Your search engine optimization efforts heavily depend on your linking strategy. While the power of backlinks is rarely underestimated, interlinking is often overlooked.
Proper internal linking doesn’t just give you better chances of ending up on the first page of Google search results. It simplifies website navigation and keeps visitors there longer thus boosting your conversion efforts.
In this article, we’ll talk about what interlinking is and why you must focus on it. You will also find answers to the most common interlinking questions.
Internal linking or interlinking for SEO involves creating links within your website content that lead to other website content. Basically, you are making a link that sends the reader to another page of your website.
For example, when you create a blog post, you may want to insert a link to another piece of content that can help the reader understand the subject better. You can also link to product or service pages to lead visitors through the sales funnel.
Proper interlinking comes with a variety of benefits:
Increases the time a single visitor spends on your website
Reduces the bounce rate
Increases the ranking for certain keywords
Increases the quality of Google crawling
Can increase website rankings
By adding internal links organically, you don’t just increase the value of your current content, you can up the ranking of old blog posts.
How many internal links are too many? When it comes to linking, most SEO specialists recommend adding as many as the author sees fit. However, there is always a chance of adding too many links for the content to stop appearing readable.
Google Webmaster Guidelines used to limit the number of links on one webpage to 100. However, they scrapped this rule, allowing content writers to insert as many links as they wish. In any case, you’d need to make sure all links are useful and added organically to avoid being penalized for using a link scheme.
The number of links you insert in your content piece also depends on its length. Inserting more than 10 links in a 500-word blog post may seem too much. However, a 5,000-word wiki article can have as many as 100 links and appear highly readable.
After adding as many links as you see fit, check how the article looks and get a second opinion. By inserting too many links, you can overwhelm readers and lose them mid-text.
So how many internal links per post should you use? Try to limit yourself to one link per 100 words.
Learning how to do interlinking in SEO is an integral part of any search engine optimization campaign. Let’s dig deeper into the best practices for internal linking on your website.
Any SEO expert will tell you that content is king. It’s the center of any search engine optimization effort, and internal linking isn’t an exception. The more content you create and place on your website, the more links you can insert. It’s as easy as that.
The tougher part is the quality of the content. Publishing articles simply for interlinking purposes is only a good idea if they carry value. Otherwise, you could hinder the rest of your website’s promotional efforts.
While Google doesn’t give clear guidelines about the length of content it prefers to see on a website, for interlinking purposes, the longer it is, the better. Meanwhile, longer content can help you use more keywords to help optimize your website even further.
Anchors – the pieces of text you hyperlink are highly important to the quality of your interlinking efforts. Try not to use too many keywords as anchors. Just make sure a reader can tell from an anchor where the link is leading. Otherwise, they may not click and fail to proceed to helpful content elsewhere on your website.
Keep anchor text as relevant to the content is possible. Google may already be adjusting its algorithms to analyze the relevance of your anchor text and making it a ranking factor.
Avoid overstuffing anchor text with keywords since it may raise a red flag for Google.
There is no limit as to how long the anchor text should be. However, avoid using long sentences since they make skimming complicated.
Avoid using one-word anchors. They are rarely informative enough to encourage the reader to click.
The deeper you link within your website, the better it is for your SEO efforts. Try to avoid linking to the homepage and “contact us” page. Most likely, you are linking too much to these pages anyway, since they are part of the majority of your CTA (calls to action).
Focus on linking to blog posts, service pages, description pages, and the like. This effort can help you strengthen internal pages and help them get to the high spots of the search engine result pages.
In short, try to not link to the top-level pages of your website. These pages already get enough attention. The rule of thumb is: if you can access the page from the main menu, it doesn’t need too many internal links pointing to it.
Make sure your links lead to pages, which may not be easily accessible to the user yet containing the necessary information.
The main pillars of a perfect interlinking strategy are relevancy and readability. Make sure you use different anchors for different pages of your website. When Google sees the same anchors, it believes that the two pages you link to contain content about the same topic.
Whenever you are finished creating internal links in one piece of content, make sure to see if the text is still readable. Too much hyperlinked text (in one place or all over the content) can make the article hard to digest.
Once you are finished with internal linking in your current content, make sure to analyze how well you managed to get the job done. Use Google Search Console’s section called “links”. You can use it to see how links on your website are structured.
It can help you understand how many internal links your website has and the number of links that point to each page.
Check all links to make sure they are valid. Try to avoid using nofollow links.
Interlinking for SEO seems straightforward from the first glance. In reality, you need to pay special attention to integrate best practices. Let’s look at common questions related to internal links.
A: When used correctly, internal links can boost your rankings and reduce the bounce rate. Additionally, it can assist with your marketing efforts and improve conversions.
A: Internal nofollow links have a “rel=”nofollow” tag. Google doesn’t crawl these links so they don’t help you with your rankings. Meanwhile, the users see them the same way they see follow links.
A: Several tools, like SEMrush, exist to help you discover all internal and external links on the website and analyze their quality and relevance. You can use these tools to check how your competitors are handling their internal linking campaigns as well.
A: Adding an internal link is similar to creating an external one. It involves four simple steps.
A: There is no official limit. However, all links must be relevant.
A: WordPress websites have several simple ways of adding internal links. The process is almost instantaneous and requires basic knowledge of the platform’s interface.
A: The best time to start interlinking is when you post the first piece of content on your website. The earlier you begin, the easier it would be to take full advantage of this strategy.
Even though internal linking seems straightforward, it requires just as much attention as backlinking and other SEO strategies. Without implementing proper interlinking practices, you may be losing your chance at improving your rankings.
The key to your internal linking strategy is creating relevant content and linking to it whenever it seems that a reader can benefit from it. By structuring internal links according to best practices, you can boost the value of your website, bring in more visitors, and settle on the first page of Google’s search results.