Understanding The Basics
Internal links are a common SEO practice. They are hyperlinks found throughout a website that direct to another page or resource of the same domain. In even more simple terms it’s a link from one page on your site to another page on your site. Unlike external links, you aren’t directed away from the domain. It is also important to understand that internal links are also different from inbound links, also known as a backlink. When you receive an inbound link from a website you are getting a voucher from another website almost as a vote for your content.
Benefits Of Internal Linking
The good thing about internal links is that it helps direct visitors around without them having to scroll and search. Think of it as another form of navigation. This is great for user experience which is a large factor in SEO rankings. If you mention content on a page of your site that is available somewhere else on your site with even more information pertaining to it then simply link that text so that users don’t need to struggle to find that extra information somewhere else on your site.
Linking clearly defines the hierarchy of the website. Another positive factor behind internal linking is that helps in link equity, or in other words ranking power. Google uses links to determine what content is on your site, hoe the content is related, and the value behind the content.
When Google bots crawl your site they use links to find the relationships between different pages, posts, or other forms of content. The more pages that Google bots can relate to topics the higher your chances are of being ranked on the first page for search results because they will consider both the page with the link and the linked page to be related in useful content on a subject. Linking internal increases link value throughout other pages on your site rather than just your homepage which typically has the highest link value due to being the most common for backlinks.
Best Practices For Internal Linking
Many SEO specialists suggest that when figuring out your internal linking options you should think of your site and the content as a pyramid. Start with the home page and determine your next main buckets without having too many links on the home page other than those main topics as to avoid diminishing the home pages link value but disperse ranking power throughout the entire site. Next figure out how the main buckets can break down into other smaller topics and so on. This can sometimes be a bit confusing to follow so I like to refer to SEO Expert Neil Patel’s Seven Commandments of Internal Linking which are as follows:
- Create a ton of content
- Use anchor text
- Link deep
- Use links that are natural for the reader (DON’T FORCE A CONNECTION-that just makes it awkward)
- Use relevant links
- Use follow links
- Use a reasonable number of links
For a more in depth review of these seven tips, you can check out his article here.
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