One of the most neglected link-building techniques in SEO marketing is internal links. To help us build the external links or the backlinks, we are quick to turn to the techniques. Yet, we often underestimate the impact it has on developing optimized internal linking strategies.
Understanding Internal Links?
Any link from one page on your website to the other page on your website is an internal link. To find the content on your website, both users and search engines use these links. To navigate through your site and to locate the content they wish to see, your users use these links. To navigate to your site, search engines even use these links.
If there are no links to it, then a page will never be found.
You will come across many types of internal links.
You can also add links within your content in addition to the links on your homepage, menu, post feed, and the rest. These are the contextual links. To the exciting and related content, the contextual links point your users to it. To find out what content on your site is related and determine the value of that content, they will allow the search engines. The more critical your page will appear on the search engine with more links that a vital page receives. Therefore, to boost your SEO techniques, using internal links is significant.
Internal Links Vs. External Links
Internal and external links are present on almost every website. The links connecting the pages to the posts on your website are the internal links, and the ones that touch your pages to other websites are the external links. We will aim at the internal links and what they mean for SEO in this post. To get more ideas, our center will surely help you out!
Why Are Links Important to Google?
For Google and other major search engines, Internal linking is the most critical factor. Why? And where do you begin? To uncover content on websites and to rank this content in the search results, Google follows these links. It can signal to Google that the page or post contains a high-value article, or it is essential if the page or the post gets a lot of links. It counts for both the internal and external links.
As a site owner, you are responsible for controlling the internal linking. You will guide your visitors and Google to most of your important pages with the right internal links.
Relationships Between Content
with the use of Googlebot, Google can crawl websites by following links both internal and external. It is the bot that starts to render the page and follows the first link after arriving at the homepage.
Google can work out the relationship between the various pages, posts, and other contents, by following links. Google can find out which pages on your site are covering similar subject matter in this way.
By adding these links, you can make sure that Google understands that the content of those pages is related to the content of the post.
Google divides link value between all the links on a web page and understands the relationship between content. The homepage of the website has the most significant link value as it has most of the backlinks.
Between all the links found on that homepage, this link value will be shared. It will then be divided between the links on that page, with the link value passed to the following page. If you link to them from the homepage instead of only on the category page, your latest blog posts will get the maximum link value. If they are linked to from the homepage, then Google will find new posts instantly.
You will understand that more links to a post mean more value when you get the concept that links pass their link value. Chances of page ranking can also be increased as Google deems a page that gets lots of valuable links as more important.
Setting Up an Internal Linking Strategy
Regularly, your site’s SEO needs to evaluate and improve the internal linking strategy. You need to make sure that Google understands the following with the addition of the right internal links:
- The relevancy of pages;
- The relationship between pages;
- And the value of pages.
There are many things to take into account to set up your internal linking strategy. It depends on your goals and your site but following the process will be the best idea to go ahead with.
1. Determination of the Unique Structure for Your Site
The website should always be imagined as a pyramid is what we recommend to the website owners. The base should consist of the individual posts and pages, possibly with subcategories in between, the mid-section should contain the sections and categories, and the top should be the home page.
The menu of your website should reflect this structure if you do it well.
You can create the best site structure for your site with the help of our earlier posts.
2. Decide Upon Your Most Important Content
You need to look into and determine what your most important content is about. You need to lay a cornerstone content if you are not sure about it. It is your best and most complete content to explain, in short, and it is the main center of attraction for your business. When people are searching for topics or products that you are specializing in, it is the content that you wish them to find.
You also have to add several links to it as you wish to allow Google to know that this is the most critical content. The cornerstone content can be linked from various spots. From your post’s copy to your navigation, we will also give you the commonest of options.
3. Add Contextual Links
You should link them with each other when you have written various articles. Both Google and your users will be able to see that the articles are related topically. At the end of your post, you can link directly from sentences in your copy or add links.
You wish Google to find the cornerstones of your articles. You have to add a link to the cornerstone in all of the articles on this topic to do so. You should also remember to link back to the individual posts from the cornerstone.
Some More Facts on Contextual Linking
- Links deep from the content of your webpage and that content is the main part of deciding on the uniqueness of a webpage is what these contextual links are. Giving links from that section transferring optimal page power to the linked ones is what the reason is.
- For both the pages, the linking, and the linked ones, they can help search engines develop the relevancy factor.
- A single webpage cannot hold all the information. This would be good to divide massive information into smaller chunks moreover. To optimize them, these chunks can be linked internally with the main keywords.
- The credibility of your content for the search engines can be increased by linking to authoritative and well-recognized external resources like Wikipedia. It is researched-based and can resemble the linked webpage as it means that the written content is not junk.
- Google highly appreciates the enriched reader experience. It would lead to higher rankings in the SERPs.
4. Link Hierarchical Pages
Link the parent pages to its child pages and vice versa if you have hierarchical pages on your website. You should also remember to link the sibling pages to one another.
These pages should be related, and linking them like this will make perfect sense on well-organized sites.
5. Consider Adding a Related Post Section
To add the complete related posts sections to your posts, there are many plugins and modules. We recommend testing whether the associated posts are associated posts if you use one. Linking to posts manually is probably the best if you are not sure.
At Yoast, you are selecting the related posts manually or with a bit of help from the internal linking tool and placing a link to that post at the article’s footer.
6. Try Adding Navigational Links
It is possible to make your cornerstone content more authoritative with the addition of links to it from the homepage or the top navigation besides linking topically-related posts and pages.
The posts and pages that are most important to your business are where you should do this. It will make these pages and posts stronger in the eyes of Google and give them a lot of link value.
7. Add Links to Your Taxonomies
Your site is more organized, helping users and Google to understand what your content is all about with the help of taxonomies like the tags and categories.
It can be advantageous to add internal links to the taxonomies the post belongs to if you have a blog. Google can well understand the blog’s structure, helping visitors to more easily navigate the related posts by adding links to the category and tags.
8. Consider the Addition of Links to Popular or Recent Posts
Creating internal links to the most popular or latest posts on your website is the last option to mention. Create these sections in the sidebar or the footer of your website to have them appear on all pages and posts, preferably.
They will get a boost as the link value passes to these most popular or recent posts from many different pages and posts.
The posts will be easier for the visitors to access; increasing the traffic and more significant traffic is a positive sign for Google.
More on Internal Links
Some links are not vital for SEO on your site. For instance, when you do not want to leak link value to your login page, that page does not have to rank high in the search results if you have a login link for your client’s homepage.
By giving them a nofollow tag, you used to prevent losing link value to unimportant links. No link value is lost as a nofollow tag asks Google not to follow the link. “I am going to follow less important links to give the high important links more link value” is what you might think now.
Google has become smarter though this worked in the past. The link value for those Nofollow links that do not automatically flow to the other links on the page is what it may seem now. The link value for that link will be lost as the nofollow link will be counted as a link. It makes a lot of sense to have fewer links on a page than to follow some of the links.
It does not mean that the target pages cannot be found on the search results of Google when you add a no-follow tag. You should give them a noindex tag if you do not want pages or posts to show up in the search results. Google should not render the page and should not give the content a place in the Google index to show up in the search results is what the noindex tag means here.
It is vital to use the right anchor text once you have decided which links should be on a page and which pages should get the link value. The visitors checking out the clickable text is the anchor text.
Internal Linking in Yoast SEO
To improve your internal linking, we will take the example of the free version of Yoast SEO which includes many checks and features.
The Yoast plugin makes sure you give internal links some thought on the post level. The internal link assessment of Yoast SEO checks whether you have created links to the other pages on your website in your text in the plugin’s meta box. Whether these links are followed or nofollowed is what this will also check.
Text link Counter
You will also get a handy tool in your post overview, known as a text link counter if you have installed Yoast SEO. The internal links in a post and the internal links pointing to a post are what this tool counts. Which posts should receive more links is what this visualizes. On your site structure, this all will help you a lot.