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What Are Internal Links And Why Are They So Important?

In this post, I will aim to provide a definitive explanation of what internal links are and will go on to explain why they are so important.

What Are Internal Links?

Internal links are URLs embedded into certain sections on your website which direct your visitors to other pages within the same website. This helps to guide your visitors to specific places based on the reason that they came to your site, making it easier for them to find what they need, therefore reducing your bounce rate.

There are a few forms of internal links including:

  • Menu Links

These are often used on the homepage or on a navigation bar to display all of the different pages within your website, so visitors can immediately skip to the page they need from the list.

  • Footer Links

These links often take visitors to policy pages or terms and conditions which may open up in a separate window but are otherwise hidden pages – meaning they cannot be accessed from a search engine.

  • Contextual Links

These are topical links embedded within copy on blogs or pages including paragraphs of information. They will encompass a relevant word or phrase which, when clicked on, will take the reader to a relevant page on the site that’s worth reading based on their interests.

Why Are Internal Links Essential For a Website’s Success?

Internal links are essential to your website’s success because they direct your visitors to the right place as soon as they enter. Visitors who find what they’re looking for easily are much more likely to visit your site again in the future.

This also helps you to create a valid customer journey that benefits your goals for the website. When people find your website, they’re most likely to enter through a search engine.

To maximize your chances of making a conversion, getting a new business lead or any other kind of conversion, you’ll need to guide your visitors from the landing page to other specific relevant pages on your site.

For example, if someone lands on your homepage, you may need to link them to your product pages and then to a payment page in order to get them to make a purchase and increase your conversion. Without internal links, your visitors wouldn’t be able to find the payments page (as this could be hidden), meaning you’d never make any sales.

Incidentally, we have developed a powerful WordPress plugin called the Internal Link Master. This plugin enables you to automate the internal linking process across your entire website.

 

 

The plugin provides relevant link suggestions across your pages and posts. You have full control of the linking that is applied.

You can also find and fix link errors across your site in seconds.

You can also set important link tags across your entire site with a click of a button, something that could take hours to do manually. Changing link tags might be changing them from “Do Follow” to “No Follow” or “Sponsored” or “User Generated” for example.

The Difference between Internal & External Links

The definition of an internal link is: –

A hyperlink/anchor text that is published on a page or post of a website, links/points to a different page or post on the same website

The definition of an external link is: –

A hyperlink/anchor text that is published on a page or post of a website, links/points to a different page or post on a different website

Also, you will virtually, always want your internal links to be set as the default “Do Follow”.

For external links, you should add relevant tags, such as: –

  • “No Follow”

  • “Sponsored”

  • “User Generated”

These are recommended because the default “Do Follow” link will bleed power and authority from your site to the site it is linking to.

The Benefits of Internal Links on SEO

Internal links can also help you to boost your rankings on search engines. Contextual links are usually URLs embedded onto the site using keywords which match with the topic on your site to direct visitors to read a little more or move them towards a different topic that may interest them.

A phenomenon which has recently been collared ‘falling down the rabbit hole.’ This is where people read an article which is linked to another article which they click on and begin reading the new one. The more links you have embedded into your website copy, the more likely it is that people will find your site using the keywords that they search for on a search engine.

The search engine will prioritize your page if the keywords searched for appear in headings or links, as these words are deemed to be important to your website.

Problems with Using Internal Links

While having a lot of internal links is a great idea for your site to boost its visibility, there are some things that you need to be careful of to avoid your links becoming a detriment.

How Many Links is Too Many?

Search engines operate using a ‘crawl limit.’ This means that they will only typically search through a certain number of words on your page in order to determine what your site is about and if it will be useful for the users searching.

The crawl limit regarding links on a page is around 150 links. This means that if you have more than 150 links on a single page, the search engine will decide whether your page is a spam page or a page designed for plugging other links. In this case, your page will be fully discounted by the search engine.

Search Box Walls

Most websites have a search function on the homepage. This is great from a user journey perspective; however, you also need to ensure that each page searched for is available by a physical link too.

If you can only access hidden pages via the search function, then they are totally useless when it comes to SEO. Any information on that page won’t be visible to the search engine, therefore limiting the usefulness of the content on there.

Linking to Dead or Corrupt Pages

When you’re managing your website, it’s also important to keep on top of dead or out of date links. Having a link that presents an error or leads to a blank page will harm your chances of getting to the top of search engine results pages. This is because it’s your ability to provide valuable answers to consumers which boosts your rankings.

Having links that present errors will show the search engine that you’re less valuable, pushing you down the results pages to make way for more valuable results.

Powerful
Internal Link Plugin


This powerful plugin automates your websites internal linking that maximize your rank performance on Google

SEO Has Never Been So Simple!