Internal linking helps website navigation, defines website hierarchy, and distributes ranking power throughout the entire website. Internal linking strengthens your website by providing clear paths for search bots, keeping users on your site longer, and creates structure for your overall site.
When you create internal links for your website you’ll be using what is called anchor text. Anchor text simply means the words (or text) that have now been active to be a hyperlink and links to another page or part of your site within your website. An internal link never links to an outside site, only another page or part within your site.
The benefits of internal linking are:
Decreases Bounce Rates – When you have a good internal linking strategy, visitors to your site are less likely to bounce off. They should be able to look at the words on the first page they land on (any page) and find the information that they need. Because of this, they’re less likely to leave (bounce off) your site.
Increased Page Views – When you can effectively cause your audience to click to other pages on your site you’ll end up with more page views. This is helpful because the more page views you get, and the fewer bounces you get, the higher your page will rank in search engine results.
Improves Website Flow – Not only does it improve the flow of your site to your visitors but also to search engines. Seeing the internal linking shows that all the topics on the site are interrelated which means the site is a niche site about a specific topic.
Boosts Engagement – When a visitor comes to your website via an external link, what are they going to do after reading that content? If you include more internal linking, both before and after the main information they linked to, as well as within the content you’ll end up with more engagement because the visitor will know what to do next.
The best ways to handle internal linking are:
- Related Posts – Link to related blog posts under each blog post.
- Navigation Bar – The links on your navigation should be arranged in a way that makes sense to the newest reader. Use fewer categories to ensure that Google understands the nature of your site and that it’s an authoritative site.
- Use Keywords – When using anchor text use a keyword or phrase that describes what’s behind the link. Don’t just use “click here” as the anchor text otherwise Google will not recognize it as important nor will your audience.
Internal linking is an important aspect of creating a fully optimized website or blog. It helps readers find all your important content, and it helps the search bots crawl your site fully. At most Google will index between 150 and 250 pages of any site. The more authoritative your site the more pages will get indexed but you must use a good internal linking strategy to ensure that it works for both your visitors and search bots.