How Critical Is Internal Linking?
It’s no secret to the SEO community that CONTENT is KING! Today’s top SEOs, digital marketing professionals, and bloggers are all too familiar with this phrase, as it has been a topic of discussion for quite some time. Of course, we know that our content must be the elite of the elite—the cream of the crop. The content that we produce must be high-quality, authoritative content that appeals to search engine algorithms, while maintaining customer voice and appealing to page visitors.
But wait; there’s more! High-quality content isn’t all we need to draw qualified traffic to your pages.
What is Internal Linking?
I know exactly what you’re thinking: “Okay, I’ve heard of it, maybe mentioned it to a client or co-worker a few times. But what is ‘internal linking‘?”
An internal link is creating a hyperlink that will point from the same domain as the domain where the link exist. So, in simple terms, an internal link is one that points to another page on the same website.
Advantages of Internal Linking
Internal Links Allows User to Navigate Through a Website
Internal linking not only allows a site to improve and increase page views to the site, but it also allows users/visits to navigate easily throughout the website. The links that go from pages to content or blog post help users/visitors find more useful, relevant, and related content throughout the site. Proper internal linking will help increase the site conversion rate, allowing any new visitors to navigate your site. The more frequently your internal links are clicked and followed, the more your page views increase.
(Courtesy of Moz)
Pass the Link Juice
Just as external links are beneficial to an SEO campaign, internal links are just as important, and should be held as such. While we get authority for having external links pointing to your site, we also receive authority for having internal links. Internal links help pass the link juice equally to other pages within the site through our links. If a site has 1,000 high quality links pointing to it, all of the links in the page will also get some of the link juice.
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(Courtesy of WooRank)
Improves Time Onsite / Reduces Bounce Rate
Internal linking to any related blog post or pages within the site you can help increase the time spent on the site, and also lower the bounce rate for the site and certain pages. By bringing down the bounce rate down for a site, you can keep visitors on the site for longer periods of time if your internal links are pointing to content that holds and offers tremendous value. Reducing the bounce rate has an enormous contributor to your site rankings.
(Courtesy of DSA Global)
Helps Improve Crawl Rate & Indexing
Google bots and crawls are very smart. They are created/designed to work similar to an actual user. Google bots work by crawling through a website and following the links and the pages that can easily be indexed by Google and other search engines. With the proper internal linking within a page, these bots and crawls know and understand the relevant content you are linking to.
(Courtesy of Maria Johnsen)
Internal linking is a very important piece of the SEO puzzle that is often underutilized. However, as internal linking itself hold its own significance, overdoing internal link can definitely damage or hinder your SEO performance. You will want to make sure that you have a proper internal link ratio of internal to external link. For the best white hat SEO performance and the proper internal link building, you will most likely be able to help or resurrect a page within your website.
One thing to also remember is that building a solid internal linking strategy does not only depend on linking to keyword-rich anchors; you will want to improve the user experience of the site and appeal to the user. Try to align your internal linking strategy with your conversion goals!