Last updated on: January 4, 2024 at 4:31 pm

Are Internal Links Good For SEO? The Ultimate Guide

internal link

Links are required for your content to rank. When your posts and pages are linked elsewhere on the web, Google finds them more easily. Internal links connect your content and provide Google with information about the structure of your website. Using the appropriate internal linking strategy can therefore improve your SEO!

What are internal links?

An internal link connects one page of your website to another. Both search engines and users use links to find content on your website. Users use links to navigate through your website and discover the content they are looking for. Search engines also use links to navigate your website. They will not be able to find a page if there are no links to it.

Internal links are classified into several types. Links within your content can be added to links on your homepage, post feed, menu, and so on. These are referred to as contextual links. Contextual links direct your users to be relevant and intriguing content.

Furthermore, they enable search engines to understand what content on your site is linked to and the value of that content. The more links a page have, the more important it seems to search engines. As a result, effective internal links are important to your SEO.

Internal links vs. external links

Internal and external links are embedded in every website. Internal links connect posts and pages on your website, whereas external links connect your pages to websites on the Internet. Internal links and what they mean for SEO are the focus of this article. See a post on link building if you want to get more external links pointing to your site.

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Why are internal links essential for SEO?

Google uses internal links to help find fresh content.

Imagine you publish a new web page but fail to link to it from elsewhere on your site. Supposing the page isn’t on your sitemap and has no backlinks, Google won’t know it exists. This is because their web crawler cannot locate it.

Here’s what Google says:

Internal links also help the flow of PageRank around your site. That is significant. In general, the greater a page’s PageRank, the more internal links it has. However, it is not only about the number; the quality of the relationship is also important.

Here’s a simple overview of how PageRank works:

page-authority

What is Page Rank?

In 2016, Google discontinued making public PageRank scores available. PageRank, on the other hand, remains an important component of their ranking algorithm. This is because they said so.

This is most likely one of the reasons Google claims: The amount of internal links leading to a page informs search engines about the page’s importance.

Google also looks at the anchor text of internal links to better comprehend context, as John Mueller confirmed in this tweet:

In other words, imagine you had a page dedicated to blue widgets. Several internal links are pointing to that page, with anchors such as widgets, blue widgets, and buy blue widgets. These assist Google in determining that the page:

  • May deserve to rank for blue widgets and other relevant terms.
  • It is about blue widgets, and thus:

SIDENOTE: Google also claims that internal linking structures can impact on-site links. It’s not a big deal, but it’s something to remember.

More recently, John Mueller, when asked a question during the Google Search Central, if the internal link was important:

John Mueller answered if internal linking was important:

“Yes, absolutely.

It’s something where internal linking is super critical for SEO.

I think it’s one of the biggest things that you can do on a website to kind of guide Google and guide visitors to the pages that you think are important.

And what you think is important is totally up to you.

You can decide to make things important where you earn the most money or you can make things important where you’re the strongest competitor or maybe you’re the weakest competitor.

With internal linking you can really kind of focus things on those directions and those parts of your site.

John Mueller – Google Search Central March 4, 2020

You might be thinking, “So, if I was to rank for blue widgets, should I just add as many internal links to that page with blue widgets as the anchor text as possible, right?”

Internal links are like wires.

Take your own home as an example.

Backlinks are analogous to the cables that connect a power plant to your home, whereas internal links are analogous to the wires that connect your circuit breaker to your outlets. No matter how many wires you have in your house, your lights will not work if you don’t link your house to the grid.

Backlinks are analogous to the cables that connect a power plant to your home, whereas internal links are analogous to the wires that connect your circuit breaker to your outlets.

Similarly, if you add an extra bedroom to your house but fail to wire it, the room will be powerless even if the rest of the house is. Broken links, in this sense, are similar to wires. If you cut a wire or trip a circuit breaker, power will not flow to the outlets on the other end.

Website structure

Internal links function similarly to an organizational chart for your website. They organize relevant pages and sections together in the same way that a company’s departments do. This emphasizes context and relevance, as well as the depth of your coverage of a topic.

Content hierarchy

Internal links assist Google in determining which pages on your website are the most important. Pages with many internal links are more important than those with fewer links by search engines. This is especially true if you link to such pages from your navigation, as it informs Google that you want consumers to locate them.

Context

Context is required for Google to interpret both search queries and site pages. On-page SEO components such as page titles, H1 tags, URLs, and subheadings provide more context about a page to search engines.

But so do internal links. And it’s not merely the anchor text that provides context. The link’s context within the referring page’s sentence, paragraph, and subtitle also provide significant hints about what’s on the other end of that link.

Authority

The final piece of the puzzle is Authority. PageRank, It’s the same concept: PageRank, link juice, Page Authority, or URL Rating. Pages on your website with the most backlinks from reliable websites have the most value to pass on to other URLs on your site.

As stated, if a page has a lot of high-quality inbound links, look for ways to create relevant internal links to transfer that Authority to other pages on your website.

What effect do internal links have on SEO?

Authority flows through the Internet through links. Links pass ranking potential from one website to the next and from one page to the next.

When one page links to another, some of that page’s reputation is transferred to the second page, boosting the likelihood that the second page will rank. This credibility is frequently referred to as “link juice,” which sounds disgusting. Most search engine optimizers refer to it as “authority.”

Links from other websites to your website increase the Authority (and ranking potential) of all the pages on your website. Internal links do not accomplish this.

Internal links transfer Authority from one page of your website to another. They do not boost your Domain Authority, but they pass “page authority” from one page to another. Pages can assist each other rank in search engines by using internal links.

Internal link #1: links that affect search engine rankings (SEO)

Here’s how to maximize the SEO benefit of internal links:

  • Some of your pages bear greater Authority than others. These are pages that have already been linked to by other websites. The best example is your home page. Links from these pages to other pages pass on extra Authority and SEO value.
  • Some of your pages will benefit from having a little more Authority than others. These are pages that may rank but not particularly well. Perhaps they’re near the top of page two. If that’s the case, a little additional power could go a long way. Links to these pages may boost your ranks even more.

Linking from the first type of page to the second is easy, fast, and free. It may also affect ranking and traffic. Here’s a three-step strategy for locating both types of pages and your finest internal linking prospects.

1. Which of your pages has the most Authority?

You can check this with an SEO tool like Ahref or SemRush Moz or a free tool like Small SEO Tools or Google Search Console.

In Small SEO Tools, It will display the page(s) you’ve added. Links from higher authority pages will pass the highest-ranking potential. These are the pages from which you want to link.

domain authority

No subscription to SEO software? No need to be concerned. Look at the Console in the Links>>Top Linked Pages report. This displays the pages with the most external links and thus the most Authority. Sort by “Linking sites.” Your homepage will most likely be at the top, but scroll down to see the inside pages.

Do you have any older, authoritative blog posts? These are the pages with the most ranking potential.

Tip: Google Search Console includes a report showing which of your pages has the most internal links. Go to  Links > Internal Links / Top Linked Pages and go through.

2. Which of your pages is almost ranking high?

Use Google Search Console to identify the “low hanging fruit.” If you run some SEO analysis, you will find the pages ranking right there in search results but are slightly past the page two tipping point.

2a. Go to the Performance > Queries report. If you’re not getting a lot of traffic from search, extend the period range to collect additional data.

performance gsc

2d. Search for each phrase in Google to confirm the ranking and discover the associated website.

3. Link from the first page to the second.

The high-authority page links to the almost high-ranking page within the body text.  A few pointers:

Suppose it’s sensible to use the key phrase in the link’s anchor text. For example, a link with the anchor text “cable installation advice” would help to indicate that the page is about cable installation. Keyword-focused anchor text is probably better than “read more” or “click here.”

Please don’t force it. The link should be made with the mind reader, not only the search engine rankings. Anything you do only for SEO, with no regard for people, is spam.

Regarding relevance and Authority, internal links work similarly to external backlinks. You should see a big difference if you link from a page on your site with many backlinks to a page that doesn’t.

The same is true for anchor text: it gives search engines some context about the link target.

Suppose you scale that idea by modifying the pattern of an internal link module or any other internal link logic. In that case, you have a powerful tool for improving Google’s understanding of your content and increasing your chances of ranking higher. To take that principle further, you may better control your audience’s expectations using descriptive anchor text.

Internal Link #2: Links that direct visitors to high-converting pages.

Some pages attract a large number of visitors. This is usually because they already have a high ranking or are widely circulated. They are your traffic champions.

Other pages drive a large number of visitors to take action. Content marketing is typical because they do a great job of turning visitors into subscribers. They are your conversion champions.

Linking your traffic and conversion champions might significantly influence your marketing. One small link can help you connect your best cheese to your best mouse traps.

Here’s how to locate your best cheese and mousetraps and connect them via an internal link.

1. Which of your pages attracts the most traffic?

This is simple to check-in Analytics. Go to the  Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages report. Choose a three to six-month time frame. The report is arranged in the order in which the pages were seen the most. Here is your list of traffic champions.

analytics

Caution: As you go down the list, consider pages that saw traffic spikes resulting from PR hits or email campaigns. Keep in mind that those occurrences will not occur again.

2. Which of your pages generates the most action?

As long as you’ve set up goals in Google Analytics, the Landing Pages report will show a conversion rate on the right, bounce rate, average session duration, and so on.

You may connect Google Analytics to Google Sheets to provide a more accurate and extensive analysis. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

This is how your chart will look. Bring this one to your next content marketing meeting and watch the social media team jump into action.

analytics

3. Link from the traffic champions to the conversion champions

Finally, included the internal link. Link to the high-converting sites somewhere in the body text of the high-traffic pages. The more visitors click on this link, the more quickly your email list will increase. Make it a strong, specific call to action.

Internal link #3: links that prompt visitors to act (calls-to-action)

As a digital marketer, your goal is to attract visitors, present them with compelling marketing claims, back these claims up with proof, and then gently guide them to take action.

Internal links are used for Calls to Action. They compel visitors to take action.

Final thoughts

Internal linking isn’t difficult. All you need is a logical, hierarchical site structure and internal links that adhere to that framework. That’s the fundamentals, at least—you can then strategically link from your “power pages” to those that require a little SEO assistance.

Here are some general recommendations to consider while creating internal links:

  • Do not link to irrelevant pages solely to increase authority. It’s best if you don’t link internally at all.
  • Do not link to irrelevant pages solely to increase authority. It’s best if you don’t link internally at all. Keep things interesting by mixing them up.
  • Don’t go overboard. It is unnecessary to include hundreds of internal links to be effective—just one or two well-placed internal links can make a significant difference.

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jay kang

An entrepreneur and SEO expert, is the driving force behind innovative platforms like linkilo.co, productreview.tools and more. Committed to empowering marketers, Jay continues to make a positive impact in the digital marketing space.

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