Internal linking can help a website gain value. A successful SEO strategy is pivotal, especially when you are trying to stand out among your strong competitors. While SEO is an umbrella term for tactics used to optimize sites, drive traffic, and boost Google rankings, one key technique experts use is internal link building. 

If you have already worked with SEO extensively in the past, then internal link building is a tactic you know too well. But if you are newer to this industry, you might not understand why it is so important. So, what is internal link building, and why should you use it for search engine optimization? 

Take a seat as we unpack all the details regarding this strategy. 

Internal Link Building – What Is It?

Internal links represent hyperlinks to pages on the same website. This sets them apart from external links, which are hyperlinks to pages on different platforms. Internal linking allows people to find more content from you. If they already like what they see and want to check more, internal links are a quick and easy window that lets them move through your posts without difficulties, enhancing their experience. 

Internal links can be to any page, such as other articles on your blog, your homepage, menu, and so on. One common way to use internal link building is by inserting hyperlinks within written content. As people navigate your article, they will come across a link, giving them an effortless method of reaching related content. 

What Makes Internal Link Building So Important?

Using internal links helps Google rank sites, so you shouldn’t skip these steps if you want a sweet spot in the search engine results. 

All in all, here is why internal linking is such an indispensable strategy:

  • Users Have an Easier Time Browsing Your Website

When navigating your platform, users generally know where to find the content they want – especially if you create a clear and organized layout. Still, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be convenient for them to find more relevant content with a single click. When you insert internal links in your content, users have a new opportunity to access more pages, improving their overall experience. 

Let’s say you have a site focusing on pet products and post an article about common issues pet owners face. In that case, you can add internal links to other posts where they can learn how to solve this issue and perhaps even to your own products if they address this concern. Internal links show readers that you know what they want and care about their needs, not to mention that they also help you generate more conversions. 

  • It Makes Your Content More Homogenous

As already mentioned, Google pays attention to the links you add to your content and ranks your site accordingly. The search engine uses what is known as the Googlebot, a name that includes both Googlebot Desktop and Googlebot Smartphone. These crawlers visit your homepage and do some rendering before following the very first link they find. 

By doing this, Google is able to figure out the bond between your different posts, pages, and content pieces. So, the search engine will know which pages focus on the same topics.

  • It Shares More Link Juice

Link juice is a way to refer to a page’s value. Every page on your platform has a certain value, and when you link from one page to another, some of the address’s value is given to the other page. Google takes this into consideration when ranking your site for search results. 

Also known as PageRank, the value used to be a metric available to the public, but things have changed over the years, even though PageRank is still going strong within Google’s systems. If you have pages with a significant value, PageRank will take note of them and place you higher when people look up keywords related to your brand. 

The Different Types of Internal Links

Internal link building is a pretty complex process. On top of bringing a variety of benefits to your website, it also involves different types of internal links, each with its own impact on how your site is ranked. Here are some of the different internal link forms:

  • Contextual Links

You may have come across contextual links, particularly if you read many articles or blog posts. Usually, they are added to a page’s main body content, encouraging them to read more on the next page. But they are not limited to blog articles – these links sometimes find themselves even on a website’s “About” page. 

The idea behind contextual links is to elaborate on a certain idea or concept presented on the first page. So, for example, if your site is focused on healthcare and you mention various illnesses, diseases, or disorders on one page, you can link to other pages on the website where these problems are described in better detail. 

These links come in handy for your readers but also help Google understand your content.

  • Anchor Links

Anchor links are also known as jump links, and that is because of their effect. They send you to a different part of the same page, basically doing a “jump” to a certain piece of information. They save time because instead of scrolling through the various paragraphs to look for a specific detail, the link will take you there with a simple click. 

But anchor links can do even more. They allow Google to gain a better understanding of your site and are seen as SERPs.

  • Sidebar Links

You have probably come across sidebar links without knowing how they work. These links have navigational purposes because they send you to related content. But instead of having to click on a link to see what information it contains, it gives you a little preview of what to expect, such as the title and sometimes even a related photo. 

This internal linking format is very popular on recipe websites, news platforms, and similar domains. 

  • Footer Links

Footer links are similar to sidebar links as they are also meant to make navigation easier. However, instead of popping up on one side of your window, they show up at the bottom of the page, so you can only deal with them after you are done reading the content. Thus, they are less invasive.

  • Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs often go unnoticed, especially when you are in a rush. They are navigational links that show you the path to get to a specific page. You may often notice them when browsing products on online shops. 

You will see them as a link trail, and you can always click on them and go back to each specific category. They makes navigation much easier if your platform is very complex and includes a wide range of categories. 

Tips for a Good Internal Linking Strategy

If you are ready to implement internal link building as part of your SEO strategy, we have some useful tactics for you. Before you begin, remember to regularly adjust your strategy to see better results in your relationship with Google. 

Here are some tips that will help you set up your internal link building strategy:

  • Find Your Most Important Content Piece

Before linking content from one page to another, you should establish your most important content piece or category. What are people most interested in when they access your website? If you specialize in specific products or forms of content, this should help you figure out what content is the most valuable. 

To let Google know which blogs are worthy of attention, you should add multiple links to those pages. 

  • Find the Perfect Structure

What is the perfect structure for your site? Most sites follow a similar format based on their niche. For example, the homepage should reflect what your site is all about. It’s usually the most important page. After that, you have the different categories, pages, and posts. 

  • Add New Links to Old Articles

To make internal linking pay off, you should regularly update old articles with new links. Old content may get less and less visibility over time and will get forgotten unless you make some crucial updates. If you add new links to these pages, Google will see them again and boost their ranking. 

  • Add Multiple Links Without Going Overboard

While adding multiple links is recommended, you shouldn’t go too crazy with them. Including too many internal links can have the opposite effect to what you want, as they may decline traffic. For example, when you first get started, you should focus on 5 links – more or less – depending on your most valuable blogs. 

The Bottom Line

Internal link building might be overlooked most of the time, but it is a great SEO strategy for all websites that are trying to improve their Google ranking. Try implementing this tactic and see what works for you to make this method as effective as possible.