You’ve probably heard why internal links are so critically important for SEO.
But what are they, exactly? Why do you need them? And how should you implement them properly to ensure they help your content rank high in the search engines so that it gets the maximum amount of exposure?
Let’s examine everything you need to know about internal links for SEO and avoid common mistakes that can hurt your content marketing.
What Is Internal Linking For SEO?
This is a link to a page on your website that comes from another page or pages on your website, i.e., the link is internal to your website. These can be links in the header, footer, sidebar or any other menus that you set up.
Connect the dots for your visitors
Well, they connect all of your pages so that your site has some sort of structure. The more pages you have, the more links will span across your whole site.
These links let people navigate to the different pages on your site and generally increase ease of use and TOS (time on site) when they’re used effectively
How to Use Internal Links To Increase SEO
Although you’ll have natural links popping up to pages through the navigation menu and other menus, you should include links within the content itself that connect particular pages together.
Creating Virtual Content Silos
Linking similar pages to each other will create “silos” of content. Silos are groups of pages on your website that are heavily related to each other; typically, these are pages that speak about the same topic
Employing topic silos lets Google know what to associate your pages with and what topic they’re talking about.
If you link within the content to all sorts of pages, then you might start to tell Google that your pages don’t have any particular focus. Therefore, it isn’t valuable for any one particular search term or topic.
*TIP* Breadcrumbs are an easy way to create silo structure within your site automatically.
Get a full content and strategy review from the expert team at Jumpfactor
Passing SEO Authority & Relevance Across Pages
Relevance works like silos do if you have pages that are performing well or ranking for certain topics and keywords. Then linking to another page about the same topic will tell Google this new page is also about the same topic.
Google will already be scanning the content once you let it be indexed, but linking to a new page from existing pages that are performing will just increase the indexing speed and throw the ranks higher up right off the bat.
If Google trusts certain pages on your website, then as long as you do it appropriately and don’t spam these links, Google will naturally trust the page being linked too.
Improving User Experience With Interlinking
User experience comes along with someone being able to find what they’re looking for when they land on your site. If you follow the steps above, you’ll be on your way to creating an easily navigable ecosystem of information and content
Having relevant pages link out from the sidebar menus or the main navigation is useful, but Google takes links in the content itself (anchor text links) much more seriously when determining whether or not the links are useful.
When someone is reading your content, having an eye-catching blue link to click on, along with a relevant anchor text will likely lead to a click from that reader.
Using External/ Outbound Links
Outbound links are great and another way of increasing the quality of your posts as well as user experience by guiding people to information that would also be useful for them to go through.
*TIP* Make all internal links in new tabs so people don’t leave the original page, but open it side-by-side the new one.
This way you also associate yourself with relevant and high-authority pages. This will increase Google’s opinion of your page and will relate the topic you’re discussing by associating you with the page you link out too.
If you continuously link out to obviously irrelevant pages, then Google will be able to tell eventually and may punish you for this.
Why Anchor text matters
The anchor text you use for an in-line link to another page matters. Not only because it will tell the reader what the link is about, but it will also tell Google what the link is about.
When Google reaches that link, it will split off a crawling spider onto that page through that link.
If it finds that your choice of anchor text does not at all match up with the content that’s linked to, it will automatically see a red flag.
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Mixing up your anchors
Google hates spam, and link spam used to be a big issue for people trying to game the algorithm. To avoid this, because you’re an ethical person and don’t want to be punished by Google for no reason, you should have a variety in your anchor texts.
Use some ‘exact match’ along with some semantically related terms for your anchors and from time to time using a ‘naked URL’ as your anchor is fine too.
This is just for the sake of avoiding Google’s bots reading your links as an attempt to link spam/ link stuffing.
Interlinks are crucial and, without a doubt, a necessary part of SEO and content strategy.
The issue is when people either go nuts with interlinks and get themselves punished by Google’s algorithm, or they spend their time interlinking to see no result because they’re unaware of the detailed factors that affect the impact of interlinks.
Stop being overwhelmed by content strategy and interlinking, let a team of experts with over a decade of experience get the job done right. Contact us to learn more.