Incorporating internal links for SEO into your content marketing plan is crucial for improving the visibility and authority of your website. When implemented correctly, internal linking establishes a network of related content that enables your audience to easily access the information they are seeking, extending their engagement beyond the initial article or post they encounter.
Besides its user-centric benefits, internal linking also has technical advantages. It helps eliminate broken links and redirect loops while building authority on your site. While internal linking may present some challenges, it remains a powerful tool for optimizing your content marketing strategy.
What Are the Benefits of Internal Links?
Seven benefits come with interlinking pages. You can optimize your internal links for your target audience by understanding both the how- and why.
1. Enhance User Experience
SEO isn’t a one-size fits all approach to ranking factors. There are many ranking factors to take into consideration, including Hummingbird, RankBrain, and BERT. The user experience is what has been the main focus.
It’s good to know that the online experience is built by internal links. These links allow your audience to dig deeper into a topic and learn more.
This is an example we have taken from our blog. You might be looking at homepage SEO from the perspective of your audience. You might be reading about crawlers, but you may not know enough. An internal link will take you to an introductory article about web crawlers.
These internal links are sometimes referred to as “Recommended Reading” in our writing to let readers know that additional information is available on our site.
These connections allow your audience to continue building their knowledge on subjects they are interested in. You’re familiar with what we mean if you’ve ever gone down the Wikipedia rabbit hole.
2. Improve Engagement Metrics
You can make your audience explore more of your site by laying out a clear path. This actively reduces bounce rate and increases time on page – two important user experience metrics that you should be paying attention to!
3. Drive Users Toward Conversion
An internal link structure is a key component of eCommerce brands. It improves user navigation and ultimately drives your target audience to a sale. Relevant connections, particularly from early-funnel content can help your audience get deeper into your funnel and increase conversions.
Your content marketing efforts will be boosted by links on your homepage. Each blog post within this structure will lead to gated content, a free test, or a product page. Your audience will move from being aware to becoming customers and leads in a similar fashion.
You must look at the buyer’s journey in order to build a link network. It’s the same approach you use for content mapping.
From creating the best content and optimizing for the right search engines to linking it with the right people, you can move your audience forward at their own pace.
4. Create Your Website Architecture
The site taxonomy is the basic structure of your website. This is the way your content is organized within your menus and navigation. It links to your homepage from deeper-lying pages.
Your website architecture goes beyond just structural taxonomy. You can add an additional layer to your website architecture through internal links. This creates the web content and pages that we have already discussed.
Your structural taxonomy will likely be organized around topics and subtopics that make sense from a homepage perspective. Your About Us content is where your services are located. What if you have to link two topics?
This is impossible with a linear taxonomy. Your internal links are the second layer of your website architecture. These cross-links can be used to enhance your UX design and transform disconnected pages into an integrated online experience.
5. Improve Crawl Efficiency
The idea of crawl efficiency and crawl depth is closely related to your site architecture topic. The basic pattern of search engine crawlers is:
- Spiders are automated algorithms that crawl the web to find new and existing domains.
- They will search the code to determine SEO ranking factors for each page when they come across your site.
- The information they find is added to your site’s index or record, which determines whether it will be shown in search results.
- The process repeats itself on a regular basis.
These crawlers also do one thing: They check your external and internal links to find new and updated content. Your site’s best tool is a strong network of links.
We have already covered crawl depth, but to refresh your memory, here are the steps you need to optimize for crawling:
- You can reduce the clicks needed to reach the pages that you wish to crawl more often. These should be your most critical pages.
- Find out where to link to your target pages using popular content.
- To give crawlers structure, use tags and categories in your content management system.
- Your XML sitemap should be updated, submitted, and maintained frequently. Sitemap URLs will be crawled more frequently by search engines than other pages, so make sure to keep it up-to-date and improve your chances of getting crawled.
- Speed up your pages. Crawlers will take less time to render pages on your site if it is faster.
Google and other search engines appreciate simplicity. Search engines like Google appreciate sites that can be crawled quickly. This will improve your search results.
6. Build Your Link Equity
Link equity is the property of every link on your website. This is a measure that the authority of the link goes from one page to another. This link equity can be spread by linking pages together.
Google ranks pages based on factors like authority, relevance, and value. Some internal links can be used to transfer them from a page performing particularly well to another one you link from.
Let’s take the homepage SEO example from above:
- Perhaps that blog post is receiving great results on Google.
- Linking to an explanation about search engine crawlers will transfer some of the ranking factors that contributed to the positive results to that article.
- The crawler explainer now gets better Google results.
This is the key to success. Strategically using internal links will ensure that your link equity is spread to strategically placed spots on your site. The rising tide lifts all boats.
7. Let Google Know Which Keyword You Would Like to Rank
You have complete control over adding internal links (no need to build them). This means that you can clearly communicate with Google via anchor text about keyword and page association.
To provide context for both search engines and users, all internal links use anchor text (the hyperlink with blue text that a user clicks).
Using contextually-relevant anchor text that properly describes the page that the link leads to gives you an added opportunity to clearly tell the search engine that page X should rank for keyword Y and boost relevance.
Why Is Internal Linking So Important?
Although each point is different, they all contribute to the same thing: how internal links can help improve and grow your SEO. This should be your main takeaway when you think about your own strategy.
It’s not possible to make that a bumper sticker. We can sum up the following statements, which you can use to guide your strategy.
Because they make isolated web pages part of a larger content infrastructure, internal links are important. These links keep users interested and increase their likelihood of becoming customers. This, combined with the ability to direct your link equity to highly relevant websites, results in greatly improved SEO.
Prioritizing Your Internal Links
Strategically using internal links will ensure that your link equity is spread to strategically placed spots on your site. The rising tide lifts all boats.
All of this is just the beginning. Like many SEO topics, digging deeper into the nature and usage of internal links is possible. It all comes down to how much time you can devote to this topic in your SEO strategy.
Your internal links should be prioritized. It is important to think about it when you create a new page or revise existing pages.
Create a Comprehensive Internal Linking Plan With LUX
At Lux Digital Marketing, we understand the power of internal links for SEO and user experience. Our team of experts is dedicated to maximizing the benefits of internal linking for your website. By implementing effective strategies and creating a comprehensive internal linking plan, we can help your website achieve higher rankings in search engine results pages and drive more organic traffic.
Don’t let broken links or ineffective anchor text hold your website back. Contact us today to partner with Lux Digital Marketing and start seeing the results of optimized internal linking.