Internal linking – what is it and why is it effective?

Internal linking is one of the most important elements included in search engine optimisation. In order to be at the top of the search results, backlink acquisition, content optimisation and technical SEO must be a priority. Internal linking is also important, as it affects the navigation of the website, the correct indexation of its pages and, ultimately, its usability. To find out the definition of this concept and why internal linking is effective – read this article! Enjoy your reading.

What is internal linking? – definition

Internal linking is the process of creating hyperlinks (links) between different pages within the same website. It involves placing links in the content of pages that direct the user to other categories on the same website.

Image 1. Internal linking to categories and products using the Douglas brand as an example. Source: www.douglas.pl

Why is internal linking effective for SEO? – 5 reasons!

Benefits of internal linking:

  • promotes indexing,
  • facilitates positioning of other pages in Google,
  • makes the page more intuitive and useful,
  • increases user engagement,
  • minimises rejection rates.

See the following paragraphs for details.

1. Supports indexing

Search engines use robots (so-called ‘spiders’ or ‘crawlers’) that browse through websites to index their content. Internal links act as clues for the robots to help them find and reach other pages on your website. If the selected pages are correctly linked internally, crawlers can more efficiently browse and index the entire site, which affects visibility in search results.

2. Facilitates the positioning of other pages on Google

Internal linking can help transfer ‘power’ (link equity) from the more prominent and popular pages on your site to less prominent or new sub-pages. When a site receives internal links from other high-value sites, this increases its value in terms of SEO. The transfer of link power helps to increase the visibility of pages in search results and can lead to better positions in the SERPs.

3. Makes the website more intuitive and usable

Internal linking makes it easier for users to navigate your site. By placing relevant links in your content, on navigation bars, in footers or in other strategic places, you can ensure thematic consistency and allow users to quickly navigate between related content. This makes the site more intuitive and useful for users, who can easily find the information they need or navigate to related sections of interest.

Image 2. Internal linking in the menu making the website more intuitive and useful using the Notino brand as an example. Source: www.notino.pl

4. Increases user engagement

Internal linking can increase user engagement on your website. By directing internet users to other valuable content within your site that may be of interest to them, you encourage users to stay on the site longer, click on different links and explore additional content. This increases overall user engagement, which can have a positive impact on your site’s position in search results.

5. Minimises the rejection rate

The rejection rate reflects the percentage of users who leave a site after entering it without performing any additional actions. A high rejection rate can be negatively interpreted by search engines as a signal that the site is not interesting or does not meet users’ expectations. Internal linking can help keep users on the site by directing them to other valuable content that may be of interest. This minimises the rejection rate and has a positive effect on how the site is rated by search engines.

Internal linking – the most popular internal linking strategies

We discuss the most popular internal linking strategies below:

Internal links in the page content

Placing internal links within the text of the article or page content itself is a popular strategy that allows users to easily navigate between related content. This can be done by referring to other articles or pages that are thematically related to the content in which the link is placed. Internal links in content are easily visible to users and encourage them to explore the site further.

Internal links to the navigation menu

Navigation menus are often used for internal links, allowing users to quickly access different sections or sub-pages of the site. Navigation menu links are usually visible on every page of the site and provide an important navigation point for users, helping them to find the information they need.

Internal links from evergreen content

Evergreen content is content that has long-term value and is sustainable for users. Internal links from evergreen content can lead to other pages or articles that are thematically related or complementary to the evergreen content. This encourages users to stay on the site longer, discover more content and increase engagement.

Related content section

Image 3. Blog section with related content from the Decathlon brand. Source: blog.decathlon.co.uk

Including a section on a page that links to related content makes it easier for users to find additional information on a topic. This could be a ‘Featured’ or ‘Related Content’ section, a ‘Most Read Articles’ section, where links are provided to other articles or pages that may be of interest to the user. This strategy helps to increase user interaction and encourages users to explore the site.

Internal links on the homepage

Placing internal links on the homepage, leading to key sections or pages, makes it easier for users to navigate the site. This includes links to recent articles, popular categories, special offers or other important sections of the site. This helps to promote these sections and guide users to relevant content.

Site map with links to all relevant pages

Creating a site map (sitemap) is a good SEO practice that makes it easier for search engines to index your site and allows for easier site navigation. A sitemap contains links to all relevant pages, allowing search engine robots to reach every part of the site. This helps to understand the structure of the site and improves the indexing of content by search engines.

Links in the footer of the site

Image 4. Internal links in the footer of a page. Source: www.amazon.com

The footer is the visible area of the site where it is useful to include internal links. This may include links to key sections such as ‘About Us’, ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Privacy Policy’. Links in the footer provide additional navigation points for users and make it easier to access relevant information.

Creating thematic clusters

Topic clusters are groupings of related content on a page. Creating thematic clusters allows you to include internal links between related content, making it easier for users to navigate and helping search engines understand the structure of your site. Within topic clusters, links can be created between articles, pages or categories that are thematically related.

Internal links from images

Internal linking can also be applied to images. By adding a link to an image and directing it to the relevant page or subpage, you will encourage users to click on the graphic and move to the related content. This is particularly useful for galleries, portfolios or online shops where images are an important part of the content presentation.

Designing the hierarchy of pages on your website

Careful design of the sub-page hierarchy on the website helps organise content and facilitates internal linking. The creation of parent and subordinate pages, appropriate thematic grouping and the preparation of logical navigation paths affect the usability and value of the website in terms of users and search engines.

Internal linking – summary

Skilfully implemented internal links improve the structure of the site, the indexation status of all subpages and make the site useful. In order to verify the correct implementation of internal links, you should invest in a professional SEO audit. During a comprehensive analysis, SEOgroup experts will point out the advantages and disadvantages of your website, and additionally they will determine the elements that should be improved (including internal linking). Should you have any questions, we remain available by email or telephone.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions and answers [Internal linking]

Here are the most common questions and answers about internal linking.

1. What is internal linking?

Internal linking is the process of creating hyperlinks between different pages or sections on the same website. It involves adding links to content that redirect users to other pages or sections within the same website.

2. What are the benefits of internal linking?

First and foremost, internal linking helps with site navigation, allowing users to move more easily between different sections and pages. It also improves the indexing of the site by search engines, allowing them to efficiently discover and index the content. Additionally, internal linking can help build a hierarchy of pages and transfer SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) value between specific sub-pages.

3. Is there a limit on the number of internal links on a page?

There is no strict limit on the number of internal links on a page. It is advisable to avoid over-filling your content with links, as this can lead to confusion for users and make it difficult to read. Only place links in necessary places where they will be of value to the reader. Remember to keep your content clear and readable.

4. Does internal linking affect SEO?

Internal linking can have a positive impact on SEO. Correct and logical internal linking helps search engines discover and index content on pages.

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