Internal link building is a very important component of a website if your intention is to rank it high organically because through doing so, you provide more exposure to your overall website to search engines and visitors. You should be using it actively if you run a blog or website and wish to get good SEO results.
What exactly is internal linking and what does it mean?
It’s just a way to link in between pages and posts on your website.
Any link that leads to another page within your website is considered an internal link, whereas any link which leads to another website, be it an affiliate link, information websites, ect… is an external link.
Throughout this article, I’ll be providing my own internal links across my website so you can see how it works and I am not just doing it for that, but because the process itself carries tons of awesome SEO benefits.
Here are 5 reasons why internal link building is awesome for SEO:
- Google uses it to judge quality content. More internal links = better quality.
- More internal links helps Google explore more of your site and rank it better overall.
- More internal link building helps you get more traffic and more touring of your site from users.
- Users trust you the more content they read from you, and internal linking helps this process.
- Every high ranking website I know focus a lot on internal link building for SEO.
Why internally linking on your website enriches it’s quality:
Pretty much every website needs to have a lot of content that is spread across many different articles. However, in my experience most websites get a bulk of their traffic on just a few articles, while most of the others just aren’t as popular.
There are many times that the articles which aren’t as popular may have very important information that improves your visitor’s experience but may not be noticed if it’s either not very highly ranked or there are no links provided on popular posts that lead them there.
Let us say that I have an article that covers 10 ways to fix common car problems (green box). It’s my most popular article and most people visit it.
Now let us say that I have 10 other articles (red boxes) on my site which aren’t as popular, but in great detail cover each of the 10 ways to fix the car. In other words, each article is exclusively devoted to explaining each fix.
I have drawn these articles in red boxes and X‘s to show that they aren’t getting a lot of traffic and because of that, the quality of my overall website suffers. Maybe those articles didn’t chase any keywords, maybe they did but they were too competitive and maybe something happened that didn’t make as popular as the green one. It doesn’t matter, it can be fixed through interlinking!
If I were to interlink (another way of saying internally link) my main article to each corresponding article, I would drive the traffic coming to that one page to all these other pages, making them more popular. This would also tell Google these other pages are important too which they could then also rank higher which in the future could give me even more traffic. I could also link them both ways with each separate article linking back to my popular one:
The blue arrows represent links going to each article. Thus the traffic from the main one now floods into the other articles, making them active (green boxes now instead of red).
You can also try to imagine a garden which has different sections. If you take care of just one section, it will grow, while the others will not. If you focus on all sections, pour water (think of that as linking) into all the other areas, the whole garden will be better.
Why not put all your content on 1 article?
Most of the time, cramming all your content and topics into one article is not a good idea because giving people too much information on too many topics all at once ruins the experience and from an SEO standpoint, it’s much better to divide every sub topic into a new article. It helps keep their attention on one topic and helps give you more ideas to blog about others and then internally link to those.
Try to imagine an entire niche website which may have anywhere from 2 to an unlimited amount of topics all covered on one page or basically a book. There is no way a majority of people who ever see that page will stay on it for long. That is going to hurt conversion rates.
Furthermore in online marketing and SEO, keeping your topics separated and on different pages gives your site the ability to chase keyword better and get more visitors.
It also creates far more relevancy since if someone lands on a page that covers their topic, they will stay on it, rather than land on a long page that they will have to look through. When people find what they’re looking for right away, they will stay on your site longer and this will help bounce rates which is another benefit of interlinking.:
Just take a look at how many relevant links I have provided on this article alone to illustrate how to interlink on your website. When a visitor sees this page and sees new terms they are not familiar with (bounce rates, keywords, conversion rates, ect…) I have a link that goes to a new page which explains it.
How often should one interlink on each article?
On every article I write, I will generally not link over 1% of however many words there are on the article (Ex: 500 words = 5 links or less and it doesn’t matter if it’s internal/external). But another rule I also follow is to do it in places where it would give my visitors a better, more quality experience on my website. That is very important for them and for my organic rankings.
What is the difference between internal linking and backlinking?
Technically, they are both the same thing.
- But when people use the word backlinking, they are referring to websites that link to your website.
- Internal linking is the process of linking within your website.
Both examples involve the action of linking, but the context is different. And internal linking is honestly just as important if not more so than regular backlinking, which can sometimes be black hat. Internal linking is 100% white hat for SEO.
When it’s best to interlink within your website:
On websites that seek to get more SEO exposure or websites that seek to cross sell products of the same category (e-commerce sites generally). This is basically the only types of websites that should use it.
Now on these websites, there are certain pages where you should interlink and they are informational pages. I generally do NOT provide internal links on pages where I have an affiliate product being sold. On those pages, I will want to keep all links external (only my affiliate link).
Any internal links on those pages may cause traffic leakage and thus lost revenue. So don’t do it on pages that sell products, do it on pages that inform.
Opt in forms such as pop ups. You can set up forms to show up on every page of your website to collect an email list. In these cases, exposing the audience to more of your website is beneficial.
So if you have a website which has multiple pages, start doing this. You will see way better stats for your website.