What are Internal Links? 3 Best Strategies to optimize internal linking for SEO

What is Internal Links? 3 Strategies to optimize internal linking for SEO

You may already know that, I am a big fan of backlinks through shared posts.

The truth is, I love using internal links just as much. Unfortunately, they are something that is often underestimated in Onpage SEO, in usability, and conversions. Internal linking is easy to implement, easy to manage… but often overlooked.

The special thing is that that will no longer be the case!

This post provides guidance for building a strong internal linking strategy. In it, we’ll look at three types of internal linking that can produce really different results. And all three of these types can be added to your website simply and easily.

But first, we must know what is Internal Link.

Internal Link Overview

Internal Link is often not focused in the SEO website process, maybe because it is easy to do, many of you have skipped this step. So, what is Internal Link? And does it help the website to be better optimized? Let’s find out together!

What is Internal Link?

Internal Link (Internal Link) is a link from one page to another page of the same domain (Domain). Of course, your website navigation, and website menu (Website navigation) is an example of internal linking. But Internal Links usually refer to links within the content on pages.

What is Internal Link?
What is Internal Link?

Why do you need to create an Internal Link?

If you have read carefully the concept of Internal Link, you must have partly understood the important role of creating internal links, right? Meanwhile, creating Internal Link does not take too much time to implement, but if you ignore this work item, it will greatly affect the SEO efficiency of your website. To reinforce my point, I will point out 3 reasons you need to create an Internal Link:

  • Help transfer prestige and power from one site to another.
  • Direct visitors to pages with higher conversion value.
  • Help drive actionable visitors to respond to calls to action.

These are important reasons that underpin the three components of the funnel you want to generate leads for in your business.

3 Benefits of Internal Links

The role of Internal Link is quite important. So what are the reasons that increase the importance of Internal Link?

Internal linking is very important for the following three reasons. It helps strengthen the three components of your funnel.

  1. Transfer authority (authority) from one page to another (search engine optimization: SEO)
  2. Direct visitors to high-value and high-converting pages. (usability: Usability)
  3. Motivate visitors to act in response to calls to action. (call-to-action) (conversion optimization: Conversion Optimization)

Soon, we’ll dive into affiliate tips for each of these benefits. And are you interested in Share Tool’s list of the 3 best internal linking apps to use?

Let’s get started!

1: Links Potentially Affecting SEO Rankings

First, remember 1 rule. Reputation on the internet “flows” from one website to another through links.

When site A links to site B, site A transfers some of the credibility/authority to site B while increasing the ranking of site B. This authority is sometimes referred to as “link juice.” “. But most SEO-ers call it “Reputation”. (Authority).

Links coming from other websites transmit “Domain Rating” (or Domain Authority). These links contribute to the authority (and are more likely to be ranked) of all the pages on your site. That’s something internal linking can’t do.

Internal linking does not increase the overall authority of your site. But they do transmit authority between pages within the site.

Internal Links transmit “Url Rating” (Page authority) from one site to another. Through links, pages can help each other rank high in search engines.

Compare internal and external links

Here is a quick look at the difference between internal and external linking in SEO.

How to get the best SEO value from internal linking:

  • Some of your pages have more power & authority than others. These are the pages that the link points to. Home is the best example. Links from home pages to other pages transmit more authority and SEO value.
  • Some of your sites benefit from more authority than others.
    These are pages that could have been ranked, but not high. They’re probably ranking high on page 2. So a little bit of credibility can help them move up the top.

Linking from the first category page to the second category page is easy, free, and fast. And it can make a big difference in rankings and traffic. Here’s how to find out the above 2 types of pages.

Get to the top of thousands of keywords with the Link Wheel model. So what is Link Wheel? Find out now!

Which pages òha the most authority?

Use Ahrefs to test. Just enter your domain name and click “Best By Link”. It will show you all your pages, sorted by “UR.”

Links from sites with higher authority will pass the most authority and ranking potential, these are the sites you want to link to.

Which of your pages ranks high?

Use Google Webmaster Tools to find easy-to-reach goals. Find pages that are close to the top 10/top 5 and use a nudge to push them higher. You should analyze SEO and find pages that rank right in the search results.

STEP 1:

Go to the Google Search Console report, select Search Result, and set the date range: within three months (so this report will not include data older than 90 days).

STEP 2:

Filter for terms that you rank higher than 10 & have high impressions. This usually means you’re ranking at the top of page two in Google.

STEP 3:

Sort by average position. There is a list of terms that you rank high & the corresponding impression (Impression is visibility). The higher the impression, the more users search for that keyword.

STEP 4:

Build Internal Links to the page you consider “need” to promote the fastest to reap the fruits of it. Usually, the pages near the top 10 position have a high impression.

2: Links that direct visitors to a high-converting page

Obviously, some special pages attract more visitors than most. Usually, this is because they already rank high or share a lot of useful information.

Some pages urge more visitors to “take action”. In Content Marketing, this is usually because they have successfully converted a high percentage of visitors into followers (visitors -> subscribers) or turned them into customers using the service/product. They are sites with high conversion rates.

Linking high-traffic sites to pages that drive them to action can make a significant impact on the marketing side of things. A small link can help connect your traffic into real customers.

Well, there’s another little note for you. Use high-traffic sites to link to SEO sites. This will help these SEO sites get more traffic and promote higher rankings.

Which pages of your website attract the most traffic?

This is easy to test in Analytics. Just go to the Behavior > Site content > All Pages report. Choose a suitable time range, ranging from 3 to 6 months. The report is sorted in order of the most viewed pages, this is a list of your top traffic pages.

Note: When looking at the list from top to bottom, think about pages that have had traffic spikes due to PR campaigns or Email campaigns. Remember that those events will not repeat.

3: Links that compel visitors to take action (calls to action)

I think you’ve learned a lot about the internal linking aspect that promotes SEO by now. In this section, I will talk a little bit about marketing.

Internal Link for marketing

Your goal (as a Digital Marketer) is to attract as many visitors as possible. Then introduce and present powerful marketing statements. At the same time, support those affirmations with specific, persuasive, clever examples to lead users to action.

Then, Internal Link will be a great tool to remind users to make interactions.

Take a look at the bottom of your marketing pages.

  • Where does the text end?
  • Are there suggestions for visitors to take action?
  • Any suggestions for support?
  • Does it start a conversation?
  • Or is the page simply over?

Here are some examples that you can put under your marketing articles, as calls-to-action.

You can imagine that these internal links are small but contribute to generating a certain number of potential customers.

Well, of course, there are many other ways to motivate customers to take action by optimizing CTA buttons, but see you in the next articles so I can make it clear!

Internal Link Classification

When you invest resources in building internal links, the website structure and content are closely linked and better optimized. This makes it easier for the Google bot to crawl the content on the website. Currently, Internal Links are divided into two main categories: navigation and contextual.

What is Navigational Internal Link?

This type of internal link is created with the primary purpose of navigating the user. When you implement Navigational Internal Links throughout your website, you will make it easier for users to find what they want.
Usually, to help users quickly find the necessary information, website managers will place this information right in the menu bar, footer, or a sidebar. The simpler the placement of this information, the smoother the user experience on the website.

What is Contextual Internal Link?

Contextual Internal Link is also known as contextual internal linking, this is a technique of attaching links to the main content of the article. Links placed in the article content are often pointed to other pages with related topics.

To attract users, you can highlight these links by highlighting or coloring them to encourage users to click. The user will then be redirected to a new page where you most want them to be found.

Understanding the activities of each type of Internal Link will help you build a reasonable internal linking strategy, thereby promoting SEO results for your website.

Guide to optimizing a website with Internal Link

Building internal links are not too complicated, but also optimizing the website to make it easier for Google bots to crawl and index the content. Then there is no reason for you to skip this category, right? Let’s learn how to optimize your website with Internal Link in just 6 steps!

Step 1: Identify Pillar pages that need to be optimized to the Top

The first thing you need to do is to sort out the Pillar pages that need to be optimized to get to the top. Typically, these Pillar sites will target broad keywords with high search volume. The next thing you need to do is identify topics and keywords to plan content production.

Step 2: List Pillar pages and keywords to build Internal Links

Pillar pages are built around the big theme your website is working on. This will be the main page for a particular topic. Below the Pillar page will be clusters that go deeper into the details of each of the sub-contents mentioned in the pillar.

Clusters need an internal link pointing to the pillar page to show coherence and indicate that the main site is the most authoritative and central source of content.

If you do not know what pillar and cluster are, you can learn more in the article: What is a Topic Cluster? 7 Steps to deploy Topic Cluster for website 2022

Step 3: Select Anchor Text that is relevant and suitable for the content of the page to be linked

At this step, many of you will wonder whether to use the target keyword to make Anchor Text or not.

Using Anchor Text with the main keyword to go to Internal Link will not affect SEO efficiency. This only affects if you point the link outside the website, when applied to the internal link, it has no effect.

Select Anchor Text that is relevant and suitable for the content of the page to be linked
Select Anchor Text that is relevant and suitable for the content of the page to be linked

Notes when choosing Anchor Text for the best effect:

  • Diversity: You should use diversification of Anchor Text if possible, it will help your article be more natural because only using the main keyword.
  • Length: If you use long variations of your main keyword, it will help increase your target page rankings. Just make sure those keyword variations match the user’s search trends.
  • Relevance: Never force an Anchor Text internal link to exactly match a piece of content. Use them as naturally as possible without losing relevance.

Step 4: Determine the authority on the website

The highest authority pages are those that have a lot of links pointing back to outside sources. You can distribute these links to other sites using Internal Links. You can use the SEMrush tool to analyze backlinks to generate relevant website links.

Step 5: Use Internal Link to increase the ranking of the target pages

The next thing you need to do is a link from the highest authority pages to the pages you want to improve their rankings, note that if the site does not contain relevant content, you absolutely cannot. link together.

Step 6: Use Internal Link to optimize new content for the website

In case your website doesn’t have a lot of links yet, you can consult high authority websites to identify relevant link generation opportunities for SEO optimization.

You can search on Google with keywords in your new content section to find related pages and links to your website. Ideally, there should be at least two to three internal links per new page, and they should originate from high authority sites.

Summary of criteria to optimize Internal Link for website

To optimize your website with Internal Links to be most effective, you should adhere to the following principles:

Place Internal Links on sites with lots of quality backlinks

Choose sites with lots of quality backlinks to point to
Choose sites with lots of quality backlinks to point to

If you put links on sites that have a lot of quality backlinks pointing to them, it means that your website will receive a lot of power and authority from other sites pointing to it. From there, you will be evaluated well by Google and prioritized you in high rankings on the search engine.

Number of Internal Links pointing to the website

Some principles of linking you should know to ensure that the Internal Link building process is highly effective:

  • All Internal Links must point to the homepage.
  • Internal Links must point to the Category that contains it and the other Category.
  • Need an Internal Link to point to the articles before it, and after it.
  • Internal links must point to the site itself.

Only you create an Internal Link according to what I have instructed you above will help your website have more uniform DR indexes between pages. In addition, it also increases Page Authority, and speeds up Index time.

Set Links according to the user’s search journey

With each type of Internal Link, there will be different ways to place links to suit each article. To know what type of Internal Link to use, you need to understand what is the search intent and user behavior in this article. From there, there are appropriate ways to go Internal Link to bring them really useful information.

Some effective SEO Internal Link models

In the process of SEO optimization, most of your time will be spent on On-page SEO optimization, which includes link-building work that occupies a very important part. Therefore, researching to build a suitable Internal Link model for the website is an extremely important step before starting implementation. In this chapter 5, I will introduce to you some effective SEO Internal Link models that you can refer to and apply to your website.

Pyramid model

SEO Internal Link is a form of linking from the homepage to smaller categories. And vice versa, the categories will link back to the homepage with related keywords on your homepage.

Pyramid model
Pyramid model

Note that for important categories, you should arrange them in a reasonable place to make them easy for users to see. This link model is suitable for you to SEO for category pages and homepage.

Wheel model

The wheel model will be suitable for websites that need SEO for many different keywords on the same website. If the pyramid model is to focus only on searching and navigating to a single destination, the wheel model will be divided equally among subpages throughout the website.

Wheel model
Wheel model

The downside of this model is that you will spend a lot of time on keyword SEO, and it will not be appreciated by Google because Google’s bots cannot find the landing page.

You should base on your SEO purpose to consider choosing the right Internal Link model.

Silo Model

Silo structure is a type of structure represented through the Internal Link model to help connect & show relationships between pages. If you follow the link in the silo model, it will help the Google bot to easily crawl, save time & budget, and help users to the website to access the product.

Silo Model
Silo Model

How to check the website’s Internal Links

Internal Linking is one of the techniques to help your website’s SEO process be more effective. Even for keywords with average search volume, as long as you do a good Internal Link, the keyword can still be on page 1 of Google. It sounds easy, but actually, in the process, you will encounter many different problems related to Internal Link. In this chapter 6, I will show you how to solve each problem when you get an Internal Link error!

Guide to checking internal links

To come up with a perfect internal link-building strategy, you need to know how your website is doing right now.

To assess the current state of your website, first, go to the SEMrush website checker tool and enter your website’s domain name. SEMrush will display a report and help you see which internal links are appearing on your website.

This report will provide you with 5 main types of information:

  • Page crawl depth
  • Internal Links
  • Distributing internal links
  • Internal linking issues
  • Pages that surpass most internal Link Rank

Extracted from the SEMrush report will help you have the most comprehensive view of the current internal linking structure on the website. From there, you will know how to plan and strategize the right internal link building for your website.

Some common problems with Internal Link

The SEMrush report also shows the problems your website is having with Internal Links. Here I will show you some common problems with Internal Link and how to fix them.

Broken link

Broken link
Broken link
  • Problem: Error displayed as 404, this error usually occurs when the Internal Link is broken, causing both users and search engines to be directed to non-existent Web pages.
  • Fix: The best way you can fix it is to remove or replace the link with one that points to a live page.

Links are not crawlable

  • Problem: Incorrect URL causing the link to fail and not to be crawlable This problem could be because the URL already contains unnecessary characters.
  • Fix: Please reformat the broken links to fix the problem.

Too many Internal Links on the page

  • Problem: Your site is most likely containing too many internal links, if you check the site report table you will see them being flagged. In truth, there is no established norm for how many links a page may include. However, having too many Internal Links will make your website overloaded, affecting the quality and rankings.
  • Fix: You conduct a website audit and find which pages contain more than 3,000 links, then proceed to delete them.

Nofollow attribute in internal links

Nofollow attribute in internal links
Nofollow attribute in internal links
  • Problem: The Nofollow attribute in links will limit the flow of Google through your site.
  • Fix: You can remove the Nofollow attribute from flagged internal links to fix this.

Page Crawl Depth exceeds 3 Clicks

  • Problem: A page takes more than 3 clicks to view, causing search engines to consider it unimportant. As such, your site cannot get high rankings on Google.
  • Fix: If those are important pages, you should put them in places where you can lose certain clicks to help users access the content faster.

Full redirect (301 redirects)

Full redirect (301 redirect)
Full redirect (301 redirects)
  • Problem: 301 redirects can reduce your crawl budget.
  • Fix: Remove redirects and update internal links to send users and search engines directly to the landing page.

Chain & loop redirects

  • Problem: Internal Links trigger chain redirects and loops that make it difficult for search engines to crawl.
  • Fix: You do as the way to fix 301 redirects that is updating internal links to send users and search engines.

Redirect HTTPS links to HTTP

  • Problem: You misplaced the URLs pointing to the HTTP page and caused unnecessary redirects.
  • Fix: You can manually update any HTTP links to point to HTTPS pages.

Use Internal Link for high efficiency

How to use Internal Link effectively is a problem that not everyone can do. That’s why I’ll show you how to use internal linking safely and effectively through Chapter 7!

One of the problems I see while analyzing a bunch of websites is this: Too many of you use exact keyword anchor text in your internal links and it doesn’t look natural at all.

Let me give you an example:

I understand that you want to use Anchor Text keywords to promote the words you need SEO. But what does it mean if no one clicks? It is true that in terms of SEO, it can help push that keyword up even though no one clicks on it.

But it will be ten times better if users click on it, at this time both SEO will be much more beneficial, as well as the best thing is that you have users who will follow your article/product. So the likelihood of your order being increased again.

Personally, if I were to use it, I would use any type of Anchor Text from containing keywords to not containing (will want to include keywords, of course). But the most important thing of all is the nature and value it brings to the user.

So here’s the use of internal linking that I think works best:

Pointing to internal links with useful information

An internal link can be understood as a link to another page on the same website, which itself has a certain correlation to the issue being talked about in the article or explains more about that issue.

Usually, in a blog post, you should add more than 2 internal link points that you think users might be interested in and click on that information source.

Pointing internal links to articles helps Google see that your website is really useful because of its ability to direct traffic from one page to another and attract users to interact on many pages.

Build menu

The menu system is an indispensable element for all websites, including the main items and featured content contained on the web.

Through the Menu, Google as well as users can easily grasp what sections the website has, and how the content of each page is, both convenient and time-saving.

Therefore, the construction of the menu requires it to be very clear and precise so as to highlight the main topic of each page.

Build internal links in the footer of the website

Internal links in the footer of the website are not as appreciated as when you put them at the top, but not so that this factor is ignored.

The content that you place internal links under the website footer usually includes the following sections:

  • Basic information about the business
  • Sub-menu
  • Current products/services
  • Outstanding events are and will take place
  • Website Terms and Policy

Consider the number of Internal Links

Effective internal link building doesn’t mean getting as many links as possible. Google also doesn’t set any rules on the number of internal links per page. Therefore, no one knows how many links are reasonable.

You are free to think about this for yourself, specifically allocating internal links according to a certain system and especially having to link perfectly to the article to get the best click-through rate.

Show navigation bar (Breadcrumb)

The navigation bar (Breadcrumb) is the bar displayed below the main menu, including the parent folders of the article. In each directory, there are many more articles on the same topic to help readers learn and refer more conveniently.

It would be a big mistake to hide the navigation bar because it has the ability to point to many internal links to different directories within the same site.

Use Anchor Text Description

Anchor Text is the bolded text in links that people often click to go to other pages.

To provide visitors and search engines with content they will read when they click on a link, you need to use a concise, clear Anchor Text description tag.

Create a link structure for crawling

Search engines need access to the link structure in order to easily find and index all the pages on a given website.

Furthermore, the link structure allows link juice to flow through the entire website; at the same time, making it easier for search engines to discover and index new pages.

Avoid links in request submission forms and internal search boxes

Website forms often show up as drop-down menus or simply through user surveys.

However, the search crawler does not address the “submit” section of the form. This implies that search engines cannot access the information or links accessible via the form.

Plus, search crawlers won’t even try to find the content on your site. Therefore, it is important that you do not hide any content behind the internal search boxes.

Use follow links

Both the robots meta tag and the robots.txt file allow site owners to restrict search crawler access to a website’s pages.

So, if you want search engines to find pages on your site, use follow links so they can follow those links to discover new pages on the site.

Follow links are also a great support tool in building internal linking structure for Content Marketing campaigns.

Link deep

Instead of linking to pages that are already in the main navigation of your website, we recommend looking for other opportunities with deep linking in your site structure.

In other words, instead of always linking to the homepage or contact information pages, point the links to other internal pages to increase the overall SEO value of the website.

This will ensure that both search engines and website visitors can find the pages on the website and easily extract the content on them.

Use Natural Links

When inserting Internal Link in the article, you seem to be informing the reader that the content in the link is also quite important, please pause and try clicking on the link to find out.

So you need to make sure that the internal linking you add provides value to your readers and is relevant to the topic of the page they are currently on. That way, they’ll spend more time and engagement on your site.

Use the right number of links

Another important thing you need to keep in mind is to make sure the number of internal links on your website is reasonable, not too much, not too little.

Internal links can appear in headers, footers, navigation bars, and even as attachments in ad campaigns.

However, search engines typically only crawl about 150 links per page, before they stop discovering pages linked from the original site.

While this number is potentially flexible and high authority pages can have 200 – 250 links followed, it is still best to limit the number of links on a page to 150.

Also, the links at the top of the page often carry more SEO value, so you should put the most important links at the top of the website page.

In short, instead of scattering unrelated links across multiple pages, add internal links to pages that contain relevant content, to provide visitors and search engines with a great deal of valuable information.

Pages you should and shouldn’t link to

While adding internal links is a pretty safe strategy, don’t worry about getting penalized. But how to add them effectively is not simple at all, especially depending on the type of content you are dealing with:

Types of pages you should link to:

  • High Conversion Rate Pages – Usually product/service informational pages or review/testimonials pages, capable of converting site visitors into paying customers via call-to-conversion. Convincing action, compelling titles and eye-catching graphics. That’s why you should prioritize pointing internal links to these pages, in order to increase the number of visitors on the page.
  • Pages with a lot of content – ​​This is considered a convenient internal linking strategy that is extremely effective. Long-form content articles are often great for SEO, as well as potentially increasing website value significantly. So actively drive internal links between content-rich pages.
  • Deep pages – In internal link building, the deeper the target link the better. Deep pages are usually pages that are not linked in the home page title, such as the about page or the Main Service Description page.

Types of pages you should not link to:

One of the biggest mistakes webmasters make in link building, is focusing too much on links to the homepage.

Linking to the homepage doesn’t really help the reader, because the home page is the easiest to find. And most of all, any website has more than enough links pointing to its homepage.

Similar to the About page or contact information page, adding internal links is not a good strategy. Instead, you should focus on deeper links.

Should focus on deeper links
Should focus on deeper links

Conclusion

You have complete control over your website, so internal links are the easiest to build to boost SEO.
Hopefully, through this article, you will find the answer to what Internal links are, as well as how to use Internal Links and the benefits it brings. And if it is still quite vague, you can refer to the overall picture by the SEO process that Share Tool has outlined.

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