An Internal Linking Guide for 2021


Andy Cabasso

December 15th

This aricle was written by a guest to the blog, Christina Josh Wilde. Christina is an SEO Guru, helping professionals to understand SEO in simple terms.

christina josh wilde seo guru and expert on internal linking

This article is all about internal links, why they are important, and why you should care about them.

When it comes to helping your website show up better in search engine rankings, good, unique content can be a big boost. 

However, good content alone isn’t enough to do the trick.

Good content alone will not help your website automatically rank in search, or even outrank your competitors.

Aside from creating content, there are other factors that can help you increase your rankings, such as link building and internal linking.

We have published a lot on link building previously and how it specifically can help your content and website rank better.

So, now we would like to take the time to focus specifically on internal linking and how it can have a powerful impact and improve the positioning of your website in Google’s search results.

What are Internal Links, and Why Should You Care?

First – what is internal linking?

Simply put, an internal link is a link from one page on your website to another page within your website.

“Internal” refers to just your website. Links to websites outside of your website are referred to as external links or outbound links (and we discuss the importance of external links in other articles).

Why is internal linking important?

Internal linking helps both your website visitors as well as search engines. 

For search engines, internal links demonstrate associations between various web pages, and that allows a website to build authority on a topic. 

For the user experience, it makes your website more usable, immersive, and interactive.

Next, let’s get ino how internal links helps you with search engines. 

Internal Links and Search Engines

More internal links typically will increase the amount of time your website visitors will spend on your website.

By directing your website visitors to other pages and content, it encourages them to check out what else your website has to offer related to what they are reading on your website, and they will spend more time on your website.

Time spent on your website is highly likely a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.

The more time people spend on your website, the more it signals to Google that your content is relevant for them. 

Internal links also demonstrate to search engines that your content – blog posts, product pages, etc. – are all related to each other and should be treated as such.

Most importantly, Google attaches great value with internal linking networks as users spend more time on your website and Google algorithms are quick to catch up with this activity.

As Google identifies users spending more time on your website, it associates authority with your site and is more likely to reward your pages with better rankings in search over time. 

Some More Benefits of Internal Linking

Next, let’s get into some more specifics on the significance of internal links.

Refining User Experience 

Internal linking is an excellent strategy to boost the usability of your website.

Adding user-friendly links to your related quality content and products makes the navigation process significantly easier, eliminating the hassle for the user.

By incorporating blog posts and products, you can help direct the user to resources relevant to them with just a few simple clicks. 

“When incorporating internal linking, it is crucial to build relevance and offer content or products that are highly relevant to the issues or concerns being addressed on that particular page. For instance, if you’re discussing seasonal trends, consider adding products pertaining to every single trend you discuss. This will help you offer your audience value, and easily convert that user into a paying customer”

– Stewart Dunlop, CEO of PPCGenius.io

Just be sure to avoid adding irrelevant links or duplicating content. 

Spread the Link Juice 

“Adding internal links to any given page on your website allows you to spread the link juice by easily targeting users to other pages on your site. Being the CEO of a digital marketing agency, I think you can use this strategy to boost lead conversions and generate more revenue. This is primarily why internal links are such a powerful asset of SEO and revenue generation.”

– Jackson Gartner CEO of White Peak Digital

By incorporating product listings and pages, you can build a strong case for your product and then offer the opportunity to access the product page and buy that product with a few simple clicks. 

Increase Page Views 

Though we have discussed the importance of placing internal links that are relevant, we should also take a moment to acknowledge that irrelevant links can be harmful. For example, inserting a ton of links into a blog post to other irrelevant pages will distract your readers, make your website less usable, bother your visitors, and ensure that they leave your website quicker than they otherwise would have.

Make sure that you place internal links with great consideration for relevance.

Irrelevant links will only annoy your users, while relevant links that offer products or quality information will keep them coming back for you. 

Offering a link that your users can follow to land themselves on another page, and then another, and another will help you increase your page views by a substantial number. As mentioned earlier, this strategy will also help you win over Google algorithms as Google is quick to catch up on high page views. In the long-run, this strategy will help you build credibility and authority, landing your website on the first page of Google’s search results.

Boosting PageRank 

Internal linking is a powerful strategy of boosting your website’s PageRank 

PageRank It is an algorithm developed by Google to measure the significance of web pages. This significance is measured by, among other things, the backlinks a webpage garners from various websites. Websites and brands can boost their score if quality content is shared by other blogs and platforms. PageRank is a decisive factor in determining the searchability and visibility of a website. 

“Internal linking allows you to spread the link juice, which will help you build authority, and ultimately, benefit you by increasing your PageRank. You see, as the viewership for each page increases, Google algorithms translate it as authority and credibility. Increased PageRank will help you enjoy greater searchability and visibility, thereby attracting a larger and wider audience”

– Rodney Yo, Owner of Best Online Traffic School

Retaining Longer Viewership 

If your web pages receive a significantly low viewership duration and higher bounce rates, internal linking can prove to be a powerful strategy to eliminate both these challenges. 

First off, bounce rate refers to a particular user behavior where a visitor simply views on page and leaves your website immediately. You can reduce bounce rates with internal linking by offering your readers more valuable content and increasing their time spent on your website. 

The trick is to offer REAL value, otherwise this strategy is lost and you’ll end up annoying your users as opposed to pleasing them. Google Analytics offers various tools to examine website behavior and examine the bounce rate for your article, product pages and website. This will help you identify the most-viewed pages and incorporate internal links strategically.

It is crucial to track your bounce rates as it has the potential to bring about a significant difference on your website ranking and searchability. 

Creating a Smart Website Architecture 

“Internal linking aids in creating a robust and smart architecture, which in turn boosts indexing and crawling. Google bots are programmed to recreate the thinking process of an average user. They will visit your website and click on all the pages and links that are internally linked and indexed in a straightforward manner”

– Chad Evertson, Founder of About Generators.

Constructing a dynamic and user-friendly site architecture will allow bots to identify all the pages that typically fail to garner sufficient traffic. Internal links play an instrumental role in creating an architecture that is easy to navigate and immersive for your users. It also allows site owners to boost the viewership of all their pages, and increase their overall ranking. 

Conclusion

Internal linking goes a long way in building credibility and authority, and making your user experience immersive and rewarding.

Whether you want to boost revenues by encouraging your audience to buy your products, or you want your content to enjoy higher engagement, internal linking is the ideal route to boost visibility and audience engagement. 

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