The term domain, rather than website, is used in most definitions of internal linking. However, subdomains complicate matters. Links between subdomains on your website should be deemed internal because you own those sites. An example of an internal link is when I connect to our career’s subdomain.
But what about WordPress and Blogspot subdomains owned by separate people? Technically, each of the subdomains is a separate website with a different proprietor. As a result, ties between them should be regarded external rather than internal.
Simply defined, internal links exist if you may add connections between web pages A and B that are on the same parent domain. They function similarly to an organisational chart for your website. They organise linked pages and divisions like departments in a firm. This emphasises context and relevance, as well as the breadth of your treatment of a subject.
An external link, on the other hand, is a hyperlink that takes the viewer to a respectable page on a distinct website. External links may appear contradictory — after all, you don’t want people clicking on links that take them away from your site.
However, connecting to trustworthy information (from authority sites rather than spam-like sites) makes you look to be an authority and can assist Google in determining what your content is about for SEO purposes.
- External = links to a different domain
- Internal = links to information inside the same parent domain
Do not be misled into thinking that internal linking is a ranking factor. It’s just an excellent approach for Google to determine which pages on a website are significant.
Let’s take a step back and look at how a website is constructed. A typical website’s structure resembles a pyramid. The summit of the pyramid is generally a modest point with general information about the site and what it provides. The themes move from extremely general (at the top) to progressively particular (at the bottom) as you navigate through the layers of categories and subcategories using the site navigation. The larger the site, the more pages there are, and the more likely it is that a vital page may become buried and forgotten in the avalanche of material. Internal linking can assist Google and site visitors rapidly access vital material.
Internal linking is a method of directing Google and site visitors to the most popular or significant subjects. This helps:
1. Internal links to enhance the user experience and conversion rates
Internal link development is a great approach to provide a high-quality user experience while bringing potential consumers deeper into your conversion funnel. Users will have more inquiries when they read your material. You can direct their cognitive process if you anticipate their queries. Then, by carefully including internal links into your text, you will elicit action.
When you give customers what they want, they are more likely to stay on your website rather of going back to Google for answers. This boosts brand recognition, trust, and loyalty, as well as sales.
2. Search engines to use links to crawl your site
Google detects fresh content more effectively through links. If a URL lacks any internal or external links, Google may take significantly longer to discover it.
Googlebot and other web crawlers traverse the web from one link to the next. The more links a new page or post has, the more likely it will be discovered by Google.
Orphaned pages are internal pages that lack links. It’s always worth monitoring your website to ensure that every page that matters has at least one internal link.
While there is no definitive answer to how many internal links on a website are excessive, Google has stated that they can scan hundreds of links per page. In practice, having a lot of links isn’t necessarily a good thing for user experience, and keeping the number of links per page to a sensible amount (usually about 100 or less) might bring extra SEO benefits.
The following recommended practices serve as the foundation of a website’s SEO strategy.
3. Integrate SEO in your content strategy
When you maintain SEO at the forefront of your content strategy, you will automatically produce content that is great for internal linking. Consider your characters, their pain areas, and the pathway they take to conversion.
Publish content that addresses your audience’s immediate requirements while anticipating their growing queries as they move down the funnel. Then, carefully place internal links to pique their attention just as they’re about to ask the following inquiry.
Using topic clusters, we can take this notion a step further. Topic clusters are groups of connected information that span wide ideas. There is one pillar page for each category.
Pillar pages are major pages on a large topic that link to more particular, related sites.
Your pillar pages will assist you in developing subject clusters. Creating pillar pages and subject clusters will assist you in developing your site’s architecture.
Pillar pages should target broad, high-volume keywords rather than more particular long-tail keywords.
Consider your pillar page to be the top of your marketing funnel—customers are intrigued but just interested in broad information.
4. Mix up your anchor text
Anchor text is really important. It is used by Google to determine what is on the other end of a link. Why not take use of the fact that anchor text effects your rankings?
On your own website, you have complete control over the anchor text. Make a point of using terms and phrases that clearly convey the intended page subjects.
Creating relevant anchor text also helps Google’s algorithm better grasp your site’s structure, giving it additional context about how pages are connected to one another.
Mix things up if a page has a lot of internal links with exact match anchor text. Consider employing broad match variants as well, particularly if they aid in conveying the context or search intent of your target phrase.
5. Fix broken internal links
Broken links are unavoidable in SEO. The more you have, the larger your site will be. Redirects can be included in this section as well, because older sites frequently contain several redirect chains or loops that aren’t much better than broken links.
You are already aware that broken links deplete PageRank, disrupt UX, and waste crawl money. What about redirects, though?
If you say no, consider how crucial anchor text is. If you redirect sites to a new URL but do not change the old anchor text, Google may get confusing signals regarding the new destination page.
If your website has hundreds of thousands of pages, this may send shivers down your spine. But don’t be alarmed. You probably just have a few hundred custom made internal links from blog material connecting to those pages. Any additional connections are most likely navigational, so you shouldn’t be concerned.
6. Auditing your site’s existing internal links
Unless you’re creating a brand new website, you’ve most likely already included some internal linking.
Internal linking strategies are important since they assist both Google and people traverse your site more easily. Furthermore, once you’ve identified additional authoritative pages, you may use them.
An internal link audit can assist you in developing this plan.
7. Internal linking strategies to avoid
It’s a simple trap to slip into. We all want to reduce bounce rates, increase conversions, and spread as much link value as possible. And the more material you have, the more chances you’ll have to include links.
However, you must exercise restraint. If you have too many internal links, your PageRank will suffer and your content will appear spammy. Furthermore, consumers will have too many options to click on and will most likely not click on anything.
Unfortunately, there is no magic number for how many links to include in a post. Again, some experts consider that 100 links is a sufficient quantity to provide.
Instead of counting, just put links where you believe they would be most useful to users.
8. Internal linking should not be limited to industry-specific topics
Some well-known SEO professionals exclusively connect inside a specific category or topic group. The objective behind this strategy is to concentrate subject significance within a set of URLs.
What is the issue? That is simply not how subjects operate.
Content marketing has nothing to do with Google SERPs. You may still reference it in some articles. And if you do, you should provide a link to a relevant topic page. One item is linked to another, which is linked to still another, and so on.
9. Avoid stuffing links into your navigation and footer
This is about increasing user experience rather than ranking, yet UX and SEO go hand in hand these days. If you stuff your navigation with hundreds of subcategories, none of your consumers will be able to locate what they came for. Furthermore, Google will have difficulty determining the objective of your website.
Instead, keep your main navigation simple and internal connections to your website’s most significant pages.
10. Don’t use the same anchor text to connect to various pages
This is a more prevalent problem than you would assume. It happens occasionally because individuals are frightened of using exact match keywords in their anchor text. As a result, they resort to phrases such as “click here” or “in this post” instead.
In other cases, it’s a sign of a bloated content strategy that resulted in dozens of similar blog entries targeting the same keyword. As a result, none of your pages will rank for the desired term.