What is SEO Internal Linking and How to Do it for SEO?
So, you want to learn more about internal linking and how it ties up together with SEO? You’re not alone in regards to that question because a lot of question are stumped when asked about the importance of internal linking. To put it plainly, internal links are crucial to SEO success even though they don’t get any credit. Internal links are essentially web-links from one page that redirect you to another page on the same domain.
Every website has internal links, but most people don’t recognize that when you use them strategically, internal links possess the power to transform a website’s performance on search engines. You’ve probably heard people talking about internal links, but no one has given you a definitive answer as to why they are so important for your website and what impact they have on SEO? We’ll get right to it and explain why your website needs internal links between its pages first.
1. What is Internal Link Building?
Link building is about acquiring links to your website from other third-party sites. It’s done through a number of ways. In any case, the activity is necessary for the SEO of any website because Google’s algorithms count internal links to be a vital ranking factor for search engine rankings. It is a difficult and time-consuming process, which is why it is recommended to get it done by SEO experts, such as SEO Resellers Canada.
A study conducted by Backlink.com stated that link building was the most important ranking factor for any website, because of how highly Google rates it. So, if you’re wondering why your website isn’t ranking properly, you should probably think about acquiring white label internal linking services. Most businesses haven’t given much thought to link building services because they don’t understand search engine algorithms, which are ever-changing and constantly updated.
Therefore, they are never able to comprehend its value and are hesitant about building links on their website that could lead to a penalty.
- 1.What is Internal Link Building?
- 2.The Importance of Internal Linking
- 2.1 Internal Linking and Content
- 2.2 Link Value
- 3.Setting Up an Internal Link Structure
- 3.1 The Practice of Siloing
- 4.Setting Up an Internal Linking Strategy
- 4.1 Build the Right Structure
- 4.2 Optimize Your Best Content
- 4.3 Add Contextual Links
- 4.4 Add Navigational Links
- 4.5 Add Links to Recent or Popular Posts
- 4.6 Anchor Texts
- 4.7 Nofollow Links
- 5.Setting Up an Internal Linking Strategy
- 5.1 Generate Mountains of Content
- 5.2 Be Clever about Anchor Texts
- 5.3 Link as Deep as You Can
- 5.4 Use Natural and Easy-to-Read Links
- 5.5 Use Relevant Links
- 5.6 Use Follow Links
- 5.7 Don’t go Overboard with Internal Links
- 6.Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs on Internal Linking
2. The Importance of Internal Linking
To get the content on your website to rank on Google, you’ll need to build links on your website. Google will be able to find your pages and posts more easily when they’re linked with other pages on the internet. These internal links connect your content and allows search engine crawlers to not only index your website but understand its overall structure to help it rank.
Internal links helps Google establish a hierarchy on your website and allows you to give the most important posts and pages more value than other pages that may be less valuable. So, if you’re using the right internal linking strategy you can boost your SEO phenomenally well. In essence, Google will use links to find out what kind of content your website is related to and the overall value of your content.
The fact that internal links helps users navigate your website improves user experience is one of the main reasons why you should be considering building internal links on your website. At SEO Resellers Canada, we have been doing internal linking for years, and if you’re looking to enhance the rankings of your website on search engine pages, our internal linking expertise is what you need.
2.1. Internal Linking and Content
Search crawlers or spiders crawl websites by following links both internal and external through a bot that is known as, ‘Google Bot’. The bot will arrive at the homepage of a website and will begin rendering the page and following the first link. Through following the links Google will be able to work out the relationship between different posts, pages, and other content. This allows Google to learn what pages on your website cover similar subject matter.
2.2. Link Value
Apart from understanding the link between content, Google divides link value among all links on a web page. The homepage of a website is always the one with the greatest link value as it has the most backlinks, and this value will be distributed equally among all links on the homepage. The link value passed on the following page is going to be divided among the links on the page and so on.
So, your newest blog posts are going to get more link value if you choose to internal link them from the homepage. This will also allow Google to find new posts faster as they will be linked to the homepage. Once you’ve got a decent idea on how links pass their link value forwards, you’ll better understand that more links on a page mean more value for you. That’s mainly because Google deems pages with several valuable links to be more valuable and this will increase your page rankings on search engines.
3. Setting Up an Internal Link Structure
Let’s say for argument’s sake that your website is shaped as a pyramid with the most vital content placed at the very top and the less valuable content at the bottom. Most websites will have the same page at the top of the pyramid, which would be their homepage. Under that page will be the next most important pages namely, about us, services, products, blogs, etc. What you shouldn’t do is link all the pages on one level of hierarchy to pages on another hierarchy level. You must ensure relevance.
3.1. The Practice of Siloing
Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t know what is siloing, as not everyone hears this word. Siloing is the grouping of topically related webpages through internal linking. For instance, if you have a website about countries and cities with pages like these:
You can easily tell that each page can be divided into two distinct groups, which would ‘Pages about countries’ and ‘Pages about cities in those countries.’ To ‘silo’ these pages you’ll need to go about it in the following manner:
Does that make sense?
Every country page will act as a ‘hub’ and link to subpages that are related to cities. That creates a topic cluster that is group of interlinked pages that will be closely related to a similar topic. The benefit of these are as follows:
- Allows users to have an easier time navigating their way around your website
- Crawlers will get an easier time understanding your website structure
- Your most important pages will have more ‘authority’ transferred to them
There’s another benefit as well, which comes around from the fact that this kind of structure helps search engine crawlers understand the context of your content easily.
For example, if you have a webpage named: domain.com/squash
Is that page about butternut squash? Or the sport ‘Squash’? How will Google distinguish?
So, if the page below is part of the Silo on your website:
Does that make things easier?
One big advantage of silo structure that is often overlooked is that since you’re linking to and from topically-related pages there will be plenty of opportunities to use relevant anchor text.
For instance, it makes a lot of sense to link from a page about vegetables and fruits to one about butternut squash if ‘squash’ is the anchor text.
4. Setting Up an Internal Linking Strategy
It’s vital for your website’s SEO to improve and evaluate internal linking regularly and by adding the right internal links you ensure that Google understands the relevance of the pages, their relationship with each other, and the overall value of such pages.
It’s imperative that you don’t confuse internal links with external links here. Each website consists of both internal and external links, the difference being that internal links connect posts and pages on your website. External links on the other hand, help connect your pages to other websites.
Build the Right Structure
In this post, we’re going to focus on internal links and their role in SEO, so let’s start explaining how you should set up an internal linking strategy moving forwards. The first step involves finding the ideal structure for your website and we advise website owners to image that their website was a pyramid.
At the very top will be the homepage, and below that will be sections and categories, followed by individual pages and posts with sub-categories.If you organize the structure of your website properly, your website’s menu should reflect a pyramid structure, which is crawled easily by search engines.
Optimize Your Best Content
Once you’ve set up the structure of your website, your next step should be to highlight your best and most important content. That is the cornerstone content of your website and is your most complete and best content. It’s the core of your business and you want people finding that content when they search for products or services you specialize in.
You must add more links into that content to ensure that Google understands that this is your most important content. There are several spots from where you can link to this cornerstone content, and we’ll discuss them shortly below.
Add Contextual Links
Once you’ve written different articles on a single topic you should think about linking them with one another. That will show Google that these articles are all related topically, and you can link them directly from sentences in your content or add these links at the end of the post.
Your goal is to show Google that this article is your cornerstone content and your best content on this topic. To do that, you must add a link to the cornerstone in all articles on that topic but don’t forget to link back from this cornerstone to individual pages.
Add Navigational Links
Apart from linking from topically-related pages and posts you can make your cornerstone content more authoritative by adding links to it from the home page or at the top of the navigation. You can do this with posts and pages that are vital to your business. That will give these pages or posts plenty of link value and ensures that they are stronger in the eyes of Google.
Add Links to Recent or Popular Posts
Another great internal linking practice is to create internal links to the newest or most popular posts on your website. It’s preferred to create these sections in the footer or sidebar of your website to ensure they appear on all posts and pages.
When link value passes to the most popular/recent posts from several pages and posts they will get a massive boost. Apart from that, the posts are going to be easier for visitors to access and that will not only increase traffic but count as a positive signal in front of Google.
4.6. Anchor Texts
After you’ve decided what links should be appearing on the page, and what pages should get the most link value, it’s important to use the right anchor text. It will be the most clickable text that visitors are going to see. For instance, the anchor text of the two internal links that we have shared in the example below are: ‘paid links’, and ‘link schemes’:
Over-optimizing anchor text may hurt your website, which is done by keyword stuffing. In the past, you could give all anchor texts the same keyword and Google would have your website rank higher for that keyword. However, today Google has caught on to those tactics and is smart enough to understand that the content around the anchor text is more important than the anchor text.
That’s why you must ensure that the anchor text fits naturally in your copy and even though it is fine to use keywords, you shouldn’t add the same keywords to every anchor text.
4.7. Nofollow Links
You already understand the importance of links and what role they play in the SEO for your website, and if you’ve got a login link for your clients on the homepage, you don’t want to divide link value to the login page, as that page doesn’t need to rank high in search results.
You could prevent losing link value to unimportant links in the past by giving them a ‘nofollow’ tag. This asks Google not to follow the link, so that your link value isn’t lost. You may start thinking now that using nofollow links on less important links will give more value to more important links. However, this doesn’t work anymore, as Google has gotten smarter.
Now the link value for nofollow links doesn’t flow automatically to other links on the page, and this nofollow link will be counted as a link and the link value for that link will be lost. That’s why it makes sense to have fewer links on a page instead of nofollowing some links.
5. The Commandments of Internal Linking for Top-Notch SEO
Most of the powerful strategies and solid information on internal linking sounds like sophisticated prognostication. However, there’s merit to theorizing about how well Google ranks and values the internal network of linking.
The theory is that internal linking will strengthen the overall search-optimized value of a website, and it also creates a clear path for spiders. So how do you go about building a solid internal linking network on your website? We’re glad you asked. Here are the commandments of internal linking for top-notch SEO:
5.1. Generate Mountains of Content
To generate a lot of internal links, you’re going to need lots of internal pages on your website, and the first step for that is to establish a phenomenal content marketing strategy. When you generate lots of content, you’ll have mountains of linkable content. The more links on your content, the better your internal linking strategy will work and the better your rankings on search engines.
5.2. Be Clever about Anchor Texts
When it comes to internal linking, anchor texts can make a big difference, but you can also go overboard. You should ensure that your internal links use anchor text compared to image links. They would work fine if the images aren’t the main source of links, and if the image is alt-tagged properly.
Using anchor texts properly is a serious matter because you don’t want optimized anchors. The solution is to use natural, unoptimized sentence fragments as your anchor text, without any cute tricks, or overthinking the situation. All you need to do is highlight the link and you’re all set.
5.3. Link as Deep as You Can
The deeper your internal links go the better it will be for your search rankings. There are two types of links that you should avoid using in your content at all costs. These are:
- Home Page
Most websites have too many links to their homepage, which tends to complicate matters sometimes. You should instead look to strengthen the internal pages to boost the overall SEO of your website instead of having links pointing towards your homepage.
- Contact Us
That’s a common mistake made by many people who try to do internal linking for their website. They tend to overdo the mandatory call to action at the end of any post and link the contact us page with a generic anchor text. It’s advised not to link to the contact us page unless necessary.
It’s important that you avoid linking to the top-level pages on any website, as these are pages to which the main navigation menu has links to already. The best and most natural links are deep within the structure of the website.
5.4. Use Natural and Easy-to-Read Links
Internal linking does require some thought behind it, and you must employ a user-focused approach to add information and value to the readers. The link value that will get distributed throughout the website becomes secondary at this point. One of the main benefits of internal linking is that it enhances user engagement on your website.
When users come across an informative link that matches the context of the content, they will click on that link and. That can be an external link, if it’s something that the reader is going to be interested in. However, if that link is an internal one, the website visitor will not only stay longer but will be more involved in your website experience.
When you’re linking in your content, you’re telling the search engine that your target link is relevant and important, which is why you want users to click on the link and be directed there. So, what you’re linking to is also relevant to the visitor, who may want to stop what they are reading and head on to the next page. Content links send strong signals to both the user and the search engine that the content you’re linking to is beneficial and will help readers.
5.5. Use Relevant Links
Internal linking is less scientific than most would think, but it does need to be intentional as merely linking for the sake of it won’t help you. It’s important that you link to content that is relevant to the source context. For instance, if you’ve got a page on dog food on your website, and another one on the nesting habits of parrots, would you want to link the two pages?
There’s no connection between dog food and parrot nests, and the two pages won’t offer mutual engagement with internal crosslinking. However, if you have another page on parrot food, it would make sense to internal link that page with your parrot nest page. The chances are good that the information on ‘parrots’ on both pages will be relevant and count as good user experience.
5.6. Use Follow Links
The best way to build the internal link architecture of your website is by using follow links. In 2005, search engines had come up with the nofollow rule that had been attributed as rel=nofollow. The idea behind the nofollow was that this link ‘shouldn’t influence the link target’s ranking in the index of the search engine’. These links would decrease the effectiveness of some types of internet ads since their search algorithm relies heavily on the number of links to a website.
Despite the confusion and uproar following the nofollow link controversy, most people now agree that it’s a good idea. Nofollow links can help websites avoid problems with search engines who believe they are selling influence or are somehow involved in schemes that are deemed as unacceptable SEO practices. And though it has value, using nofollow links isn’t a strategy, but you should use this as part of your internal content links. The link value needs to flow freely and from internal pages, instead of getting stopped by a nofollow link. It’s important that you keep things free and flowing.
5.7. Don’t go Overboard with Internal Links
You don’t need a ton of internal links on your website to improve your SEO because Google has provided simple instructions, “Keep the links on any given page to a reasonable number”. A reasonable number depends on the number of pages you have on your website, and a decent figure would be around 100 or less than that.
When it comes to internal linking, the standard practice is having 3 or 4, depending on the length of the post. However, for articles that exceed 2,000 words, and don’t have a link-heavy navigation bar you can add 10 or 15 links to ensure user engagement doesn’t diminish.
6. Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs on Internal Linking
e know that not everyone knows about proper SEO internal linking, and some even misunderstand it entirely. That is why we have decided to address some of the most commonly asked questions related to internal link building for SEO. If you don’t find your question here, feel free to get in touch with us.
- Why do I need Link Building?
If your website doesn’t have any links, it is completely useless because no one will be able to find it. Internal Linking is necessary because it helps rank your website higher and enhances search engines visibility to help customers find your website easily.
- How does a new business compete with the big guys in link building?
That is where SEO Resellers Canada will help you out. We can help rank your website through superior internal link building within any budget. We have the skills and resources to help your business compete with the big guys when it comes to link building.
- What are the most effective types of links?
There are lots of different types of links, but you shouldn’t bother about the ‘Types’ just yet. Your focus should be on building a natural link trend that is trustworthy and organic, because Google is always looking for organic links.
- How can I be sure that your link building strategies work?
We know that not every link building strategy is going to work, but we are experienced internal link building resellers. We understand authoritative backlink acquisition and have the expertise to provide top-notch white label link building services that are compliant with current search engine algorithms.
- Can you determine an estimated number of links and what type of links are needed to get to the top of the rankings for any given niche?
Yes, we provide comprehensive internal linking reports, to ensure that your website ranks properly. We will analyze your competition and come up with strategies that will help you outrank them on search engines.
- How do you measure ROI with Link Building? How do I know what you’re doing is helping?
Link building is all about getting organic traffic for your website by targeting keywords. We will set the benchmark for your business and track your rankings monthly. We will analyze website click through rates, traffic, conversions and other performance metrics. Our results are guaranteed to provide you with high-quality white label SEO internal linking services.
Internal linking isn’t rocket science as you only need a logical, hierarchical website structure for your internal links and then ensure they follow that structure. That’s the main premise as that will allow you to strategically link from the ‘power pages’ to those pages that need a little help.
To prove our point, we’ll share some guidelines on building internal links for your website:
- Don’t always use the same anchor text – keep it diverse and mix things up
- Don’t link from irrelevant pages – this will diminish your website authority
- Don’t overdo internal linking – you don’t need hundreds of internal links on your website
It’s not that difficult to get your head around, but if you’re in any doubt as to how you should go about building internal links on your website get in touch with the experts.
At SEO Resellers Canada, we understand the value of quality link building, which is why we provide superior SEO internal linking that is guaranteed to give you quality results.