Internal links are an important tool in your SEO strategy. They help not only in the performance of your blog but also in the user experience.
Generating qualified traffic is a very important part of any digital marketing strategy. In addition to attracting the right people, you need to do this on a large scale in order to gain authority, generate leads, and ultimately close sales.
Among the many strategies that are available to get the ideal customer’s attention, there are relatively few companies investing for real internal links. The reason for this is simple: they do not know what they are missing!
Internal linking plays a key role in website performance, both in search engines and in the eyes of users.
Want to learn how to best leverage this feature and achieve great results? So, come on!
What are Internal Links
Internal links are those that link to another page on the same site. For example, you can find in this post several links to other blog articles here.
Since all these links are on the same domain (the Rock Content blog), they are all internal links.
But if I link to a Wikipedia page, for example, the link in question would already be outside Rock’s domain and would, therefore, be an external link.
By the way, link building is usually in the spotlight when it comes to ranking on Google.
However, now let’s see why you also need to pay attention to internal linking.
Why internal links are important to rank on Google
Yes, internal linking to a site can radically change its position on search pages.
There are real cases where a page has skipped many positions in search engine rankings with nothing more than a change of strategy in the internal links.
I am talking about very expressive changes like:
- one page was leveraged from position # 29 to result in # 4 on Google ;
- and another that occupied the result # 33 and managed to go to # 5.
This reveals two vital truths:
- Google gives value to how you distribute the links of the pages themselves internally.
- The searcher rewards those who have a real and active strategy instead of simply putting an internal link or another once in a while.
But why does Google attach such importance to internal links?
First is the way the search engine scans the web for content. To always provide users with the best results for their search, Google never stops scouring the internet for fresh, up- to- date content that it may find relevant on any possible topic.
To do this scan, Google uses robots, called spiders, that start by scanning some pages.
Then they follow the links on those pages to expand their search and analyze the pages to which the links point.
Spiders repeat this process millions of times until they can evaluate a huge amount of content across the web.
So, in short, links are vital for Google to keep finding the best content and delivering good results to users quickly.
That in itself should make you keep your eyes peeled for the internal linking of your site. But there are at least 3 more reasons to do this.
Top reasons to take internal linking seriously
If you had no idea that you need to pay attention to internal links as a way to leverage the digital presence of your business, you’re not alone.
A lot of people invest most of their time and money in other actions to increase Google positioning and increase organic traffic.
Given how many practices exist to optimize Google’s over 200 ranking factors, this is normal.
But here are 3 key reasons to take seriously creating a well-structured internal link strategy for your site.
Improve user experience
The first reason to link your content on a planned basis is that it contributes to more complete user experience and more value than you have to offer.
For example, in this complete guide, you will find several links to other content that complement the subject and cover your knowledge of the importance of the topic.
Without them, the value of this post would be considerably lower for any reader, because even if you wanted to know more, you would need to search again until you find additional material.
And think about it: How difficult is it to include contextually linking your internal pages and blog posts? It’s simple, fast and greatly increases the value of your site in the eyes of the user.
Boost new and strategic content
You must agree with me that there is some strategic content for the success of your company. These need to be dealt with especially when it comes to advertising and ranking – and one of the simplest and most practical ways to drive content is through internal linking.
Just choose a few blog posts or specific navigation points – like the main menu or sidebar – to link, perhaps even with a CTA.
Plus, when you link to new and newly-released content, it gets indexed faster by Google, which increases your chances of getting a high rank on SERPs.
Move prospects through the buying journey
Lastly, we can’t overlook the fact that choosing your internal links also helps move your leads through the shopping journey. As?
For example, a company that wants to generate inbound leads could create a series of blog posts on the same general theme all facing the top of the funnel.
Then, just put a link in each post to an ebook that deepens the subject of interest of the persona.
Another option is to include links in funnel content with calls to talk to a consultant or ask for a quote. In this case, the destination link should be a contact page.
How to audit your internal links
Before you take action and try to link to your most important content on every page of your site or blog, you need to step back and prepare well.
Remember that Google privileges who have a strategy, not who links without any notion of purpose.
Therefore, you need to audit your internal links, that is, to know the status of your site in this regard.
Only then will you be able to adjust what is wrong according to best practice.
A good way to audit your internal links is by using Ahrefs, one of the most widely used and respected SEO tools in the world.
The Site Audit tool gives you a complete view of all the SEO issues your site may have but specifically speaking of internal links, it’s worth focusing on the analysis of:
- incoming links: finds orphaned pages (no links) and problems with nofollow links;
- outgoing links: detects links to redirects and broken links.
Another complete option for auditing your internal links is with SEMRush’s tool called Internal
Linking Report. It contains a section of internal linking errors and issues, as well as clear instructions on how to resolve the issue.
7 Internal Linking Tactics That Will Boost Your Results
After auditing thoroughly with quality tools, chances are you’ve already fixed many internal linking errors on your site, which is great.
But there are still some tactics that can benefit (and greatly) the performance of your pages in search engines.
Here are 7 things you should do to boost your bottom line and drive the long-awaited organic traffic to increase business opportunities:
1. Caprice in the anchor text
The Google algorithm is an increasingly smart time to read and index the pages, which causes the keyword analysis and internal links to be very careful.
The anchor text – where the link is present – serves to tell Google what the link is about.
Therefore, it is much better to include a link in a contextual and didactic way than using expressions such as “click here”.
2. Display recommended content
Presenting a selection of recommended content – either through a plugin or manually in the middle of an article – is another practical way to include internal links.
This tactic is also valid because it makes it easier to choose only content that is really linked in some way to the current post.
This is very important because it is no use focusing only on the number of links, you need to be aware of their quality and relevance to the current user moment.
3. Create an internal link hierarchy
As we have already pointed out, not all content will be of equal importance in your digital strategy. The same goes for the fixed pages of your site.
So why treat everyone the same when planning your internal link strategy? It is recommended that you establish a hierarchy of internal links, preferably in a well-documented and organized manner.
This way, you’ll always know which content needs to be linked more often, and even choose some to put in fixed sections, such as the navigation menus that appear on every page.
4. Balance Link Distribution on Each Page
The short version of this tactic is: it’s better to link to good content than to 10 pages that have nothing to do with the subject you’re talking about.
In general, you can place multiple links on the same page, and you should do so. But a page with 100 links, for example, tells Google that its recommendation criteria may not be as reliable.
Another way to balance the distribution of internal links is to remember to link to the latest articles, not just focus on the main content and pages. This way, your new content will also be boosted.
5. Use the navigation to link your most important pages.
Navigation generally appears the same on every page of a site, especially in the header and footer. Some sites also have sidebars that can be used to display CTAs.
Links contained in these sections are perceived as most important by Google and may rank higher on search engine pages.
Not to mention that the traffic directed to them is higher because of the high exposure. With that in mind, be sure to enjoy browsing to link strategic pages of your business.
6. Use your most relevant pages to drive very important content.
We have brushed this tip a little earlier in this article, but it is worth listing it here as well. Some pages deserve more prominence than others, especially those that will bring a greater financial return.
So, where appropriate, naturally place internal links pointing to pages that will move the user forward on the buying journey.
Increase internal links to landing pages with rich materials, events and requests for advice and budgets can transform your results.
7. Keep your internal links 3 clicks away
There is a good SEO practice that determines that all links on your page should be no more than 3 clicks away.
If the user needs to click more than 3 clicks to access the content of your link, they are unlikely to do so. What’s more, Google knows this and will also give less importance to these links.
Investing in an internal link strategy is a relatively simple step, but one that will bring a great return to your business.
Use the tips shown here to thoroughly audit your pages and chart the best path to the top of search pages.
Now that you know how to master internal links, learn how to apply the other ranking practices to your digital strategy.