Insights

24th June 2020

What is internal linking and why is it important?

The term ‘Internal Linking’ refers to the way in which pages within a website connect to each other, via hyperlinks. Rather than External links, Internal links are those which people can click to visit a destination page within the same site as that where the original link is located. This can include a variety of types of links, from those within the main navigation to those within the body copy of a site, links within a breadcrumb and even those associated with website imagery.

Why is internal linking so important?

Not only can internal links be used within a page to direct people straight to another page of interest, without having to use the main navigation, they also help to give SEO weighting to your most important pages. Google investigates the quality, placement and volume of internal links within a website and takes these elements into consideration when determining where your site should rank for a variety of associated organic search queries. Pages with a well-established, optimised internal linking score are often given more weight when it comes to SEO, as it implies that they are important, commonly referenced, well-considered resources.

How many internal links should I add?

It is important that each page of your site includes enough internal links to aid the visitor to navigate your site effectively. However, too many links on a page can be detrimental, as the SEO importance of each link on that page is then diluted. Therefore, having an excessive number of links on a page can make it unclear to both search engines and users of the site which pages on the site are most important. There is no set rule when it comes to the number of internal links that you should add for SEO purposes – but, as usual, it’s best to focus on the quality and relevance of links when deciding on when and where to add them.

How do I optimise internal links?

When adding internal links within your website, it’s important to remember that there are steps you can take to ensure that they themselves are properly optimised. This includes the following:

  • Link Text: Pay attention to the text you are using to link through to another page. Adding keywords to this linked text will help with the optimisation of the page within which the link has been placed, as well as the destination page that you are linking through to. Rather than using generic text such as ‘click here’ or ‘read more’, try and expand on the focus of the content that you’re linking through to, by adding keywords to the link.For example, if you are linking through to a post about SEO from another page, rather than adding ‘click here to read more’, you could use something along the lines of the following: ‘find out more about our top 10 tips for SEO’. This could then be formatted so that it is clearly a link or button within your website, negating the need for a ‘click here’ direction.
  • Text vs. Imagery: Whilst it is sometimes necessary to use images to link to other pages within your site, for usability or design purposes, do bear in mind that it is best for SEO if your pages have internal links pointing toward them that use anchor text rather than other forms of media. This way, the links are easy to update and can contain optimised keywords as part of your internal linking strategy.
  • Link Placement: The main menu or site-wide header/footer area is a good place to add links to your most important pages, as each page containing these areas will count as a separate internal link. Therefore, it’s not only vital to remember to link to your high priority pages within these areas, but also to ensure you don’t dilute the power of these links by adding every individual site page to these common locations.

Looking for more linking advice?

If you are in need of additional advice regarding the optimisation of your website and associated internal links, or if you have any questions regarding this post, please get in touch with the friendly professionals at Varn. Call today to find out more about our Internal Linking optimisation and auditing services. We’d love to hear from you.

Article by: Aimee, Technical SEO Manager More articles by Aimee

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