What are Internal Links?
Arranging your website’s structure comes down to having a planned internal linking strategy.
Having pages link to one another in a logical, beneficial manner helps your visitors navigate your website and helps Google and other search engines crawl your site and understand what your content is about.
Here, we discuss internal links and how you can optimize your website’s internal linking structure for maximum benefit to you, search engines, and most importantly, your website visitors.
What are internal links?
Internal links are hyperlinks that lead to other pages on the same website. They are internal in that they connect to a page from another page on the same website.
So, any link you have on your homepage, for example, that sends visitors to your “about us” or “contact us” page, is an internal link.
A visual representation of a website and its internal links, when done well, looks something like this:
Source: Search Engine Journal
Each of the arrows in the above graphic represents an internal link, connecting on webpage with another.
While writing the content of your internal links, it’s also important to consider SEO writing and how to optimize your site overall. Internal linking also helps signify the relative importance of different pages to search engines by sending links from a powerful page to other, less established pages. This is known as link juice optimization.
Why are Internal Links Important?
Internal links are among the most important aspect of a website. This is for multiple reasons:
- Usability – Giving users logical access to other content on your website linking different pages together, and directing them to important pages
- User experience – Helping website visitors find relevant content and relevant pages on your domain by putting internal links to subcategories, such as on Amazon’s product search
- Control over how you send traffic to new pages, new content, and new posts on your website
- SEO – A website’s internal link structure helps its search engine optimization efforts, by helping Google and other search engines while they are indexing your website pages
Internal links have been known to be important since the earliest days of the web. This is because a hyperlink between two pages is a signal to search engines, which then pick up on this signal and work out that your site has content that might be relevant to what someone else is looking for.
So in this way, internal links are important because they can improve both the PageRank of your page and your website’s overall ranking in searches.
Furthermore, internal links help your website visitors find related pages and product pages on your website, which can boost your sales and profitability.
Internal links FAQ
Internal linking examples
The best way to show internal linking examples is with a picture:
Each of the circled pieces of text from the Loganix homepage is an internal link, directing to a relevant category page or service we offer. These links help our website visitors find the information they are looking for.
What is the purpose of internal linking for SEO?
The purpose of internal linking is to help search engines find your site and its pages more efficiently, so it performs better in the search results.
A good internal link structure will help Google and other search engines crawl your website and its pages for indexing. A good internal link structure also helps searchers find what they are looking for more quickly too. This is especially the case when on-page SEO is done well, such as making sure that your website’s title tag and meta description tag are relevant to the page in question.
How do you use internal links?
As discussed above, a good internal link structure is one of the most important factors in getting a website’s search engine ranking higher.
In order to achieve this, you’ll need to think about how people are going to navigate around your website and use your navigation links. The navigation links could be either text links or images, but ideally, the navigation menu would contain text and image versions of each page title so that pages can have both a text and image link from the navigation menu.
Use internal links logically and in a hierarchy, as shown in the image above.
How do I find internal links opportunities?
Internal links can be created from anywhere on your website to anywhere else. The simplest way to go about creating an internal link is to include a heading that points at the page you want it to point at.
If you want to create internal links from an existing link, then you can do this by editing the anchor text of that link. If a page had two or more existing links pointing at it, then those links can be edited and changed, so they are relevant and add value for the content in question.
Internal links vs external links
Internal links are simply links that link to other pages within the same domain or internal pages. Ecommerce stores, for example, linking to their product pages from their homepage.
External links, also known as backlinks, are links from one website to another, for example when we at Loganix link from one of our articles to a source.
When should I use nofollow internal links?
Using nofollow on internal links can be a way to avoid increasing the PageRank of your own pages if you find your site has an over-optimization problem. This is because Google will see the nofollow attribute as a signal that this link is not important, so its PageRank will not be transferred to the page in question.
However, this practice is not recommended, and you should only use nofollow if it’s absolutely necessary.
How many internal links are too many?
While some have argued, on the basis of research carried out by Google itself, that a high level of internal link structures is not good for search engines and search rankings, other studies have found otherwise.
A study carried out by Moz found that the optimal number of internal links was between 10 – 15 per page.
When it comes to the optimum number of links for SEO purposes, there are still conflicting views. These range from saying that the more the better, to the idea that a site with more than 100 links on one page doesn’t look natural.
The best thing to keep in mind when internal linking is to make things are natural and relevant as it needs to be.
Are internal links backlinks?
Yes, technically, they are. However, internally linking to your own content is not the same as going to someone else’s website and linking from there, which is what people typically consider to be a backlink.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of what internal links are.
Websites rely on internal links to direct their users around the website and to create a site structure that search engine crawlers can understand. It’s part of a comprehensive, optimized user experience and SEO strategy to make sure the main navigation needs of your website are met, while helping your digital marketing efforts as much as possible.
To understand more how internal links can interplay with search engine ranking algorithms and how you can start optimizing your website’s internal links, contact the SEO team at Loganix today to discuss our comprehensive SEO packages.