Internal links really don’t get the credit they deserve.
While external backlink strategies regularly take the stage at award ceremonies and are dragged in front of clients and prospects as outstanding SEO, internal links are left to just carry on doing the work in the back.
It’s time to change that.
Because while third party links are a big part of any SEO success, internal links serve just as important a purpose and can help you get better SEO results, just by linking content on your own website.
So we all know what we’re talking about, an internal link is any link on a website on your site, that links to another page on your site.
And internal links serve a big purpose for your SEO.
Not just in terms of connecting your website and making it easier for people to navigate and find the information they need.
Internal links can also help when it comes to search engines crawling your site, looking for new pages to index and rank.
And the truth is, you probably already have a lot of internal links on your website.
You might just not know how many, where they all point to, and why you should put some time into an internal linking plan.
Help search engines crawl your page
Search engines are always crawling pages on the internet.
They’re looking for new pages, and new pieces of content that they can rank and index for users.
Sometimes, it might not pick up on a new page.
But internal links can help with that.
If a search engine crawls one of your existing pages, but finds an internal link to another page, it will also crawl that linked page (which otherwise might have been missed).
Connecting your web pages with internal links is a good way of making sure search engines are crawling and indexing all of your pages and helps direct them to pages they might not have looked at yet.
Point towards important pages
If you’ve read our blog on keyword clustering you’ll understand the principle of creating a high value page in the form of a “pillar page”.
A high value page is essentially one that you want search engines to rank highly in search.
Essentially you create the main page which focuses on a particular topic at a high level, surround it with other, shorter articles or videos which go into more detail, and then link those blogs back to the main page.
Google and search engines will recognise all the links pointing to the main page, and understand that this is a page of value to a user looking for information on the topic, and rank it higher.
You don’t have to just use links to pillar pages.
Any page that has high numbers of links pointing to it will be seen as important.
Just be careful when it comes to managing these internal links.
If you have lots of links pointing to pages that are now out of date, you should consider getting rid of the page and the links, or link them to another page that is more relevant.
Just as high numbers of internal links pointing to a high value page can raise its SEO value, those same links can also improve the SEO value of the pages linking to it.
A 500 word blog on its own might not rank highly today when most pages featuring on the first page of search are closer to 1,500.
But you can create six 500 word blogs, and link them all to the main page you want to rank highly.
As the main page starts to see improvements in performance, the links that connect it will also pull those other pages up at the same time, improving the overall performance of your content.
Give structure to your content
A lot of blog pages are created as siloed.
In that they’re created, and sit on your website. Once a reader has got to the end, they might get a CTA, but there’s nowhere else to go.
Internal links can change this by focusing on creating content siloes, rather than just siloing individual pages.
But internal links don’t just give you better SEO performance.
They can be useful for helping people navigate around your blogs and guides.
If someone is reading a blog on Google Ad management, and is interested in writing better ads, you could add an internal link in the Google Ad management blog to your other article about writing effective Google Ads.
This would save the user the hassle of having to go back and trawl through your blog library and, importantly for you, keep them on your website for longer.
Ultimately, if you’re not putting any focus on internal links for your SEO, then you’re missing a big trick.
Internal links are much easier to create because you can do them for your own website.
You’re not relying on someone else giving you a link from your website.
Given the value of internal links in increasing SEO performance and driving organic traffic, they’re definitely an SEO tactic you should invest more time in.
If you’re not sure about the SEO architecture of your website, or how you could improve your current performance, get in touch with us for a free technical SEO audit.
One of our SEO consultants will complete a full review of your site’s SEO using our suite of analytics tools and provide you with a report outlining where you’re going right, and where you can easily improve.