All websites are made of links, internal and external. They have a variety of purposes and all are important. They work together to provide an excellent user experience to a website visitor. Hence it is vital that we understand the use of links within a website.
Essentially, a website needs traffic and every SEO knows that the use of external links (also known as backlinks) ensures minimum visibility.
However, this obsession with gaining backlinks can make site publishers neglect internal linking. Incidentally, losing several advantages of internal linking.
One must not sacrifice the benefits of internal linking for some traffic. Internal links are as valuable as backlinks when you are trying to boost your search engine rankings for a specific phrase or keyword.
It is worth noting that internal links benefit your new pages by contributing value to them which in turn boosts the overall growth of your website.
What Is Internal Linking?
Internal links are hyperlinks within a website that point from one page to another page. Simply put, internal links connect pages within the same website or domain.
They function within the limits of the website and are a good example of creating a new article on digital marketing and adding internal links to related pages to that topic on your website.
An internal link code looks like a href=”http://www.same-domain.com/” title=”Keyword Text”>Keyword Text</a>, and when used properly, enables paths for search spiders to discover new content.
Having more relevant content can create a strong network of related pages which will also increase visitors’ time on your site.
Internal links establish a web of connections between the content on your website, especially content related to a specific topic. This helps visitors to discover more content than they need thus making the website more engaging.
Why Is Internal Linking Important?
Internal links may be compared to the passages, stairs, lifts, doors, and windows of a hotel. Without them, there is no hotel, at least in a functional sense.
Most websites rely on the content and internal links to increase the website’s visibility. It will increase the number of long-tail keywords and thus boost site response to user queries.
Thus internal linking is vital for the success of your website and here are some more reasons behind the importance of internal linking.
1. It Improves Navigation
The navigation of your website directly affects user-friendliness, search engine rankings, and conversions. The overall success of your website has a huge dependency on your website’s navigation and it is commonly made through internal links.
All homepages have some sort of navigation bar which directs visitors to the important pages of the website. Including internal links here will increase the time people spend on the website and consequently boosts SERPs on Google.
Additionally, internal linking can assist visitors in finding more relevant content not included in the main navigation.
2. Creates Website Hierarchy
Internal links help in creating a hierarchy of information on your website which gives a structure to your website.
For example, including links from the home page to other subcategory pages which in turn link to even deeper pages in your site’s architecture. This increases the visitor time on your website as well as makes data access user-friendly.
3. Spreads Ranking Power
Websites with internal links can spread ranking power among their pages. Internal links can transfer ranking power from established pages to new content.
This helps the new page appear higher in organic search results. For example, including internal links on a new page to a high-performing page on your website will help search spiders in finding and indexing the new content quickly.
4. Decreases Bounce Rate
A website facing an 80% bounce rate is quickly losing 80 visitors from an average of 100 visitors. Those exiting the site are leaving just after visiting a single page on the site.
Typically, a high bounce rate means low quality, and search engines do not look kindly on such websites. However, by using internal links on your website, you encourage visitors to spend more time on your website. This naturally brings down bounce rate and increases SERPs.
Benefits of Internal Linking in SEO
Other than interlinking all the content within the website and making it more user-friendly, internal linking also has some technical benefits.
It helps in eliminating broken links and redirect loops while building site authority. Some challenges come with internal links but, it’s a small but mighty tool to further strengthen your content marketing program.
Here are 7 important benefits of internal linking in SEO:
1. Enhanced User Experience
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to SEO or ranking factors. However, if you cannot get the user experience right, then most of the SEO ranking factors don’t matter. After all, the algorithm itself gives preference to a good user experience.
But there is hope in the light of internal linking. They play a central role in boosting the user experience on your website. Internal links help visitors dig deeper into a specific topic on the website.
Such internal links may be added to the related articles on the site with a tag like “Recommended Reading”. This point’s out to the reader that there is additional information on the website that can help them better understand the topic.
Making use of internal links is like creating a Wikipedia rabbit hole, which is only as deep as the visitor is willing to explore.
2. Better Engagement Metrics
Internal links lay a clear path of a journey for your audience in that, they can delve deeper into your site to gain more information through more pages.
This in turn reduces bounce rate and increases visitor view time. Besides, this can also increase the site’s reputation due to returning the audience.
3. Increase Conversion Rate
One of the best examples of effective use of internal links is an e-commerce site. They make proper use of internal links to improve user navigation with the ultimate aim of driving the target audience toward a sale.
The relevant link kick in in the early-funnel content, bringing the audience deeper into the funnel driving conversions.
A website has something to sell. It can be more content, product, or service. The links on the homepage push the audience toward content marketing and eventually toward gated content like a free trial or product or service page. In other words, the audience journey starts from initial awareness and ends by becoming leads or customers.
4. Builds Website Architecture
The basic structure of a website is how its content is sorted within menus and navigation. It goes all the way from your homepage to the deep-lying pages on your site.
But website architecture is not just structural taxonomy but becomes an additional layer of content and pages through the use of internal links.
Internal links improve your UX design by creating cross-links. They kind of connect everything with everything and turn disconnected pages into a comprehensive and enhanced user experience.
5. Improves Crawl Efficiency
Search engine algorithms have spiders that are designed to crawl the length and breadth of any website. On finding a website, they scour the code for SEO ranking factors on every individual page on the site.
They crawl through new and existing domains. The content they find on your website becomes your site’s record or index. This determines how and whether it will appear in search results. The crawl process is not a one-off thing and keeps happening at regular schedules.
One of the main purposes of crawling is to check out internal and external links on a website along with discovering new and updated content. Hence, if your website has a strong network of internal links then it will provide much aid in getting your content indexed sooner than later.
6. Build Link Equity
Every link on a website has link equity which essentially is the measure of authority that a link passes to the next link or page. This is important because, Google ranks a page based on metrics like value, relevance, and authority.
Thus internal links can transfer some equity from a well-ranked page to any other page that is being linked to it. Simply put, strategic use of internal links spreads link equity to strategic spots within your site.
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7. Precisely Rank Keywords
You create internal links which means you have complete control over them. Hence you can leverage them to precisely point out to Google which keyword and page associations you want to rank.
This is done by using contextually-relevant anchor text that all internal links have. This helps in properly describing the page the link leads to and hence negates the chances of Google ranking one keyword for another.
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In this article, we will dwell upon the Benefits of Internal Linking and its best practices. You will learn how to improve your internal linking strategy to gain more website traffic.
Meanwhile, you can always get in touch with the highly experienced SEO team of OneCity and ensure the success of your website in the competitive digital world.
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