What are Internal Linking?
We speak of Internal Linking when within the same domain we create hyperlinks that link some pages to others. The most common are usually present in the main navigation , creating a hierarchy of information through the menu that spreads the authority or link juice through the different pages of the website.
- 1 What are Internal Linking?
- 2 Why is it so important?
- 3 3 reasons to create a good internal link structure
- 4 Tools to detect opportunities
- 5 Guidelines to improve the quality of your internal links
However, when we talk about Internal Linking we are not just referring to the main information architecture; We also have the different links between articles and content within the same domain . These types of hyperlinks are essential for navigation and reinforce the SEO value of the content, helping to create a network of related pages useful for both users and Google.
Why is it so important?
Because basically it is one of the few ways that the managers of a website have to tell Google that “X” page or content is important. The hyperlink is synonymous with authority , and those contents that collect the most links, whether internal or external, increase their level of quality. From a strategic point of view, internal linking helps the site to bridge the authority gap between the content that is most worth linking to and the most profitable or productive content.Optimizing the internal navigation structure provides significant results in improving SEO positioning in Google .
1. They improve the user experience, and Google likes it too.
Through Internal Linking we provide more reading options to users. They access a greater number of contents, which improves their context and allows them to expand the information on a topic in which they are interested.
2. They help improve rankings for certain keywords.
Although anchor texts do not rank as such, to some extent they help Google understand that the page we are linking to is relevant for searches related to the anchor terms.
3. Boost efficiency in website indexing.
Internal hyperlinks help Google and other search engines to crawl the website, improving indexing efficiency.
Tools to detect opportunities
1. Screaming Frog
Through Screaming Frog we can discover pages that can provide us with different opportunities in relation to internal links. Thanks to the tool we can identify both pages that need a greater number of links and the detection of pages with excess attention . In addition, the latest version of the tool allows its integration with Google Analytics and Search Console
Specifically, SF provides us with two very useful pieces of information related to internal linking: “level” and “inlinks” . Through the level , the tool analyzes the number of clicks from the home page (which should not exceed three sublevels), and through the inlinks tab we detect the number of internal links to the URI.
The objective is to identify both the most popular and the worst performing pages in order to establish possible links from the first to the second.
2. Search Console
The second tool that can help us improve internal links is Search Console . Within Search Traffic we must study both the external and internal links to find the most popular pages (usually the most linked and with a better positioning).
The main difference with Screaming Frog is that Search Console shows exactly how the Google spider crawled your page. Through this tool we look for outliers , pages that simply should not be where they are in terms of popularity (good or bad) and / or relevance.
3. Google Analytics
Once we have found the pages in which we want to add a link, we go to Google Analytics to be able to expand the information about the terms in Google: Acquisition> Search Engine Optimization> Queries . Through an advanced filter we include the average position of the terms.
Once the filter is applied, we see a list of terms and phrases for which your content competes from the second page of Google. The objective of this third step is to identify the pages of our website that occupy the first positions of the second page of Google , and that with a push of authority could improve their visibility and go up to the first page.
- Maintain a clear content and link strategy
Through the previous tools, it detects the contents that you need to reinforce and those that do not need to be linked (generally the first-level pages). The deeper the link, the better . To define an effective strategy, it is necessary to study how the user navigates and how we can provide them with relevant content.
- Add links in moderation and with the user in mind
The links have to be natural for reading and provide the user with information and context . Although the number of links depends on the length of the content, it is recommended not to exceed 3-4 links.
- Take into account other SEO factors
Do not forget the rest of SEO factors. Use follow links , work on the semantic richness of anchors, place the links in the upper area according to their importance, etc.
There are many generalized structures to introduce internal links throughout your website, not to mention the aforementioned main navigation structure (menus, footer, etc.) or hyperlinks in ecommerce (product> categories, categories> categories, products> products, etc.). These are just a few:
- Links from new content to old content
- Vice versa, links from old content to more current content
- Links to related relevant content
- Links from popular content (with more links or visits) to content with worse performance
- Links to articles that expand the information or provide additional resources for reading.
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