Advantages and Importance of Internal Linking
Internal linking improves the usability of the entire website with the usage of user-friendly links. Duplication can be prevented using internal linking by relating appropriate content on the page. For a website to be able to achieve good viewership and profits, users to be directed to the money pages. This will happen by letting the link juices flow through the pages and eventually linking the pages to end up at the money pages.
Qualitative text helps to grab the attention of the visitors thereby propelling their attention to further venture into the website. Better linking within the page and pointers to interesting contents brings in visitors which increases the visitor count leading to an increase in conversion rate. The number of backlinks a page receives commands the ranking of the page on the search engine.
Linking related pages on the site helps to improve the time users spend on the page which reduces the bounce rate. The less the bounce rate, the more the chances of users navigating further into the pages leading to an improved ranking and profitability.
Typically search engine’s bots crawl the website looking at all the links and mappings to figure out the index of the page. Internal structure of the website which has optimal linking helps boost the ranking of the page within the search engine. Although search engine optimization also needs to be done for further improvement of the ranking, there is no denying that internal linking adds to the ranking of the page, usability, viewership, conversion rate.
Improving Internal linking: For any e-commerce vendor, out of all the pages only some pages might be related to products that have high sales and these are the pages that matter as they bring in profits. Analysing these pages and designing strategies will help when linking them. By including links to these high sales pages directly to the main page will greatly improve the business by helping the users to navigate with ease without jumping through hoops. Another option would be to categorize the high sales pages and provide navigational links on the main page based on categories.
Linking the newly added content to the existing relevant pages/articles will increase the time visitors spend on an article. These semantic mappings between pages along with the new content will make the link juices flow which help in boosting the index and ranking of the page. For example, an e-commerce page about latest phones which is already trending will have further traffic when a new model of the phone is released. By linking the page related to the new phone to the existing page that details the top model of the phone will better improve the traffic because of improved ease of use for the visitors.
To achieve optimal ranking for a page and also to allow the search engine to make sense of the content on the page, anchor text of the internal links, proper usage of keywords play a major role. As the website grows, some pages might become relatively less connected to the main page making them hidden. These hidden pages needed to be relinked back to the concerned pages and re-ranked from time to time.
Internal Linking Strategy
Well, it’s basically the way that you hyperlink pages together on your website, and there’s a couple different elements that go into it. For example, you’re going to be looking at things like your navigation. Your navigation on your site creates a lot of internal links, so whatever’s in the header of your website and whatever HTML links are inside of the header of your website are actually very very important.
So then, kind of moving further down, whatever’s in the body of the page is also going to have internal links. Now, the body on the page is a template by template basis, right? So your homepage is gonna be on one type of template, your category page on another type of template, your service of your product page on another type of template, subcategories and so on and so forth, right? and then specific landing pages.
So each one of those templates has HTML content on it, and that HTML content generally will have some hyperlinks or will not have some hyperlinks, and it’s really important that we look at how those hyperlinks exist on the website and how they relate to other pages on the website, because that actually matters a lot to crawlers. As we move further down the page, we get into the footer. Now, the footer is another element that has hyperlinks on it and can be incredibly important for just internal linking and for helping crawlers like Google and these other search engines get further into your website.
So, the overall thing to keep in mind is we have to be very deliberate about the header, we have to be very deliberate about the internal linking inside of the content on the page, and the footer and the links inside of the footer. Now, the content on the page is generally some of the most important links on some levels, and let me explain that.
So, if you have an internal link inside of content on a page that has a lot of authority, meaning there’s a lot of other links on the web that link to this page, if that page inside of the content links to another important page on your site with that exact term, that exact anchor text. If you don’t know what anchor test is, that’s basically the term inside of the HTML that’s linked to. So if i made a hyperlink with a term link SEO company and linked to my SEO company page, SEO company would be the anchor text. So that’s very important because if you link inside of the content of that page on a very important page with a lot of other links coming in to another important page, that passes that link weight on to that other page and helps that other page rank higher, okay?
So that’s an important thing to kind of consider about the in-content links. Now, when you’re looking at the navigation links, the navigation links are also very important, as well as the footer links, for another reason. They are on every page of your website. So that’s a clear indicator to search engines, that if you have a link inside of a header or the footer, that they definitely need to check out this page, they definitely need to index it. And overall, that more links that are pointing at a specific page, the clearer signal, the more internal links that are pointing at a specific page, the clearer signal that is to google that it is an important page on your website. So if you have one link pointing at a page, that’s one vote. If you have one thousand, that’s one thousand votes, right? If you have a million, that’s a million votes, and so on and so forth, to rank that page higher.
Now, that last element to that is, you know, the global links are pretty important, the footer links, pretty important, but these in-content links on highly authoritative pages that have a lot of other links pointing at them are the most important, just one kind of a one-to-one bases, and that’s all determined based off of how many other links are pointing at that specific page.
So just some general information to get it started there. Now i want to just give you a general overview on how to do internal linking. When you look at the navigation, you want to make sure that all of your most important pages are in there. But you generally don’t want to have a navigation that’s too bloated. Because you really don’t want too many links on a page, because then it diminishes the quality of each of those links. The authority of each of those links, and it can kind of confuse the crawlers, so there’s a lot of, kind of like back and forth on this online. Google used to say a hundred links on the page, then you all know a lot of people say it started saying well, it should be 300 links on a page, But Google eventually kind of removed those guidelines. The whole idea kind of page sculpting, and page sculpting is this concept that you want to make sure you kind of understand every element of the page and how it relates to the rest of the website, and we can go more into that.
But when it comes to your navigation, you want to think about the ratio of links in that navigation to your footer, to the body. Because if you use , say , 20% out of 300 Links and you want to make sure that you’re maintaining 300 links on a page, then that only gives you that other 80% of links to use within the rest of the page to your important elements on the page.
So, for big sites, like if you’re a very big website, this stuff becomes very important. In your navigation, for example, you might only want to have 100 links, or 50 links, because you know that you’re gonna have another 50 or 100 in your footer and there’s gonna be X amount inside of your individual content, and maybe you only want 150 or 250 on the page.
For my recommendations, it’s different for every site, so i can’t tell you exactly how many links you should have on your page, because there’s so many things that go into that business decision, but generally 50 to 200 or so is gonna be about right for most websites.
If you’re starting to get kind of over 300, It’s feeling like a lot and there’s probably something wrong there. So, with your top navigation, put your most important pages inside of your top navigation and make sure that they’re accessible. Inside of the body of your content, you’re going to have a little bit of a different strategy. So, with content, the way that you want to lay those out is generally within the top part of any individual piece of content, whether it’s a blog post or an HTML page, you want to link to within the first link, you want to link to a very important page that you want to rank higher on the internet. So, what are your top 10,20 pages on your websites? Put that into an Excel sheet , and then in the beginning, link to one of those pages and your secondary link, you probably want to link to one of those pages.
As you get further down inside of your content, you want to link to pages that are on the same level as that piece of content, so your first two pages, first two links, you’re linking to pages that are kind of more important that you’re trying to push authority to, your next ones on the same level, and then, further down, you’re gonna want to link tp, basically, pages that are further down inside if the site architecture, and what that does is that creates kind of like this nice foundation that you can use for internal linking throughout the website and it’s very very effective for Google, for the crawler and it kind of make sense from a hierarchy standpoint. So that, in a way, is internal linking in a nutshell but there’s no hard and fast rules and then you generally inside of your content you only want a link for every 50 to 150 words.
You don’t want to put too many links, you don’t want to have too few links in there, 50 to 150 words is just about right. Also, not to make it too much more complicated, but you want to make sure that you’re keeping these links on topic. So when google crawls that page, they wanna see links that are relevant to that individual piece of content. If you’re spraying stuff all over that doesn’t really adhere and relate, then it’s not gonna, that pages isn’t gonna rank as well and it’s not going to channel the link weight and authority over to that other page as well as it could.
Now we’re getting into the last element, which is the footer. So, for the footer, there’s a couple different things that go on there. Generally you want to put in your most important links that go to other important pages on your site. Make sure you’re linking to that with the correct anchor text. That can be really really helpful for Google to understand that they should rank this page for this thing. You also want to link to an HTML sitemap. So, every website should have an HTML sitemap. If you’re a big site with millions and millions of pages though you can’t put every single link on your HTML sitemap. So you actually need to create a tiered sitemap. So in your first sitemap, you might put in a hundred links, then, once you click on a couple of those links that are in the tiered sitemap, it takes you to another sitemap that has another hundred links. That helps you develop that site architecture that’s gonna be really effective for google and other search engines to crawl. Example, check out linkedin footer, they have a fantastic tiered sitemap.