Why internal links are important for your website
Internal links (sometimes referred to as interlinks) should always be on your checklist of essential SEO items when creating a page of on-site content.
What is an internal link and why do I need them?
An internal link is a hyperlink that is found in on-site content that will go from one page on a domain to a different page that is still found on that same domain.
They should not be confused with the other type of hyperlink, external links, which exist to take users from one page to either a webpage or a resource that exists on an entirely different domain.
So, why is it important to have internal links within copy throughout your website? There’s a few reasons why…
- They help to deliver your website with a cohesive user experience by aiding navigation.
- They facilitate the process in which search engines will discover pages on your website.
- They can be used as ranking signals.
- They help to pass equity — think ranking power — from one page of your website to the next.
- A lack of internal links can seriously affect a website page’s ability to either be crawled or even ranked.
Best practice for creating internal links
There are a few simple tips to keep in mind in order to create effective internal links across your entire website…
Internal links should be relevant and useful to website visitors
Remember that internal links aren’t just there for SEO purposes; they help to aid the user and their journey around your website.
This journey should be as natural as possible. Therefore, including an interlink on a fashion ecommerce site that directs visitors from a men’s shoes range page, to a men’s Adidas shoes range page seems appropriate. However, can the same be said if the men’s shoes range page has a link that goes off to a children’s umbrella range page?
Don’t overpopulate a page with internal links
There’s a number of reasons why you should avoid putting too many internal links onto one page of a website.
For one, the links will likely appear in a sharp blue colour, which can make the content disjointed and difficult to read when there’s lots of them within a small space.
Think mobile too. If there are numerous internal links within a few lines of text, a user may have trouble clicking on the link that they would like to visit. The last thing you want to do is aggravate a potential customer.
An abundance of links also runs the risk of confusing the customer journey. Think of it this way — two internal links on a page which then has three internal links on each of them means that a user could be prompted to visit a total of seven pages. However, five internal links on a page that on to reveal a further five internal links on each of them increases the total number of page prompts to 31.
Avoid using the same anchor text on two internal links pointing to different pages
Anchor text is the copy that is being used on a hyperlink. If you opt to use the same anchor text for two internal links in a body of copy that directs to two different pages, you will create confusion, as the user will not know which page is most relevant for their requirements.
On top of this, identical anchor text for different pages is simply creating competition between two of your website’s pages — something you can avoid by targeting different keywords for each and every page.
Never have an orphan page
An orphan page is one that exists on your website but doesn’t have any links pointing to it, which makes it very difficult for search engines to ever find it.
When looking into on-site content strategies, make sure that all pages have relevant links pointing towards them. A well linked page should also have internal links that point towards other appropriate pages — think of it as a chain that you never want to see ending.
Looking for more strategies to get your website to rank better online? Mediaworks can help, so contact us with your enquiries today.