An internal link is any link from one page to another on a website. Users and search engines use these links to find content on your site and navigate a site. Search engines will find it more difficult to find a new page if there are no internal links pointing to it.
Internal Links and SEO
Aside from links on a website’s homepage, menu, post feed, and the like, content also contains contextual links. These links point users to related or interesting content.
They are also crucial for SEO purposes, as they allow search engines to determine the value of your site in relation to its content. Google, for instance, uses the Googlebot to crawl websites by following internal and external links.
The links indicate significant pages, and the more links, the higher the perceived value of the page. As a result, the website may move higher up in search results.
Typically, a site’s homepage has the most substantial link value as it has the most backlinks. Therefore, your newest blog posts will get more link value if linked from the homepage rather than just the category page. Google will also typically find recent posts quicker if linked to from the homepage.
An important point to mention is the use of keywords. The clickable sentences or words are called anchor text. These are a key indicator to Google and other search engines as to the context of the page and what it focuses on.
3 Rules of thumb for internal linking strategy:
- Establish an ideal structure for your site: Build a ‘pyramid’ with a homepage followed by categories/sections and individual posts/pages.
- Determine your most important content: Core business objectives, enabling searchers to find content related to your specialty products or topics.
- Add contextual links: Link between main topics and related articles and vice versa – from sentences or at the end of the post.