Learn what internal links are, what role they play in SEO, and how we can optimize them.
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Although a relatively simple activity that plays an important role in getting our pages higher up in search engine results, internal linking is too often ignored by SEO specialists.
Before we get into the details, let’s take a brief look at what internal links are and why they are so important.
What are internal links?
A internal link links two pages on the same site and transmit authority (SEO juice) from page to page .
If you have a valuable page (that ranks high for a particular keyword) and you link from that page to a page that doesn’t rank as well, you will pass on the authority of the valuable page to the page you link to.
In this way you also help pages that don’t rank very well in Google results to move up.
Let’s say you have a page that ranks first for the keyword mountain bike.
But you also have a page selling Mountain Bike parts that is barely on page 4 in the search results.
By linking from the Mountain Bike page to the parts page, you’ll help the weaker page move up.
Why internal links are important in SEO
Improve the discoverability of your site
Internal links help the spiders I mentioned at the beginning find and index all the pages on your site. So make sure all your pages are linked together, otherwise you risk them not being found even if you have quality content.
Create site hierarchy
Links create a hierarchy, a map of the site that helps both the user and search engines navigate the site more easily.
Keep users on the site longer
When visitors spend a lot of time on your site (visit your site longer) it’s a signal to Google that there is quality content on your site.
For example, if you write an article about Mountain Bikes. At the end of the article, in order to keep the visitor on the site as long as possible, you can show the reader: “Hey, here’s an interesting article about a biker community in Romania”.
Guide the visitor through the sales funnel
Let’s say you attracted a visitor to your site with an article about a bike marathon. Then you send the user through internal links to other contests.
In articles about marathons, you link to articles about how important a bike is in a marathon. From here, you can link to another article about how to choose the right bike, and from here you link to pages where you sell bikes.
Marathon -> Other competitions -> How important is a bike -> How to choose the right bike -> Sale page
How to optimize internal links
1. Create a clear navigation menu
A study by Microsoft shows that our attention span is 8 seconds – one second shorter than that of a goldfish. If the user doesn’t immediately figure out where to click next, you’ve lost them.
2. Create links from the homepage to the most important sections of the site
Usually the Homepage is the page with the most authority. So, if you link to other important pages (for example, a service page or a product category) you will pass on the SEO juice to those pages as well.
3. Create “silos” of pages
Let’s say you have an online beekeeping shop and you want to create a “silo” for your honey page. The pages that support the main page (i.e. sub-categories) are: lime honey, acacia honey, rapeseed honey, sunflower honey.
Your pages would look like this:
To create the silo, each of the 4 pages must link to the main http://www.siteultau.ro/miere.html page.
This informs the search engines that these pages are related to each other and support the main theme: honey.
Also, each support page (sub-category) should include a link to the other support pages in the silo.
4. DON’T go overboard with anchor text optimization
Anchor text is the visible part of a hyperlink. This is anchor text. (The anchor text is “anchor text” and the hyperlink is https://unosoft.ro/grow/ghid-seo/cum-sa-optimizezi-link-urile-interne/).
If you internally link to a page using the same keywords as anchor text, you will spam.
Of course, if you use the same keyword as anchor text from time to time (especially when it makes sense to use that word) you’re not spamming.
For example, you have a page www.exemplu.com/tricouri-polo.html. If you have 100 pages from which you send links to the polo shirts page using only polo shirts as anchor text, you risk being penalized.
The solution: “dilute” your keywords. For example, on one page you link using “cheapest polo shirts” as anchor text, on another “what are the trendiest polo shirts”.
You will NOT spam if you use the brand name as anchor text. If your brand name is Angry Donut, you can use Angry Donut as anchor text as many times as you like.
5. Use RELEVANT keywords that describe your landing page
If the page the reader is going to land on is about moles, the keywords in the anchor text should be about moles (fastest moles in the world, oldest mole in the world, etc) and not about football or something irrelevant.
6. Create internal links to RELEVANT PAGES on your website
You have an article about a particular breed of dog. Would it be relevant to link to another article where you talk about football? In general, not really.
But it would be relevant to link to an article in which you talk about food suitable for that breed of dog.
Or if you have an online store, send link to category, or sub-category, or other complementary categories.
For example, if you have an online sports shop, at the bottom of the page containing running shoes you could put a link to running clothes or running accessories.
7. Create links that are NATURAL to the reader
Create internal links that provide added value to the reader, and not just for the sake of creating links. What is a “natural” link? It’s a link that someone would have reason to click on, it’s not there just for SEO.
8. Don’t overdo it with the number of links
The folks at Google put it simply: “Keep the links on a page to a reasonable number”. What reasonable means … nobody knows. Under 100 links per page (including those in the navigation base or widgets) is fine.
EXTERNAL links – what they are, what their role is and how we can optimize them
External links are links that link to another domain.
For example, if you have a link to another site on your site, it is an external link and is called outbound link. But even if there is a link to your site on another site, it is still an outbound link, just called inbound link or backlink (but we’ll talk about these in another chapter).
In this part we will refer to outbound links. Having external links to other relevant sites similar to your site helps search engines better understand your niche.
How to use outbound links:
- Send links to niches similar to your niche or the page you are linking from;
- Send links to authoritative sites;
- Don’t add external links unless they add value to your content (perhaps an additional explanation, a case study, etc);
- External links should open in a new window – otherwise you risk losing the user;
- DON’T abuse external links – a page full of links can be quite annoying;
Chapter 1 – What is SEO – Chapter 2 – Optimization steps after creating a site – Chapter 3 – How to submit a site to search engines – Chapter 4 – How to optimize internal links – Chapter 5 – How to increase site speed – Chapter 6 – Keyword research – Chapter 7 – How to optimize title, keywords, URL and images – Chapter 8 – Off-Page optimization (Link building)
No time now? Download the PDF guide and read it at your convenience.