Internal Linking in SEO: The Importance and Benefits

Interlinking is one of the most underused & overlooked SEO strategies. I’ve written about it in many articles previously.

It helps search engine crawlers and creates a connection between relevant articles.

Visitors love when you connect relevant posts using internal linking. It just makes it very easy to navigate through topics all over your blog.

To get a higher ranking in SERPs, the page you wish to rank should have at least 30-50 internal links pointed to it.

But it takes significant time to add internal links to blog posts. And most beginners find it difficult to consistently add internal links.

So, the question is:

Are internal links worth the time and effort?

Yes. More than you’d think.

The Contents

  • What are Internal Links?
  • Why internal Links are SO Important?
  • Quick Internal Lining Strategy for Bloggers
  • The DOs & DON’Ts of Internal Linking
  • Summing-up

What are Internal Links?

Internal links are those hyperlinks that connect webpages of the same domain. Internal linking is basically linking webpage(s) on your domain with each other.

Unlike backlinks, you don’t link out to other external domains. Instead, you link your own blog posts, webpages, etc., pointed to the same domain.

Here’s an illustration:

It is a part of On-Page SEO. And of the easiest ways to increase the authority of your pages without backlink building.

Many times, SEOs refer to internal links as internal backlinks. It is also known as interlinks.

It doesn’t matter what you call them. As long as a link from domain A is pointing to Domain A, it is an internal link.

They can also be in the form of images and videos. When you link a presentation image to an article or link to a video from one of your articles.

These links shouldn’t be naked URLs. They must have an anchor text.

Not just any anchor text, internal links should always be linked with a targeted keyword as an anchor text.

Keep in mind that you do not use the “No-follow” tag in internal links. They should always be left as Dofollow links. Check out our detailed guide on Dofollow & Nofollow links to learn more.

How to add internal links in WordPress?

One of the many reasons why beginners should use WordPress is its sheer ease of use. Adding internal links in WordPress is fairly simple.

To do so, open the WordPress editor and start writing or editing a post/page.

Hover and select the number, image, letter, word, or sentence you want to add an internal link.

Then either click on the “Link 🔗” icon or hit command ⌘ + K on your keyboard.

Start typing the name of your post/page or even a custom post-type published article and suggestions will start to appear.

Click on the post/page you’d like to link and then click on the blue button to confirm.

Why internal Links are SO Important?

Google uses links to discover your website and subsequent pages. Although backlinks are one of the biggest ranking factors, internal links are just as important.

Internal links help Google to understand your content. These links help Google understand the structure of your website.

When you link one blog post with another, Google’s crawlers find their way through it and establish a connection. This connection is used by Search Algorithms to determine the quality, relevancy, and authority of your content.

SEO works around links. Internal or external, the links to a domain represent its authority.

It passes the link juice throughout connected webpages and raises the authority of your domain.

Make no mistake about it, internal links are literally the only way to pass the link juice throughout your website.

Your SEO strategy is absolutely week if you’re not utilizing their power. Not only do these links boost the SEO, but user engagement levels also have a drastic lift as soon as you add highly relevant links inside your content.

Think about it, a backlink adds up to increase domain authority.

But how do you define authority if specific pages and posts on your website?

A backlink is only pointing to your domain. It does nothing to tell the search engine what pages should have higher authority over others on your website.

This is only possible when you add internal links that point to the webpages you want to rank higher. They help you pass the “backlink juice” to your targeted pages and posts.

Strategically, you should add internal links to the posts and pages you want to rank higher frequently throughout your website.

Add links to the high-value pages on your website. Ideally, the pages you WANT your visitors to visit. We are talking about landing pages or sales pages to turn these visitors into leads or, better yet, customers.

If you strategically link to the high-value pages, you can create an automated pipeline-like structure. A structure that will navigate your visitors from low converting pages to high converting pages naturally.

And guess what when people naturally get an offer that’s exactly what they need?

They turn into customers faster.

We’ll take a look at how to prepare a quick internal linking strategy later in this article.

Internal links also help build a hierarchy of pages where you can define what pages hold the most value. Content marketers often utilize the hierarchy structure of pages using these links to create Content Silos.

The Content Silos are basically a planned structure of relevant or in-sequence articles grouped together & connected with each other using internal links for easy navigation.

The main purpose of Content Silo is to increase a website’s niche authority and improve page rank (yes, page rank is still an SEO ranking factor).

To summarize the importance of internal links, they:

  • Enhance website Crawlability (pass link juice from page-to-page)
  • Improve page authority.
  • Improve user experience.
  • Ease of navigation on your website.
  • Reduce bounce rate.

Often, content writers tend to leave internal linking onto the editors.

Efficient editors are very good at their job. Take my editor Dave for example. He ensures that every post published here on BforBloggers has internal links with proper anchor text.

We currently use Link Whisper.

Link Whisper suggestions for adding internal links.

It has made the whole process a lot faster and simpler.

Not only do we save a lot of time by skipping the process of scanning the whole article manually, but we also don’t miss out on connecting internal links with the most relevant anchor text.

However, a large percentage of editors don’t do it. Especially if you don’t have an in-house editor.

They would add two links here and one link there, and it’s done. No targeting anchor text, no keyword relevancy, and zero thought to user experience.

Is it better to add a few irrelevant internal links than none?

Absolute no.

Doing so can hurt your SEO and ruin the user experience. It’s not going to increase your articles’ rank if you don’t provide an anchor text with the internal link.

Search engine crawlers scan the anchor text. This data is then passed on to the algorithm, which decides if your content is relevant to the anchor text (keyword) or not.

If the relevancy and quality are both high, you should definitely notice an increase in your SERPs rankings and organic traffic, naturally.

People won’t understand the point of such links. Since they don’t think it would help them know something new and help them find something they are looking for, they won’t click on it.

Which means these type of internal links are obsolete.

Now that you know the bad type of internal links, let’s look at how to use them to enhance SEO.

Quick Internal Lining Strategy for Bloggers

Following is an internal linking strategy for bloggers that’s both quick to implement and effective.

#1: Find Your High-Converting Landing Pages

Login to your Google Analytics dashboard.

Once there, click on behavior, select site content, and click on “landing pages.” For more details, check out my step-by-step tutorial to find your blog’s top landing pages.

Google Analytics landing page report will show you the links that are getting maximum first sessions.

These pages are already performing well, and that’s why they are an amazing way to navigate new visitors to a conversion-focused page of your choice. It could be a product, a service, a lead generation, or anything else.

The point being, these top landing pages will work as a gateway for you to turn your visitors into customers if only you let them where you want them to go.

And how will you accomplish this?

By adding internal links using your targeted keyword inside the content of these top landing pages. Doing so will help your linked pages get more link juice, visitor growth, and authority.

#2: Find Blog Posts on Page 2 of Google SERPs

You can get your blog posts from page 2 to page 1 of Google SERPs using internal links.

To do this, first, you’ll need to find the blog posts that are ranking on the second page, i.e., on the position from 11 to 20.

I recommend using SERMrush, Ahrefs, or Mangools.

For SEMrush users, log in to your dashboard and enter your domain in the Organic Search reports bar. Click on the positions bar to sort the links.

Select 11-20 range and SEMrush Organic Search report will now show you all the links of your domain that are not on page #2 of Google search results.

Ahrefs users can use the Ahref’s Rank Tracker tool and filter the report to show links on positon 11-20.

For Mangools users, log in to your SERPWatcher dashboard. Enter your domain in the search bar and generate a SERP report.

Click on filter toggle. In the Current Position fields, enter 11 and 20. Again, this will help you check all the links of your domain stuck on page 2.

What’s next?

I’d highly recommend you to implement this step. You’ll notice immediate positive results in your positioning if you do.

It’s surely time-taking, but the results are impressive.

To proceed with this step, you’ll need the data from the report where we discovered the ranking links on page #2.

Login to your Google Search Console. Select performance, and under the search report section, click on the open report.

Now click on the “New” button at the top and select Page.

Click on the drop-down menu and select Exact URL. Here you need to enter a link of your domain ranking on page #2 of Google.

Google search console (GSC) will immediately show you all the keywords that the link is ranking for. Since your link is already ranking for these keywords, all you need to do is increase their authority to move them from page #2 to #1.

Link to these articles using the GSC keyword(s) for each article as their anchor text. Mix up the seed keywords with long-tail keywords so that they fit in naturally.

In a few weeks, you’ll notice a significant rank boost.

Pro tip: Make your content even more solid, add more information, do a little outreach as well, and your chances of getting to the top will increase.

The DOs & DON’Ts of Internal Linking

You know what internal linking is. You know how important it is. You even know how to execute a perfect strategy to utilize their SEO benefits.

It’s time to learn about some of the things you should/can do with internal links.

And then, the things you should definitely not do.

Dos of internal linking:

  • Always add highly relevant links.
  • Add them naturally, as if they flow with the content.
  • Always use an anchor text.
  • Add alt tag to visual links.
  • Go deep within your pages, link old articles, and be useful, informative, and relevant.

Don’ts

  • Don’t repeat the same, exact match keyword in all links.
  • Don’t add too many. Keep it below 5 per 100 words.
  • Don’t add naked URLs.
  • Don’t orphan old posts. Keep adding relevant links regardless of the date published.
  • Don’t use the “nofollow” attribute.

Summing-up

All in all, internal links are a quintessential part of On-Page SEO.

In fact, it’s a must. You should always try and add relevant links to your blog posts.

When adding internal links, you need to think like a human, not a robot. Don’t bother about the SEO.

Add the links where they seem to fit in and have some relevance to the surrounding sentences and words. Also, don’t forget to add anchor text every time.

You can also add them to images but make sure to add alt tags as well.

And don’t mark these links as no-index or nofollow.

I hope you’ve learned everything about internal links.

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Want to add something, or do you have a question to ask?

Let me know in the comments.

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