Internal Links? What Are Those? (And Should I Be Using Them?)
We all want people finding our websites — but that means proving to Google and other search engines that our sites have worthy content. One of the best ways to do that is not only through linking to other sites, but also to other pages on your own site.
“Wait,” you think. “I’m supposed to be linking to pages on my own site? That seems a little self-indulgent, doesn’t it?”
Not necessarily! You might notice that many brands do just that. And you should be doing it too!
See, when you’re working on your site’s SEO, it’s easy to get wrapped up in squeezing every last millisecond out of your page speed and worrying about acquiring the most lucrative backlinks. One major thing that many people overlook, however, is internal linking.
What’s Internal Linking?
Internal linking is when you link to one page on your website from another page on your site. That way, when somebody is on your homepage (or any other part of your site), they click one of your internal links and find themselves on yet another page on your site.
You’re probably already familiar with some methods of internal linking and not even recognizing them for what they are.
For example, the links in your navigation menu or footer are internal links. So are things like your CTA buttons that navigate users to your “About” or “Contact” pages.
Another common example of internal linking is blog feed widgets, where you can display links to select blog posts on a given page.
Level Up Your Internal Linking
All of these examples have been pretty basic. Internal linking on easy mode, you might say.
Expert-level internal linking looks like linking related pages and posts to one another as a way of building a strategic web throughout your site.
Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. And like other internal links, you’ve probably seen examples of it while you’re surfing the internet.
If you’ve ever read a blog post and noticed that it concludes with a “Related Articles” or “Read More” list, where you’re directed to other posts on a similar topic — well, that’s the kind of internal linking we’re talking about.
Examples of Internal Linking
Think about this: A wedding photographer has a piece of content called “Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Vermont.” It includes marriage laws, vendor recommendations, top venues, and so on. From the venues section of this post, there’s a link to another post called “Top 10 Best Vermont Wedding Venues.”
Then at the bottom of the “Venues” post, there might be a little section of text that says “Planning a wedding in Vermont? Check out our Ultimate Vermont Wedding Guide!” with a link back to the “Ultimate Guide” page. And on and on it goes, sending web visitors in a web around that wedding photography website.
What’s the point? By creating this network of internal links, you’re indicating to Google that all of these pages are related and valuable. This sends signals to Google that indicate your site is an authority on that larger topic, which will weigh into your rankings.
Another thing to keep in mind with regard to internal linking is the “three clicks rule.” This rule states that you don’t want any important page on your site to take more than three clicks to navigate to from your homepage.
This rule is as much for user experience as for any technical Google juju. If a user can’t find your pricing page (we’re looking at YOU, wedding photographers who hide your pricing!), they won’t perceive your site as worthwhile to them. No matter how pretty your pictures are.
Just make sure you’re avoiding common internal link mistakes, like adding broken links on your page or including too many links on your site overall, which will indicate to search engines that your site is spammy. These errors will end up hurting your standing and have the potential to undo all the hard work you’ve done creating a vibrant, well-linked website.
Learn More about SEO Best Practices
Now, time for a little internal linking of our own…
Learn more ways to rank highly on Google and provide your website visitors with an awesome experience with search engine optimization (SEO) best practices!