Table of contents
There are many ways to implement internal linking on a site. Each of them has benefits, including in terms of SEO. In addition, proper linking within the site positively affects the perception of the site by users. What methods of internal linking should be used to gain the most from it?”
What is internal linking?
The linking strategy is based on 2 types of links – external and internal.
External linking involves placing links to the site on other sites. When choosing a linking strategy, it is worth paying attention to the parameters of the domains from which we link, their authority and thematic linking so that they pass the site as much link juice
On the other hand, internal linking (internal linking) involves placing hyperlinks to subpages of a site throughout the site. Hyperlinks are simply links that direct to the pages indicated in them, opening them in a new tab or redirecting directly from within the open page.
With the development of UX and the emphasis on tailoring pages to the user experience, several new ways to implement internal linking have emerged.
The most optimal solution is to diversify linking and use several solutions at the same time. The most important thing is that links to other pages of the site should be placed in visible and strategic places, easily accessible to users and search engine robots.
The most important thing is that links to other pages of the site should be placed in visible and strategic places, easily accessible to users and search engine robots.
Types of internal linking
Linking in the main menu
The main menu is the element that is primarily responsible for site navigation. It also provides an excellent base for internal linking. Each link to a main category or subcategory found in the menu is a hyperlink directing to another subpage of the site. And thus builds internal linking.
It is worth paying attention to the proper naming of categories. Each name placed in the menu should contain keywords that are relevant to us from an SEO point of view.
Linking in content
High-quality on-page content is a key issue in SEO. The use of linking in the content further increases the chances of the site ranking higher in the search engine. The distribution of links in the text and the anchors on which the links will be placed should be planned accordingly. Anchors must be consistent with the subject matter of the sub-page they link to, and the number of links should not exceed 3-5 per article or category/product description.
Breadcrumbs menus are navigational elements that allow users to locate and find their way around the site. Breadcrumbs are mainly used on large sites with extensive structure and are worth using to strengthen internal linking within the domain.
Linking in the footer
Placing links to relevant pages of a website in the footer is an excellent way to strengthen internal linking. In addition, at the bottom of the page, there should be a link to the site map in HTML format, where links to all subpages of the site are collected.
When creating a website design, it is a good idea to include modules with links to other subpages. These can be the most popular or similar products and thematically related articles.
When you want to strengthen internal linking within the blog, boxes that list the most popular or most commented posts will be a good solution. You should also take into account their thematic link to the article on the page, linking entries within the same category.
Good practices in internal linking
Number of links on subpages
In the internal linking guidelines, Google has not set a specific maximum number of outbound links from a page. A ‘reasonable number, up to a few thousand links’ was set as the limit. From an SEO point of view, however, this is not a good solution. Too many outbound links weaken their power. The best solution is to stick to the rule that the number of outgoing links from one subpage should not exceed 100.
On some pages we may encounter anchors designed to encourage the user to move on to the next subpage, e.g. “read more, learn more.” This may draw the attention of readers, but considering the impact on SEO it is not a good solution, because phrases like “click here, read more” are not the phrases for which the linked page ranks. It’s a good idea to use keywords that directly point to the topic of the page, or to include the full title of the article to which the link directs.
The number of clicks needed to get from the home page to a given subpage is commonly referred to as link depth. The most optimal value is 3 clicks separating the home page from the destination URL. This is important both from the point of view of users and search engine robots. It is also aimed at eliminating so-called orphan pages, i.e. ‘orphan’ pages to which no link leads.
The impact of internal linking on SEO
Well-planned internal linking positively affects many aspects of a site. The main advantage is better indexing of the site in the search engine. Google robots should easily and quickly reach each sub-page. Therefore, it is worth remembering the so-called orphan pages and apply the 3-click rule to speed up the indexation of the site.
Additionally, the use of internal linking improves site navigation. Users move to other subpages much more easily and intuitively when they can find links directly in the thematically related text or in suggested similar products.
They will find it easier to navigate to other pages.
When positioning a website it is worth remembering that with a small amount of effort, by implementing internal linking we are able to significantly improve our position in the SERP.