How is your summer going dear readers? I’m sure it’s going well. With this post with which I want to talk about internal linking and the tremendous benefits we can get from it, you won’t hear from me again until my return to the blog.
But let’s get down to business, let’s talk a little bit about SEO.
Surely, you have heard about internal linking and how much it can affect the SEO of a “site”. But, now it’s time for you to know my version, my procedures, and how to get all the “juice” out of your internal linking. Although I announce that this will be the first post of a few that I want to publish. There is a lot to tell about internal links.
- First of all, what are internal links and what is internal linking?
- Considerations in internal linking or internal links
- Which anchor text can I use in my internal links?
- Internal linking helps to reduce the bounce rate.
- Increase the number of page views
- Improve the distribution of internal authority, internal “Pagerank” or “Linkjuice”.
- Boost and improves the rankings of existing content
- Increases Returning visitors through internal linking
- How does Google deal with internal linking or internal links?
First of all, what are internal links and what is internal linking?
Internal linking means creating hyperlinks or links to another page or post within your own website.
Internal linking is the process in which an article or page (say a post or category pillar) of yours contains links to other articles, pages, or categories on your site that are related to the current URL so that the user can click through and be redirected to another page on your domain.
When a user is reading an article on your website, and that particular article refers to or is related to another article on your blog, then there should be a link that takes the user to that article for a better understanding of the subject matter, as well as, user experience.
Advantages of using internal links for SEO
- You will increase the average duration of the visitor’s session.
- It helps to reduce the bounce rate of the website.
- It benefits the ranking of a particular keyword.
- Helps increase the number of page views per user.
- Facilitates and helps Google to crawl your website in a better way, as well as to understand your niche.
In my particular case, I wrote an article on this blog about how to rank a website at the top of Google, this article contains a guide on how to improve the rankings of your keywords in the search results.
In it, I described the steps and areas to take into account to optimize your website, talking about SEO On Page, Off Page, Local SEO, etc, but the user may want more information about “longtail keywords”, find free links, or if your website is in the Sandbox.
So if the article has links from my other blog posts like:
What internal links mean for SEO and the best strategies for internal linking.
What is the Google Sandbox
Therefore, these posts will “act” as a continuation of the post you currently read, so you should provide these links to your related article. Then, when the user reads this article, they will get the real solution they need.
Then, when the user is about to finish reading your article on how to rank your website at the top of Google, he will need to learn these things, and, consequently, I provide links to those particular articles from the current article.
The user will not need to Google that particular query and find a solution on another website. He will redirect to the particular article on my website and continue reading, thus increasing the dwell time. And let’s remember that this metric positively affects the SEO of a website.
“This will reduce the bounce rate and increase the trust score of your website”.
Considerations in internal linking or internal links
Which anchor text can I use in my internal links?
There is an element called “Anchor Text” which “plays” a very important role in interlinking and the consequent improvement of rankings thanks to internal linking.
The “Anchor Text” are the texts in which the hyperlink / internal link to another article of your own domain is “inserted”.
Well, on the other hand, we must differentiate between anchor texts used in a link-building strategy, and internal linking or internal links.
In the latter, we will be much more “aggressive” than in a link-building strategy. In other words, we will “abuse” more of the exact keywords, as long as the context allows it.
We must bear in mind that Google bots can “read” the anchor text and its context. And this tells them about the topic of the URL to which the internal link is directed.
In addition, with the “anchor text” of the internal links, we are telling the search engines which keywords are more relevant to the URL to which we direct the link.
This is a link to one of my articles on How to rank my website at the top of Google. This link will redirect you to one of my blog articles and here the Anchor Text is How to rank my website at the top of Google.
Relationship between anchor text and internal linking
“Anchor text and internal linking also help the Google crawler to understand the topic of your site in general and the topics related to the “crawled” article.
Thus, Google will be able to provide a better result for a particular keyword search.
This will increase the domain authority, page authority and trust score of your website or blog. This is one of the major benefits of internal linking”.
Internal linking helps to reduce the bounce rate.
To give you an idea, the bounce rate is the percentage of unique visitors to a blog or website. In other words, they enter your website, stay on your website for a few seconds and then “see you later”.
So it is easy to think, that with the internal linking or internal links what we get is to facilitate navigation and interest to continue staying on our website reading other articles.
If your blog/website has a bounce rate of 50%, it means that 50 out of 100 visitors leave your website (either because they go to another site or leave your website) by reading a single page and without clicking on the internal links.
Relationship between bounce rate and internal linking
The bounce rate is a factor of great relevance, and of course, affects the SEO and the ranking of your website. Therefore, it is better to link internally to other posts on your blog so that the user continues reading the contents of your website and does not go to other sites to search for information.
Google interprets blogs or websites with a lower bounce rate as high quality, relevant and authoritative domains. Decreasing the bounce rate will increase the number of page views, pages per session, dwell time, and of course, the trust score.
Increase the number of page views
Internal links help the visitor to navigate to other posts after reading the current post. And consequently, with this process, you will increase the number of page views and sessions per user on your blog.
More page views will increase your Alexa ranking (although it is certainly worthless at the moment) and decrease your bounce rate. So apparently, you will rank better in search engines. It will also help to increase the CTR (click-through-rate) of your search results, which is a very important SEO factor.
As you can see, in the end, it’s the “fish that bites the tail”. I like to call it the “SEO snowball effect”.
Improve the distribution of internal authority, internal “Pagerank” or “Linkjuice”.
One of the factors that Google includes when determining the PageRank of a domain is the number of incoming links (backlinks) to a website.
One of the problems we often encounter in our clients’ projects is that on each website, there will be one or more URLs, which will “hog” most of the backlinks and organic traffic.
Because the more inbound links (backlinks) a website has, the higher the PageRank of that domain.
Therefore, if you intend to transfer and distribute the PageRank of the most “popular” or top-ranked posts to other URLs, you should link internally, preferably from your older posts to the newer content.
But remember that both posts must be related to each other. This link will act as an internal link to other older URLs, so it will receive part of your PageRank.
Always link with “Dofollow” in your internal links, otherwise the PageRank will not flow.
Boost and improves the rankings of existing content
If your website has been around for a few years, and your blog has accumulated a large number of posts, it is possible that older blog posts may not be receiving traffic or ranking for any keywords.
Therefore, internal linking to older blog articles from newer posts that are already receiving traffic will help drive traffic to the older posts and help the older posts rank better and rank for more keywords in search engines.
You may not be aware of it, but traffic is proving to be increasingly important in terms of SEO. So driving traffic to older posts will give a boost to those older URLs.
If you still can’t drive traffic to old content (either because that content is not interesting to your audience or for other reasons), consider doing a content audit and delete or merge those posts. Your crawl budget will thank you!
Increases Returning visitors through internal linking
Imagine that a random visitor comes to your blog and reads one of your posts. After reading the post, he will probably go to another website or leave your website.
You can avoid this with the help of internal links because thanks to them you can “send” him to explore another related article on that topic on your blog.
If a user has really enjoyed and got the solution to the problem in your blog post, he will probably read other content on your website. Therefore, the user will be engaged with your blog and could be a repeat visitor, or even better, a subscriber.
We should always do internal linking between related content. It will be useful for your rankings, usability, and readership.
User behavior with internal links
Google will observe the behavior between your visitors and your internal links, determining how closely related the two pieces of content are (the more clicks the internal link receives, the more related it is).
Remember not to spam your posts by linking irrelevant articles (that have no relation to the internal link placed) to the main post.
It is better not to carry out these practices, since the user and the bots will be redirected to pages that are irrelevant, in terms of linking and linked content. Therefore, your rankings could drop, and thus your visits.
How does Google deal with internal linking or internal links?
It is worth mentioning that while internal linking of content on your blog, remember that the more links there are on a page, the less authority each of those links will convey.
Doing a flashback, I would like to remember as I already mentioned in the post about Pagerank, that the authority of a page is divided by the total number of links on it (regardless of whether they are dofollow or nofollow).
So if you want to transmit and distribute correctly the authority, internal PageRank, or link juice, you should not establish too many links on the same page.
However, earlier this year John Mueller responded on Twitter that too many internal links do not penalize and that we should not worry about it.
In my opinion, a more than recommendable amount of internal links in a URL would be between 5-10 links (depending on the length of the content). Always bearing in mind that these should help and be useful to users.
Therefore, include links that are the most important and relevant. This helps Google to discover the topic of your website and your index correctly.
Before you place your internal links, consider this!
You should set the most important links at the beginning of your article, because while crawling the page, Google will give more priority to the first links than to the more advanced links in the content.
On the other hand, as Lino Uruñuela would say, Google only takes into account the anchor text of the first link to a page. That is, if you “place” several links to the same URL, Google will only take into account the “anchor” of the first one.
Consequently, I advise you to think carefully about the anchor text of those first links and to use the most relevant keywords for that page.
As a final word, I hope it has become clear to you the great potential that “awaits” internal linking. So, my recommendation is:
Stop worrying so much about “Linkbuilding”. Yes, backlinks are very important and all you want. But there is more to link building and here I am showing it to you. Take advantage of the “power” of internal linking, WHICH IS FREE!
So, with this post, which I’m sure you will find very useful, I’ll say goodbye until the end of the summer, or until I feel like blogging again. I’ll see you back!