Link Building!! What do you understand after hearing this term? Not sure about you! But almost all people think about backlinks when they first hear this term.
In fact, you should not even feel guilty if you presume backlinks once you hear link building. Nevertheless, link building is of two types. These are –
- Internal links – If two web pages are linked within the same website, it’s called internal linking.
- External links – If one of your website pages is linked with another website’s page, it is called external linking. But when other websites link to your website, that external linking is called backlinking.
Most of the time, people don’t give value to internal linking rather they give more priority to backlinking. It’s true that you should focus on building quality backlinks. But you should never ignore the power of internal links.
Internal links are severely crucial for helping search engines understand the structure, hierarchy, and relevancy of your website content.
This comprehensive guide to internal link building will make you familiar with the significance, best practices, and how to use it for the best SEO outcomes.
Silo Structure: Significance and Implementation
A Silo structure is generally a way of arranging a website’s content into several categories or topics, with each topic or category having its own section or Silo.
On the other hand, when the categories or topics of any website are not organized properly without any hierarchy, it is known as a flat structure.
Imagine you have a hotel website where you have just uploaded your content randomly without any sequence. For example, you have made your hotel home page in the following manner:
- Services Cost.
- Support & FAQs.
- Customer Reviews.
- Hotel Services.
- Introductory Description.
- Discount Codes.
What do you think will happen? Simply, your audience will face hassles while visiting your website. Lastly, they may leave and choose somebody else’s site if it is organized in a proper fashion.
Not only will your audience leave your website, but also search engines will face difficulties in understanding the sequence of your hotel site. As a result, search engines will be unable to crawl and index it, leading to a decrease in its rank and online visibility.
On the other hand, try to make your content in a proper fashion like the following way:
- Introductory description with eye-catching images.
- Hotel services. Service charges in the inner section to check availability with booking CTA.
- Discount codes.
- Customer reviews.
- Support & FAQs.
If you follow the above example for arranging every page or category in your website, your website will get the following benefits:
- The parent or main page will get more authority.
- More relevancy to any topic.
- Faster indexing of new content in the existing pages.
- Link building will be easier.
- Improved user experience.
- Increased search engine ranks and site authority.
Thus, your hotel website will get more potential bookings.
Significance of Internal Links
When a clickable text or image redirects users from one page to another on the same domain, it is called internal linking. It serves as the foundation for constructing a web of connections on your website that lets users browse between pages, and search engines find and index content. Some of the essential purposes are discussed below:
- Website Structure and Hierarchy
Internal links help search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your website. When you create a sequential linking structure, you assist search engines in prioritizing and indexing the most important pages.
- Page Authority and Search Engine Ranks
After you link one page with another on your website, internal links transfer “link juice”, meaning authority from one to another. That’s why when you find some of your web pages have higher and lower page authority, you can internally link those pages with each other. But, the linking must be relevant to the context, and the redirection should be from the higher to the lower. It results in increasing the page authority and the search engine ranking for the lower authority web page.
- Indexing and Crawling
Internal links help speed up the crawling process for the search engine bots, making it easier to find and index new pages efficiently.
- Better User Experience
Internal links make it simpler for your users to explore different topics, access relevant material, and move across your website effortlessly. An effective internal linking process keeps the audience engaged and inspires them to stay on your site for a long time.
The Best Practices of Internal Link Building
Following are some of the best internal link building practices that help you understand where to create internal linking.
- Relevant and Contextual Links
While making an internal link, you should focus on contextual or relevant content.
If you have a web page based on a dog’s story and another on a cat’s story, it’s better not to link with each other.
But if you have two different web pages, with one page on the different species of dogs and another on the dog foods, you can link these two pages if you find any relevant content with “dog foods” on the “dog species” page.
It will save you time and effort not to make another section where you have to explain the whole concept of nutritious dog foods. Instead, you can link these two pages to help your users find relevant information.
- Sequential Structure
You should organize your internal links in a hierarchical format. The primary or home page should be linked with the top-level pages.
Moreover, the top-level pages should be linked with their sub-pages. This way, the process would continue and assist search engines in analyzing the structure of your website.
- Monitoring Broken Links and Redirections
Monitor your link profile on your website at least once a week. It will give you a detailed result on the broken links or non-working redirections.
Fix the broken links and redirections if found any to improve user engagement and search engine impact.
- Use Descriptive Anchor Text
Avoid using frequently used general anchor text, such as “read more” or “click here”. Alternatively, start using descriptive text that informs readers and search engines about the linked page content.
- Equal Link Distribution
In a usual scenario, people tend to create many internal links on a single web page rather than distributing them equally. It’s not a good sign of link building at all.
When we say equal distribution of links, that doesn’t mean every page will have the same number of internal links. In reality, it’s not possible. What you can do is don’t keep too much difference between the pages.
If one page has 4 internal links, the other should be a maximum of 7. It should not be over 10. Otherwise, you will overburden the web page with links.
A Few Technical Terms Related to Internal Linking
- Click Depth –
A website size can range from a few pages to thousands. Website owners make different pages with one goal, which is to be crawled by search engines. But do all your pages get crawled by search engines and get an equal value? No, all pages are not crawled and get equal attention if their click depth is much higher.
Click depth is the number of clicks it requires to go to another page on your website from the main (home) page.
Suppose, you have created a hotel website. The homepage is your primary page, meaning if someone searches your website on the internet, and clicks on the domain, the first page that opens is known as the home page.
If you assign numerical values to every page on your website based on their clickable distance from the home page, the home page will have a value of 0.
The pages that are linked on the home page, will have a click depth value of 1, and the pages linked on page 1 will have a value of 2, and it goes on further.
The lower the click depth value, the better user experience and the rank on search engine results. So, try not to make your web pages exceed the click depth value of 5.
- Topical Map
Establishing a clear hierarchy and relationship between various pieces of content is the primary objective of a topical map. It helps search engines understand the context and topical relevance of each page on the same website.
Topical relevance is also known as a semantic SEO strategy that basically helps establish your website as the authority on one or more topics.
Now, if you want your website to be an authority for any topic, you have to work on the entirety of your chosen topic, meaning the parent-child hierarchy should be followed.
Topical maps not only help your users find the information they need, but they also help search engines analyze your website. The better the search engine analysis is, the higher the rankings for your website.
In SEO, pagination is known as the process of breaking up a long list of content into separate pages or parts, such as blogs, articles, product listings, etc., to enhance user experience and make it simpler for users to navigate through the content.
When pagination comes specifically to internal linking, it is defined as making links between various pages of paginated content on your website. These links help your audience navigate through your articles, blogs, etc., from one page to another effortlessly. Additionally, search engines also understand that the content is a part of any series, leading to easy indexing and providing better rankings.
Let us give you an example. Imagine you have a website where you write blogs. Now, you upload one blog per day, resulting in many blogs on a single page.
But in order to increase the readability, you have divided the blogs into different pages, with ten blogs per page. Further, you have added a link to every page with its number so that your users don’t have difficulty navigating the blogs from one page to the next and the previous. This eventually helps search engines understand the relationship between your different web pages.
A few good practices you can follow while executing pagination in internal linking are discussed below.
- Rel Prev/Next Tags
In the HTML header of each paginated page, use the rel=”prev” and rel=”next” tags. These tags assist search engines in indexing the information and deciphering the pagination order correctly.
Provide a canonical URL for each paginated page. It helps search engines understand the primary page of your content series and index it accordingly.
- Constant URL Structure
Maintain constant URL structure for every paginated page by using parameters or URL segments that clearly identify the order of the pages (e.g., /blog/post-title/page/1, /blog/post-title/page/2, etc.).
Internal link building can massively impact your web visibility, user experience, and search engine ranking.
Follow the best practices, use cutting-edge techniques, and track performance to improve the authority and relevance of your website. It doesn’t only help your users navigate from one page to another to gather accurate information engagingly but also helps search engines index it properly and increase its online visibility.
Link building, also referred to as off-page SEO, is the practice of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. These links act as pathways that connect different web pages across the internet.
Successful link-building relies on several key factors. Relevancy involves acquiring links from websites that are contextually related to your content. Authority refers to obtaining links from reputable and high-quality websites. Anchor text, the clickable text of a link, should be descriptive and relevant. The diversity of sources ensures that your links come from a variety of different websites.
There are three main types of links:
- Inbound (Backlinks): Links from external websites that point to your own site.
- Outbound Links: Links from your site to other external websites.
- Internal Links: Links that connect different pages within your own website
Link building can pose challenges such as:
- Acquiring low-quality backlinks that don’t contribute to your site’s authority.
- Ensuring relevancy between linking websites and your content.
- Facing potential penalties from search engines due to manipulative link-building tactics.
Link-building mistakes to avoid include:
- Using overly optimized or irrelevant anchor text that doesn’t provide value to users.
- Purchasing links from spammy or low-quality websites can harm your site’s reputation.
- Focusing solely on quantity rather than the quality of backlinks obtained.
Internal link building offers several advantages:
- Internal links help users navigate your website more easily, promoting a better user experience.
- Users can discover related content, increasing engagement and time spent on your site.
- Internal links assist search engines in discovering and indexing your web pages, improving your site’s visibility in search results.