Internal links are one of the crucial parts of any SEO strategy, yet it does not get the credit it deserves. Today, we’ll learn what internal linking for SEO is to better understand its importance and role in making your website rank well on search engines.
What are Internal Links?
You can find internal links on almost every page on the internet. Chances are, you’ve already seen one even though you’re not aware of what it is.
Internal links are links from one page to another within a single domain, whereas external links point to pages on a different website.
If you have a website with multiple pages, you should have these pages connected through internal linking. Multiple pages are not limited to pages with content. It could be your About, Services, or even your Contact pages.
Internally linking pages within your website helps in improving your chances of being ranked by allowing search engine crawlers to index more content.
The Silo Model
Before we go through the meat of this article, let’s go through some things first. Have you ever visited a website and got amazed by how organized and structured it is? We all probably have. These websites utilize the Silo Model.
In essence, “Silo-ing” is the grouping of topically-related web pages via internal links.
Let’s say you’re building a real estate website in California. You have content that features San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. You also have content covering various cities in California, Malibu, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, and Coronado.
You can tell right off the bat that the pages talk about two things: counties in California and cities within each county.
What do you think is the best way to keep things organized? Naturally, we have to group cities belonging to the same county together.
By silo-ing, each “city” page acts as a “hub” and links to subpages about related cities (and vice-versa). This creates a content hub or a group of interlinked pages all closely related to the same topic.
What is the benefit of Silo-ing?
One of the benefits of the Silo Model is that your website visitors will have an easier time navigating their way around your site. Search engine crawlers will have an easier time understanding your site structure. Lastly, since subpages link back to hub pages and vice-versa, more “authority” is transferred to your most important pages.
There’s also another benefit that people tend to overlook. The Silo Model can help search engines understand the context of your content better. For example, if you have a page that talks about “Los Angeles” and you’re not using the Silo Model, the URL will probably look something like this: domain.com/los-angeles.
Now, is this page talking about Los Angeles, the county? The city? Or perhaps its various sports teams? You can see the context is vague.
Internal Linking Actionable Tips
How do you do internal linking? What’s the best method for creating the biggest value with links? It’s now time to answer these important questions.
Produce content and produce regularly
To maximize the benefits of internal linking, you have to do two things: you have to put content on your website and add content regularly. If you have a single article, that’s already a great starting place. Once you get the feel of adding content to your website, create a habit of regularly publishing content to make internal linking more effective.
Insert links to and from Content-Heavy Pages
We recommend adding links to and from long-form articles. This is a more effective way of spreading your internal linking naturally.
While linking your site’s main pages, such as the homepage, About page, and Contact page, is a good way to start familiarizing yourself with the art of internal linking, the best internal links are those that connect one content-heavy article to another. This creates a strong internal linking structure deep within your site.
Use Anchor Texts wisely
For internal links to have a greater impact, you cannot just add them randomly. That’s what descriptive anchor texts are for. An anchor text is the word or words that link to another page. They are easily recognizable since they appear as hyperlinks in blue to the reader.
A great anchor text describes what the target link is about. This means that phrases such as “click here” or simply “here” do not give added value. These types of anchor texts are not related to the linked pages in any way.
Anchor texts do not have to be exact. In fact, it’s highly discouraged to use exact word phrases as they appear unnatural, and search engines usually find them as such.
Lastly, never ever link more than one sentence. It looks unsightly and certainly leaves a bad impression on your website visitors.
Add an Appropriate Number of Links Per Page
Search engine crawlers have a limit of 150 links per page. Thus, if a page contains more than 150 links, crawlers no longer consider the additional number.
When you create a new piece of content, adding at least five links to your old articles is a good practice. This is really important to your internal linking strategy and how the search engines review and rank your content as it adds a certain “freshness” factor to your old articles.
Remember that while it’s a good practice to add links, keep in mind not to overdo it. This will benefit both the search crawlers and your visitor’s experience.
Update Old Articles With New Internal Links
Speaking of old articles, you can give them a breath of fresh air by updating them.
When you update an old article, it gives a signal to search engine crawlers and indexes it again, which will probably result in a higher ranking.
To update an old article, you can add a new paragraph of content at the beginning, explaining your updates. If your article is about how-tos, add the latest steps, if there are any, along with other additional and/or updated information.
Naturally, you can take this chance to remove or replace outdated stats or information. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to add several new internal links to the content you’ve recently created.
Remember, internal linking isn’t only about linking new content to older content. It’s also about circling back the older content and creating internal links that connect to your more recent work.
Make your links count
Depending on the length of the content on your page, you only have several chances of adding relevant internal links, so make it count.
In choosing which links to add, you can prioritize content-heavy articles over not-so-heavy ones. Of course, you’ll do well in choosing high-converting articles rather than simple how-tos.
Make use of your high-converting pages
You probably noticed that some of your content is performing better than others. These pages probably gave you more leads than others. If so, provide links to these pages.
To maximize the positive effect of high-converting pages, add links to them (if relevant) to your new content.
This is why internal linking has more than just SEO value. It can have revenue value, too. The more visitors you can drive to a high-converting page, the more conversions you’ll have.
Internal Linking Tips Summary
Internal linking plays an important role in building a solid SEO strategy. Not only will it generate more leads for you, but it also enhances your user’s experience. Ultimately, it’s a huge help in boosting your site’s rankings.