According to Moz, “Internal Links are hyperlinks that point at (target) the same domain as the domain that the link exists on (source). In layman’s terms, an internal link is one that points to another page on the same website.” Here’s an example: AndiSites offers WordPress support and maintenance services. See those underlined words that go to another page on this site? That’s an internal link.
Why internal links are important:
- Internal links help users navigate your website. Users can visit related content without having to rely on the main website navigation.
- Internal links help define the hierarchy of your website content. The more internal links there are to a page or post, the more important those pages and posts are in the hierarchy.
- Internal links are crucial to good search engine optimization (SEO). Internal linking makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site. Internal links also keep users on your site, increase their visits to other pages, and improve their overall enagagement. These are important factors that search engines consider when ranking your website.
How to make your internal links work best for your users and your content marketing/SEO strategy:
- Create more quality content. The more content you have (not all on one page, please…proper editing is still important), the more opportunities you have for internal linking.
- Link deeply by making certain pages available only via links from other pages. This may seem counterintuitive: why make pages hard to find if we want to help our users? However, by leading users to secondary pages via primary pages, we “pull” users through the site, sending them on an intuitive journey that results in more page visits, longer visit times, and higher rankings.
- Link your email address. Use the text “Email” or “Contact Us” rather than spell out the email address on the page. In code, that looks like <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>Email</a>
- Use intuitive language that clearly describes what is linked to, and don’t include the actual URL. Here are some examples of “good” and “bad” linking practices:
GOOD: See what our clients say about AndiSites! (link in relevant text)
BAD: Click here for the plan options. (does not use relevant keywords)
BAD: For options, visit: https://andisites.com. (includes actual URL)
- Place links obviously and intuitively. When determining link placement, imagine you’re a user with a short attention span (as most are). When you quickly scan the page, you should immediately see highlighted text that links to internal pages. Avoid vague text that requires users to read further to understand what they are clicking.
Proper internal linking will help users find what they need faster, prevent them from leaving your site, and improve your search engine rankings.