Interlinks direct you to a different page from the same website, unlike external links that tend to navigate you to pages of different websites. Commonly the use of internal links is for navigation, however, there are other ways also to use interlinking for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) purposes.
Search engines such as Google considers internal links for rankings on the basis of link equity or ranking power. The more relevant backlinks a page contains, the higher its value for Google. Also, if the webpage comprises a higher number of outgoing links, its rank gets diluted. Thus, interlinking not only pushes link equity but also increases the ranking potential of the webpage.
Importance of interlinking for SEO
- Builds authority on your page
Internal links have a really valuable property. They make Google recognise and realise which content of your website is important. In short, they pass the link juice.
In comparison to backlinks, internal links do not pass much link juice nor do they significantly increase your website’s credibility and authority. Although it helps bring some of the content pages forward in searches. Thus, when you have a smart interlinking strategy, you will be able to efficiently build a hierarchy of the pages in the site architecture.
- Internal linking holds people longer
Interlinking helps maintain a website structure that is smooth and easy to follow. Though this is more of a user experience advantage, having a logical website structure helps to save your crawl budget as well. It allows search engines to index more content for every visit.
- Works in forming a good quality site architecture
Using SEO tools and services with efficiency saves time and fetches better results. Tools for getting correct analytics and adequate data from which you can determine your website’s performance and the areas it is lacking in, and even the rank tracking tools are really helpful to build an efficacious site structure.
Best practices for interlinking
Instead of directly jumping to the extraordinary stuff, getting the basic right is necessary. So here are a few things you must keep in mind while creating your website’s internal linking structure.
- Keeping your website structure a bit shallow
It is a good thing when every page on your website makes the user reach the homepage within three clicks. Users these days don’t have much time to spend staring at the buffering screen, thus, having minimal loading time is essential. Also, the time your webpage requires to process any action has to be very quick.
You have to make your website easy to follow so that the users prioritise visiting your webpage over many others.
- Linking all the relevant and important pages
Search engines consider sitemaps and links for discovering web pages. This reflects that the unlinked pages can also be recognised by the search engines because the sitemap has them listed. However, it is very tough to find unlinked pages (termed orphan pages) while navigating through the website. So it is better to create internal links for the orphaned pages.
A website that is well-structured is more authoritative and has more topic clusters linking to the central page. ‘Siloing’ is the term used for creating these topic groups.
- Audit the interlinks for optimising your crawl budget
Every time the Google bot visits your website and gets to a broken page, it wastes your crawl budget. To avoid this, you must get all the SEO technicalities clean and get the internal link issues fixed.
- Keeping reasonable amount of links per page
The more the internal or even the external links are overflowing on the page, the lesser the link juice each link directs to the page it points at. If your content is not structured well, it will bore your viewers to scroll through the never-ending resource lists.
Also, the use of links in excess might send a spam signal to search engines, further affecting your webpage’s authority negatively.
- Using keywords in anchor text
When you add keywords in the anchor text of the link, your chances to improve keyword rankings increases. Internal links tend to perform similarly to backlinks, so using terms that have relevance is a straightforward way to increase topical relevance.
Keep in mind that most SEOs don’t advocate using exact matching keywords for the anchor text of internal links. Anchor texts can be a bit descriptive concerning the linked content.
- Ensuring image links have alt attributes
The alt function of image links functions as an anchor text. So it grants you another opportunity to send ranking signals to the search engines, further boosting authority.
- Placing contextual links in the main content
The links that are placed in the content of the page have more SEO value than those in the header, sidebar, or footer. Sidebars, headers and footers are more relevant in the case of navigations and it seems as if Google treats them as non-editorial links. Adding links to the main content adds new information and enhances its value. Additionally, the texts and keywords around content links play an important role in target page rankings.
- Opening contextual links in a new tab
Suppose you are reading an article comprising links navigating you to other articles. Because of your curiosity, you might click on a few of the links. Then you go through the other article, and the next one, further you click on other links. In the end, you find yourself watching a food vlog on YouTube instead of going through the actual article you opened that concerns the importance of the no-follow attribute.
Broadly speaking, your user must not lose the context they initiated searching for. If the links are forced on them carrying extra information and making them open it on the new tab, it becomes easier for the users to return to the page they started with.
Summing things up
By now you have grabbed a lot of information and some technicalities regarding internal links and the importance of and search engine optimised internal linking structure. Then you read about the elements and attributes that have an impact on rankings and the best practices you can adopt for better SEO interlinking.
Another thing you must know before stressing out about how will you manage to use all the information effectively is that there are SEO experts to rescue you. You don’t have to do things alone. Let this task shift on the shoulders of the professionals offering their content marketing services to ease your tasks. Get going people! Now you have all that you need to get professional aid and set incredible benchmarks for the competitors!
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