and search engines. They use this link to navigate your website. If there are no links available, both the user and the search engine won’t be able to see any pages. Other than internal links, websites also consist of external links. Internal links are used to connect pages of your own website, while external links connect a page to another website.
Internal links are more important from an SEO and search engine’s point of view, as they make it easy for a search engine to understand a website. By using anchor text, you can give an indication to the search engine about the sequence of your website according to its importance. If any page is getting a lot of links, this gives a signal to the search engine that the page has high- value. After that, if the search engine finds the content relevant, it will get ranked in the search results. By using the perfect internal links, you can guide the search engine or your viewer to the best article on your website.
But how to do it? Here are the seven commandments, you can follow.
1. Create lots of content
To create a lot of internal links, you need to have a large number of pages on your website. If you want to be strong in your internal linking game, you must be strong in your content marketing game. You can’t be dependent on one without working on the other one.
If you create lots of content, you can link them with each other internally. Some people say, for internal linking, You have to work on different layers and make a mathematical balance between a number of links to levels of pages.
However, internal linking is not so complex, you don’t need to work on a spreadsheet to get the result, or you don’t even have to worry about the layers. Internal links are just another cheerful link that will take you from one helpful page to another helpful page.
Focus on creating keyword-rich content, and it will end up with the ideas of natural internal linking of pages. For a keyword search, you can even use different tools. Those tools can help you find the perfect keyword for your article, resulting in high-quality content.
2. Use Anchor Text
For the internal links, you should always use anchor text. It is a visible word or character that, when linked to another location on the web page, displays a hyperlink. It is a blue underlined text, but the color can be styled easily by the use of CSS.
Internal links are easier to understand for search engines and viewers. In addition to anchor text, you have to mention a few details or phrases about the linked page too. It will help the search engine’s crawler and the viewer to understand what you are actually targeting and what is the purpose of your link.
The links should always be a bit different, as according to search engines if all the anchor text is exactly the same, it will look like spam.
You can also use images for linking, in that scenario, you need to be specific about the details of the image, which means that images are not the main source of links, and they should be alt-tagged too.
The proper use of anchor text can be so helpful, as it can open a number of doors for you. Don’t overpush anything, just use natural sentences as anchor text, highlight it, link it, and you are done.
It is not a complex process, so don’t overthink.
3. Use Natural Links
Internal linking should always be done by focusing on the viewer. It should be approached in a way that gives information and value to the user.
The best thing about internal linking is that it improves viewer engagement. When a user finds an informative link, which matches the context of the content, the probability of them clicking the link increases. It can be an external link, too, if the user is interested enough to read.
However, if the link is internal, the chances of the user to sustain on your website increase for a longer duration of time and also become more engaging.
When you link content, you actually tell the search engine that the link you provided is relevant and informative enough that you want your visitors to simply reach the page with one click.
Internal linking helps the visitor, search engine crawler as well as SEO. These links are a strong signal, which shows that the content you are linking is good enough to attract people. And the user finds it suitable to read.
4. Link Deep
You always need to go with deep links, deep within the structure of a website. These are the natural links that will take your content marketing game to a great height.
For better growth of your website and for the ranking of your content, you should avoid using these two types of links.
• Links to the homepage: Most websites use too many links to their homepage. Rather than that, you can focus more on strengthening the internal pages, which will boost your website’s overall SEO.
• Contact us: Never link to the contact us page, if not important. This is a mistake made by a lot of people at the start of their content marketing career. At the end of the page, as a part of their CTA, they may mention lines like “if you still need any help, call us” and then link it to the contact us page with the help of the anchor “call us”.
5. Use of following links
Follow links helps you in constructing the internal link architecture of your website.
Back then, in 2005, it was a theory that says no follow link is better, as it increases the link juice to one page. But this doesn’t work with SEO strategies.
It is believed that no-follow links avoid issues with search engines. However, you should avoid the use of nofollow for internal content links. The value should be followed both to and fro in the case of internal pages.
6. Use Relevant Links
Don’t use the link for just the sake of linking, but use the links which are actually relevant to the source. For example, I have a page about phones, And in that, I am providing the link to a food page. Will that be relevant? It won’t, right? There is no connection between a phone and our food if we ignore the fact that we use it to click pictures. These, too, pages can’t be cross-linked.
But if I have a page, which focuses on chargers or technical things like processors, we can cross-link that with the phone once. It is because the two are relevant to each other.
7. Use a reasonable and limited number of internal links.
If you work with Google’s instructions, it will be in favor of your SEO. And according to Google, you are not supposed to use hundreds of links in your internal content.
Keep the links limited and of a reasonable number on a given page. But do you know what is a reasonable number or what the limit is? Nobody knows, some people say 100, some say more than a hundred, but nobody has an actual idea. But using 100 is a lot.
Though according to research, it is suggested to use 4 or 5 links, depending on the post’s length. But you can use as many links as required, depending on your content and its length.
In addition to that, don’t go with big blocks of footer links throughout a website. This is a thing done by a lot of travel and estate websites back then. These websites used to include their best internal links, which were keyword-rich, near the footer. It was not even uncommon back then to have 40+ links near the footer.
The website started using this by making hundreds of web pages one after another. This resulted in creating thousands of spam links to get a profit. In 2013, these websites were hit by the algorithm for such practices.
Internal linking is not a complex or difficult thing to do, but you should always take care of these seven commandments for better results. With consistent internal linking, you will have better control over your SEO.