9 best practices for improving your SEO with internal linking

by | Oct 25, 2023 | Marketing, Public Relations

Search engine optimization plays an essential role in helping businesses grow their online presence. It allows business owners to attract relevant traffic without having to invest excessively in paid promotions.

There’s a vast majority of people that leverage search engines to find answers to their questions. And SEO helps you score a top spot among search recommendations on queries you intend to target.

This makes it easier for businesses to increase brand awareness and capture quality leads for the sales funnel.

When it comes to improving your SEO, there are a variety of factors that come into play. However, in this article, we will be discussing a factor that often goes unnoticed, and that is internal linking.

Internal linking plays a major role in helping you become search engine friendly and achieve higher rankings than your competition.

Here are the best practices you need to consider when improving your SEO with internal linking:

What is internal linking?

Before we dive into internal linking best practices, it’s best that we explore the concept first and learn about its importance.

Internal linking is a tactic that connects different pages on your website with one another. It requires you to use hyperlinks that may be used by your visitors to jump from the linking page to the one that’s linked.

Unlike external links that link your pages to third-party domains, internal links direct visitors to pages or information published on the same site.

There are a variety of perks associated with internal linking. For starters, internal linking helps you ensure a seamless content navigation experience for your visitors.

It makes it easier for your visitors to find relevant information published on your website and make informed decisions.

Furthermore, internal linking fuels your SEO. It helps search engines crawl your site with ease, assess its topical depth, and index your pages.

This makes it possible for you to outmaneuver your competition and climb the SERPs faster on the intended queries.

Well-thought-out internal linking helps boost your authority and enables you to generate more organic traction. To ensure it, it’s best that you follow the standard best practices and get more eyeballs with ease.

Internal linking best practices

Now that we know about internal linking and its importance, let’s explore the internal linking best practices you should follow to improve your SEO.

  • Select a fitting anchor text

It’s best to select a fitting anchor text when linking one page to another on your website. Anchor texts represent words or phrases that you choose as hyperlinks to create internal links. 

An anchor text should resonate with the content on the linked page. This helps your visitors navigate useful information on your website and find the answers they seek.

However, it’s important to ensure that the anchor text is not the same as the focus keyword of the linked page. This may do more harm than good and have a negative impact on your rankings.

The goal here is to help your visitors know what to expect when clicking the link. And careful selection of an anchor text may help you get the job done.

  • Pick the right place to add the link

Be strategic when it comes to the placement of your links. To be honest, there’s no right or wrong spot. So, an ideal placement may vary from one use case to another.

However, adding internal links at the top of your pages may be a great idea and help you drive good results.

People don’t like scrolling. They want to access relevant information quickly. So, if you think a particular page would pique the interest of your audience and provide valuable information to them, consider adding a link to it at the top of the relevant linking pages.

This will increase the average time spent by visitors on your website and significantly reduce the bounce rate.

Google loves it when a website has a high dwell time. It tells the search engine that its users liked the recommendations displayed in response to their respective queries.

As a result, the search engine will continue recommending the same pages, which allows websites to maintain their current rankings.

  • Be contextual

Don’t just add links to your pages for the sake of it. The purpose of internal linking is to help your visitors navigate relevant information and facilitate search engines crawling your content with ease. Therefore, your links should always be backed by context.

As said above, placing links at the top of the linking pages is a smart strategy that may help you drive better results. However, your links should justify their presence and their placement at a particular spot in your content.

  • Facilitate user experience

The user experience is all about making it easier for your visitors to access the information that they need to make smart choices.

They have visited your site to seek answers to their questions. So, it’s your responsibility to help them explore content that aligns with their needs and preferences.

The way you structure your content for your visitors to access relevant information and its hierarchy are important. And internal linking plays a key role here.

It enables you to organize your content smartly and logically, making it easier for your visitors to navigate the required information effortlessly.

This helps you gain topical relevance, which plays a huge role in helping you improve your website’s SEO.

  • Avoid spamming

Internal links are important and help increase your search engine visibility. However, you have to consider moderation when creating them.

Going overboard with internal links may do more harm than good. It’s generally referred to as spamming, and it may have a devastating impact on your rankings.

Google puts the experience that you offer to your visitors above all else when determining your rankings.

Since spamming disrupts that experience, it earns you a bad reputation in the eyes of a search engine giant with over 93 percent of market share in the industry.

  • Link only important pages

It’s crucial that you always link to important pages in your content. When you link to a particular page, it channels the link authority from the linking page.

This helps the linked page climb the search engine rankings and get more eyeballs organically. So, it’s best that you link to your pillar pages or the ones you want to generate traction.

Linking to pages that educate your target audience and help you generate leads is a smart strategy that enables you to drive optimal results from your SEO efforts.

  • Revive dead pages

You can use internal linking to revive the pages that fail to generate any traction because of their poor search engine rankings.

It’s reported that 75 percent of people only consider recommendations that appear on the first page of Google. So, you should try your best to make your pages rank higher on the intended queries.

All you have to do is link your dead pages to the ones that have been performing exceptionally well. The pages with subpar performance will then start leveraging the authority of the linking pages and attract more visitors.

The increase in the flow of traffic on your low-performing pages may stimulate their search engine rankings. However, it’s important that you avoid any linking errors and ensure relevance at all costs.

  • Use dofollow links

If you want to improve your SEO through internal linking, it’s essential that the links that you use are dofollow.

This is a no-brainer and a common practice among SEO experts. However, it’s important to mention this because you may accidentally declare your links nofollow, especially when using automation tools.

Dofollow links pass authority from one page to another, which can improve the rankings of both pages. Nofollow links, on the other hand, tell search engines to ignore the link, so they don’t pass any authority.

When you tag certain links as nofollow, you are asking search engines to disregard those links, preventing the link juice from fueling the page ranks. That way, it kills the entire purpose of the activity. The linked pages are unable to leverage the authority of linking pages, which leaves their search engine rankings unaffected.

By using dofollow links strategically, you can create a strong link architecture that will help your entire website rank higher in search results.

You can easily check and ensure a link attribution using an SEO plugin like AIOSEO or a browser extension like MozBar.

  • Facilitate crawling

Did you know that 93 percent of online experiences begin with people using search engines to find relevant information?

For your content to be recommended to people in response to the respective queries, you should allow search engines to crawl your pages effectively.

Crawling also plays a major role when it comes to your internal linking strategy. For your internal linking structure to fuel your search engine rankings, your website pages should be crawlable.

Search engines use web crawlers to crawl information published on your website automatically. So, all you have to do is not restrict their access to your site’s pages.

Final words

Internal linking helps you offer a seamless experience to your site’s visitors by enabling them to access relevant information effortlessly.

A well-thought-out internal linking structure helps you create a content hierarchy and ensure topical depth, which in turn fuels your search engine rankings.

So, if you’ve been wanting to improve your SEO, try the linking building best practices recommended in this article and see if they work for you.

Syed Balkhi
Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.


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