As defined by Moz, Internal Links are hyperlinks that point to the same domain as the domain that the link exists on.
They are useful for your website for three main reasons:
- They help users navigate your site and establish a site hierarchy for content
- They spread ‘link juice’ around websites
- They increase a user’s time on page by directing them to other relevant content
How are Internal Links Relevant?
As well as being integral to your website structure, internal links are also good for your SEO strategy as Google uses internal links (as well as other factors) to help rank your content. Google crawls websites by following links using a bot called Google Bot. When the bot arrives at the homepage of a website, it starts to render the page and follows the links to work out the relationship between the various pages, posts and other content.
This search engine itself has confirmed this method, saying ‘Google must constantly search for new pages and add them to its list of known pages. Some pages are known because Google has already crawled them before. Other pages are discovered when Google follows a link from a known page to a new page.’
Using the right internal linking strategy can boost your SEO, as internal links give Google an idea of the structure of your website. The more links you have to a certain page, the more significant that page becomes in the eyes of Google and as such, ranks higher on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
What are the Benefits of Internal Link Building?
Internal link building is an integral part of any comprehensive SEO strategy, for the following reasons.
Internal linking makes it easier for web users to navigate through your website and enables you to present them with additional useful information on the topic at hand. It also enables you to present other information (usually at the end of the page) that web users maybe interested in (e.g. locations of stores, or other product / service offerings).
Spreading Link Equity
Every link carries equity, also known as ‘link juice’. Link juice is a term that is used to express the value that is being passed through to pages via hyperlinks. Link juice is made up of a number of elements, which includes; value, trustworthiness, topic relevance and authority of a page. Links that pass equity or juice are one of the many signals that search engines use to evaluate and determine the page’s rankings.
Increase ‘Time on Page’
The longer the reader spends on your webpage the better, as a longer ‘Time on Page’ can indicate to search engines that your quality is relevant and engaging to the user. Having internal links directing them to other relevant pages can help readers stay engaged and wanting to explore more on your website.
How to Insert a Link
Inserting internal links into your pages and posts is very simple. The following provides a step by step ‘How to’ to ensure you can’t go wrong.
Step 1: Log in to WordPress and navigate to the page or post that you want to add internal links to. You should see the following page.
Step 2: Highlight the text you want to link to.
Step 3: Click on the hyperlink button from the toolbar that looks like this:
Step 4: Once you’ve clicked on the icon, something like the below will pop up and you can paste the URL in the textbox. Once you’ve done this press enter or the blue arrow. And there’s your internal link.
Step 5: Don’t forget to press publish when you’ve finished otherwise the internal link won’t save.
Remove or Edit An Internal Link
If you want to unlink something, simply click on the anchor text and the below ‘unlink’ option will come up. All you have to do is click on it and the link will go away;
If you want to edit the current URL click the pencil icon (see below)
Choosing the right anchor text is arguably, the most important part of your internal link strategy.
Anchor text is the clickable text that visitors can see in your content (usually it is highlighted, underlined or in bold). See example below:
When you are inserting internal links, its important that your anchor text is relevant to the landing page that it’s linked to. These anchor texts should be the keywords.
In the above example, this would be ‘B2B Content Marketing Strategy’ and ‘B2B Marketing Consultants’.
In most cases, don’t use one word for the anchor text. If you are unsure of the right keywords to use, conduct simple keyword research to identify the most relevant terms for your business.
8 Common Mistakes with Internal Linking
- Remember to make sure that the internal link that you’re using isn’t broken, otherwise there will be nowhere for the ‘link juice’ to flow to
- Try to not have too many of the same anchor texts on the same page directing you to the same landing page (one or two should be fine per page/post)
- You don’t have to link the keyword every time it appears in the document; you can leave some as they are
- Make sure that if you are adding in an anchor text that it makes sense in the sentence
- Make sure that the anchor text that you’ve used relates to the keywords on the landing page that it’s connected to
- Don’t link the same page to multiple different keywords; 3 at most is best practice, unless the keywords are all extremely relevant and make sense in the context of the article
- Internal links are meant to benefit the reader, so that they can find more resources about a particular topic. As such, it’s important to ensure your internal links connect the user to pages and posts that are related and useful for the visitor.
- Only link when it’s absolutely necessary, don’t link for the sake of linking, as it could be seen as ‘spammy’, which can work against your SEO efforts.