Internal links play an essential role on a website.
Author Natalie Weaving
Wed 3rd January 2018
Internal links play an essential role on a website.
Similar to keywords, design and copy structure, your internal links should be implemented as a website is built and not an afterthought.
But what are internal links?
Internal links are links within your website to other areas of your website.
What is the purpose of internal links?
The purpose is two-fold:
- To help user experience.
- To keep people (and Google) on your site for as long as possible.
- Spreads the ‘link-juice’ love.
Let’s explore those reasons further!
User experience (UX)
Within the realms of UX internal links can help establish a hierarchy of information. A great example of this is if you click on our corporate photography page and within that, you will see a portfolio of some of our work, which actually takes your elsewhere on our site. The internal link hierarchy looks like this:
A strong internal linking plan also helps those that are looking to find out more information before committing to call or email to do so with ease. So as you flow through a page, you find various of types of ‘calls to actions’ (CTAs) or internal links to enable the user to find out more or get in touch.
Keep people (and Google) on your site.
Ever read a blog, get to the end and then leave a website? People do it all the time, especially if the author has not thought about how to entice the reader (or Google) to read something else or take action by adding an internal link or two.
Internal links, albeit on a blog, page, product, in a sidebar, within the text, a call to action or footer, suggest other places for users and Google to go. For the user, the more they explore the more they see and this increases the chance of a conversion.
47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep
For Google, by keeping their spiders on your site, you are encouraging them to look deeper into your website which will give you important data to find out what you need to do to improve your rankings.
Spreading link juice
Similar to backlinks, internal links can spread important link juice to those pages that need it.
Each page on a website has a ‘Page Authority’ (PA) based on the same principles as ‘Domain Authority’ (DA). This is a score given to a page and then a domain based on a variety of factors such as:
- How well optimised your page is
- If the content is well-written and relevant to the website it is on
- The organic links back to that page
- Page speed and more!
The higher the score, the more potent the link juice! But you need to spread the juice about and ensure that the whole of your site is performing to get a decent DA and ranking!
Your DA and PA data can help you when trying to find the weak links (no pun intended) on your site along with your Google analytics and website performance data.
So if you add a new category, product, service or blog, by linking it to another authoritative page, blog, product or service on the website can give it a positive boost. This will only work if:
- The item you have added to your site has been optimised fully and follows Google best practice.
- The page you’re linking to is the same.
Ideally, the link will have optimised anchor text to tick another Google SEO box!
Anchor Text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink.
To help make some sense of this here is a very basic video of how internal links help with the user (and Google’s) journey and spreading that important link juice.
Here are 10 ways to increase and improve internal links to your website NOW:
- Header links
- Improve your menu
- Hyperlinking key phrases/anchor text within copy
- Calls to action throughout
- Adding a sidebar menu to your blog
- Utilise your footer
- Have relevant blog posts showing on key services or blog pages
- Cross promote services or products
- Use categories and or tags on blogs, products and services
- Refer back to previous blogs to encourage people to go back and read or refresh
To conclude internal links are VERY important.
And, should be thought of when building a site as well as when adding new content. Why?
- To help users
- To help Google
- And, support your PA & DA
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