Let’s Talk About Internal Link Building – A Complete Guide
A text or image with a hyperlink to another page is called a link.
There are two types of links.
- Internal Links
- External Links
If a page is linking to another page of the same domain, it’s an internal link. It’s an external link if it is linking to a page of another domain.
Normally when digital marketers or SEO experts talk about link building, they mean external links.
Commonly called backlinks, they are very important to rank a website on search engine result pages. Every online business has to get quality backlinks to make sure they stay relevant and in competition.
But, this article focuses on internal link building, its importance, and the right practices to implement it in 2022.
What is Internal Link Building?
Internal links are not placed randomly. Although it’s not a very complex process, you have to plan every little detail to gain maximum internal linking benefits.
Among important things, you have to consider:
- what page you are linking from,
- what page you are linking to,
- and what anchor text you are using to link.
You don’t necessarily need the help of an expert to create internal linking strategies for SEO. If you know the basics of managing a website, you can easily do it yourself after reading this guide.
This is something you have to plan at the start of your website or update every page when you execute it. If you already have a content marketing plan in place, this would become much easier for you.
Benefits of Proper Internal Linking
If you know how do internal links work, it won’t be very difficult for you to understand their importance.
Whether you are running a blog, lead generation website, or an e-commerce store, the right internal link building will increase traffic, leads, and sales.
Better User Engagement
The website visitor will not leave without visiting other pages if you have properly placed internal links. They might need to get more information or check another service or product, which won’t be possible if you have not provided suitable links.
Every expert would recommend following this tip in your lead generation strategy. You get more leads and sales when you engage the visitors the right way using internal linking techniques.
Shared Page Authority
When you link one page from another, it shares page authority. Not only does it make it easy to navigate for visitors and search engines, but it also shows a vote of confidence.
This means that you can expect to have the page authority increased by linking it from other pages of the same domain with high authority. Increasing page authority can also help increase the authority of the entire domain.
Many leading digital marketing experts, to date, consider domain authority to be the strongest ranking factor of Google.
Help Control Sales Funnel
If you are following a marketing plan, you would probably know what a sales funnel is and how it works.
You can educate or convince website visitors step by step until they become a customer if you have planned sales funnel the right way.
Internal link building helps you control the sales funnel by directing the reader to the right page at the right time.
Better Search Engine Ranking
You get more traffic and sales when you are on one of the top positions on search engines such as Google. Not following do’s and don’ts of internal linking could be one of the reasons you are not getting traffic.
To answer a popular question, do internal links help SEO: there are three ways internal link building on your website can improve search engine ranking.
- It helps Google crawler read your website.
- Improves user experience, which is an important ranking factor.
- Helps Google understand the relevance, relationship, and value of pages.
Now that you understand that taking time to work on internal link building is worthwhile, let’s now discuss the internal linking best practices for 2022.
Design the Structure of the Website
Draw a proper sitemap of the website at the time you are designing it. You might have to make some major changes if you do it later. However, every developer understands and follows a basic structure even if they don’t have any understanding of search engine optimization.
You create a sitemap file about the pages and files on your website to share information with search engines.
There are different types of sitemaps:
- RSS, mRSS, and Atom 1.0
A simple blog with only URLs just needs a text file. More complex sites will need sitemaps in XML or other formats. Make sure you learn all the dos and don’ts of sitemaps discussed in the official guidelines of Google.
It will help you understand the important pages and how the authority is passed down. You don’t necessarily need to get all subcategory pages ranked if the main category page is ranked and linking to all child pages.
Navigation Buttons are Also Links
Many forget that the buttons at the top and bottom of the page are also internal links; after all, they are linking to another page of the domain.
This is why most of the internal links on your website are linking to home or other service pages.
Before you link to a page, remember that the page might already be linked.
You can still link to the home or contact us page in your article even if there is a button in navigation linking to it.
Point Out Most Important Pages
You should know which pages on your website need the most traffic. For example, the main with your main keywords could be the most important.
In the internal link building process, you should try to link to those pages the most.
It doesn’t mean that you should link to it multiple times on the same page. Try to add their links on as many pages as possible.
It will show Google that these pages are most important and valuable for the reader. In addition, those pages will also get more shared authority and traffic from other pages.
If you are selling a service with many sub-services, you should try to link the main page as it is more likely to get you a lead.
For example, we are a guest posting services provider, and its page is also ranking in the top positions of the first page of the Google search engine result page for an important keyword. So, we try to link it from different pages and blogs on our website if it naturally fits.
Only Add Contextual Links
Internal links are good. But it doesn’t mean that you should start putting links to all pages on your website without any reason or meaning.
Just like external links, the best way to build internal links is by ensuring they are meaningful and contextual.
Google checks the links on each page and how users interact with them. If no one is clicking them, it could mean that they are not useful.
A valuable and relevant link is likely to get your website and linked page more authority and credibility.
A link would be contextual if it naturally fits where it was used. You should see if the link:
- Provides additional information to the reader on a relevant subject
- Is a source or reference of the information you have discussed
If you are writing and you see a keyword phrase on which you have published a page, naturally used in the article, there is no reason why should not link to it.
You are not going to get a penalty from Google if you use irrelevant internal links, but it wouldn’t be a very good experience for users.
We published a guide about getting backlinks from premium blogs on our website. We also offer Online PR Services which include getting published, backlinks, and brand mentions from sites with domain authority of 80 or higher. So, there was no reason not to link our service page in the blog.
This was a contextual link.
Link to Child Pages
This is one of the reasons our experts recommend creating a sitemap. You would be able to identify parent and child pages.
Among internal linking best practices, you should try to link the child pages from their parent page.
For example, in the image above, Country Specific Guest Posting Services is our parent page, with each country as a child page.
We have tried to link as many child pages as we could naturally fit.
This shows the relevance and passes down authority from main to child pages. This also makes navigation easy for website visitors.
When we created these pages, we did some strategic internal link building.
We knew that someone might be looking for guest posting services without knowing that it is also offered specific to one country as well. After landing on that page, they should know all the countries in our country-specific guest posting.
This is how we ensure that every visitor learns as much about our services as possible and they don’t leave because of any misunderstanding.
Add a Section for Related Posts
There is also a chance that you might not be able to adjust many internal links that fit naturally. However, you should not limit yourself there.
Each page should link to other pages of the same domain to improve the bounce rate, which is considered to be a ranking factor of Google.
Add a section of related posts within your article and link to a few pages that might be interesting for your readers.
Make sure that you use a proper descriptive anchor text that tells the reader where the link will take them. You can also use the anchor text within a complete sentence around it to make sense.
If you are running an e-commerce store, consider the use of artificial intelligence to show relevant products with links to their pages. The right internal link building could significantly improve your online sales.
The Use of NoFollow and DoFollow
NoFollow means that the Google bot should not follow the link to check what the other page is about. DoFollow means that it should.
You should decide which pages you would want to rank on search engines and keep them DoFollow.
For example, every blog should be accessible for the crawler. However, you don’t need to rank Administrator Login pages.
This would make you appear as a person who knows the right way of internal link building in the eyes of search engines.
This also ensures that the authority is divided only among relevant pages.
Using the Right Anchor Texts
An internal link anchor text is just as important as it is for external links. You should have their complete understanding and how to use them on your website, which you can learn on our guide about anchor texts. Here are a few things you should have at your fingertips.
Do Use Exact Match Keywords
They might not be good for external backlinks, but exact match keywords are good as anchor texts of internal links.
They help the bot understand what the page is about. It is also important to make sure that it makes sense for the reader. With the main keyword or title head in the anchor text, it’s much easier to relate it to the linked page.
As you can see, this is the practice we follow in your blogs.
Don’t Use Same Anchor for Different Page
Try not to use similar anchor texts linking to different pages. It could confuse the crawler about the pages being linked.
Same wording defining two different pages could mean that both pages serve the same purpose.
This issue is usually caused when you use generic anchor texts. Since each page covers a unique keyword, you should focus more on that.
Link to All New Pages
A new page is difficult to rank since it doesn’t have many backlinks and there isn’t enough visitors for the search engines to study user behavior.
You can get traffic to those pages and share some authority by following one of our content marketing hacks that include linking to it.
The new page might not have any organic traffic, but you can send traffic to it by linking to it from the pages that do get traffic.
Put them at the Top
According to the experiment of Brian Dean, putting links up high on the page can reduce the bounce rate.
Many don’t prefer using a link in the very first line or even paragraph. However, if a leading expert recommends it after doing his own study, who are we to question.
This also makes sense since the reader could leave right away after opening a page if he doesn’t find anything of value. However, he might stay on the other page that you linked to. Just make sure the link is relevant and contextual.
Google Search Console for Audit
Many webmasters don’t know how to find internal links in a website when it’s so simple.
You most probably already have Google Search Console set up for your website. If you don’t, you are missing out on a lot.
When optimizing your internal link building, make sure you use this service to check all the internal links on your website. See which pages are most linked and which needs to be linked more.
Your home page would be, by default, one of the most linked since it is in the navigation.
Do Not Automate Internal Links
There are several internal link building tools that are not recommended. You have to follow internal linking strategies of 2022, which require a human on the job.
You have to check all the links and you know which pages are most important. Furthermore, you will have to try to implement the complete On-Page SEO checklist.
A tool would randomly pick links and autogenerate anchor texts for them. You won’t be able to control which pages are linked and if they are NoFollow or DoFollow.
The placement for internal links has to be planned when you are designing the outline to ensure maximum click-through.
Don’t Overdo It
Internal links don’t hurt.
But to answer how many internal links per page should you use: no more than one hundred.
There isn’t a rule or Google guideline about it.
But, the experience of leading digital marketers says that there should be a limit to internal links as well because it is sharing authority with all DoFollow links.
After all, too much of anything is bad.
How Globex Outreach Can Help with Internal Link Building?
If you have read this complete guide, you can now do the internal linking of your website on your own.
However, it would require studying, planning, and implementation with the use of some tools. A simple blog would require weeks of work for complete execution.
You can hire Globex Outreach to do this for you.
We are a digital marketing company that fully understands complete SEO, and we have been doing it for nearly two decades.
Besides, there is no replacement for experience.
You can call us at +1718-(618)-4834 or leave a message in the chat option you see at the right bottom of this page to get a free consultation and a quote.
Our services don’t cost as much as many might think.