by Alice Rooney
Dec 6, 2022
Google is becoming increasingly smart when it comes to crawling your website. To display content on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), Google crawlers read the content on your website and subsequently identify the relevant content to display to the user depending on their search query.
Making the crawling process as easy as possible for Google can benefit your SEO. This is where internal linking comes into play. Having a clear internal linking structure ensures that crawlers can easily connect pages together, which in turn establishes a clear hierarchy on your website and allows both users and crawlers to navigate the site easily.
Internal linking should be an essential part of your SEO strategy – it is a ranking factor after all! Join us as we take you through the reasons why your website needs to focus on internal linking and a few best practices to take with you on your internal linking journey.
What is internal linking and how is it different from external linking?
In simple terms, internal linking is a link between content on the same website of the same domain, and external linking is a link between content on a different website of a separate domain.
In terms of internal linking, let’s say there’s a blog post – like this one – and we want to point to another blog post on a similar topic on our website. We might add in a hyperlink in the text to direct users and crawlers to said blog post. In this example, we would include a sentence such as ‘For more ways to improve your on-page SEO, read our blog post for 5 top tips to increase your website’s SEO with on-page optimisation’. Links can also be from landing pages to blog posts, from service/product pages to contact pages, from blog pages to product pages, and so on.
External linking follows a similar principle, however you are linking to another website instead. Gaining links to your website from other websites (also known as ‘linkbuilding’ or ‘backlinks’) is also an excellent way to increase SEO through digital PR. We dive into some of the key digital PR takeaways from the BrightonSEO event in our dedicated blog post… (see what we did there!)
Why is internal linking important for SEO?
We’ve touched on the importance of linking between content to establish site hierarchy and ease of navigation, but it is also great for establishing link value.
Each link on your site passes some link equity from the original page containing the link to the page the link is going to. Your site’s homepage is often the page that contains the most link equity on a website, as it’s the page that is linked to the most often from landing pages, blog posts and category pages.
The homepage will also link to other pages on your website – whether that’s your latest blog posts, a landing page to a new service that you offer, or a product page with a special offer. Each of these links from the homepage will pass on some of its link equity.
Link equity also informs Google of page importance. The more links to a certain page, the more link equity they contain and the quicker Google crawlers – and users – can find them. This also increases the likelihood that these pages will rank in SERPs.
What are the internal linking best practices?
When taking on internal linking as part of your SEO strategy, it is vital to follow best practice. We’ve outlined some of the top best practices to follow to ensure your internal linking is on top form:
Ensure your link is relevant
Only link between pages that are about the same or a similar topic. It is inconvenient for user experience and crawlers alike to be directed from a blog post about website SEO to a product page selling suncream.
Try not to overload the page with links
Link stuffing means acts in a similar manner to keyword stuffing – having too many links devalues the content on your website. If a link is buried amongst many others, users are also unlikely to click on the link.
Write descriptive anchor text
A statement containing a link such as ‘click here’ or ‘visit page’ doesn’t give much away about the content of the page you’re linking to. Instead, include links that appear as naturally as possible in the sentence, for example: ‘Sign up to our newsletter’ or ‘download the recipe’. This method also means bonus points for Google’s algorithm in terms of accessibility, so it’s a good idea to review anchor text in existing links.
Take your internal linking to the next level with Peaky Digital
If you’re looking to incorporate internal linking into your next SEO strategy, we would be happy to support you. The Peaky Digital team is bursting with ideas from specialists in the SEO field.
Get in touch with us today if you’d like to find out more about our services and arrange a call with the team.
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