In the words of the famous scriptwriter, Douglas Adams, “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” Although he may not have been referring to internal linking, it reflects perfectly how internal linking can help your users discover new areas of your website.
First of all you may be asking, what is an internal link? An internal link is a hyperlink that has a target to the same domain as the domain the link is placed on. In essence, it is a link on your website that can be used to navigate to a different page on your website. For example, you might want to add a link to a blog post which points to your Contact Us page. That’s an internal link.
So, what can mastery of internal linking do to boost your website performance? There are a number of benefits that can be obtained from successful internal linking.
Benefits of internal linking include:
- Increased user website visit duration
- Reduced user bounce rates (a “bounce” is when someone visits just one page on your website and then navigates away)
- Enables users to visit pages which search engines don’t pick-up or aren’t ranked highly
- Exposes users to more content and call-to-actions. This can lead to increased conversions
- They provide a roadmap for search engine bots to crawl your website. Creating clear paths for spiders to browse your website pathways helps browsers find all the pages on your website. If a browser cannot find a link on your website then it impedes the ability for some of your web pages to be found on search engine result pages.
So now you know the benefits, what can you do to make sure you can take advantage of internally linking your website pages?
Below is a list of the things you can do to optimise your internal linking:
- Create some great content! Without content internal linking is impossible. Try to create new, readable and shareable content for your website regularly and link to them from other pages on your site where possible
- Add multiple internal links. It is recommended that you have at least three links per page you create. It isn’t always possible to add lots of links to a blog without making the content irrelevant. But remember, if the internal links you are adding are relevant, you can add as many as you like to your pages.
- Have readable, descriptive but concise anchor text. An internal link that says ‘Explore my blog on internal linking’ is not as good as ‘Explore my blog on improving your internal linking’. But be careful, don’t make them too long and keep them natural.
Internal linking is a great way to keep people moving around your site and help them discover areas they didn’t even know they wanted to find prior to visiting your site. For example, they might enter your site looking to view your blog about ‘The best ways to valet your car’ and end up buying car wax on your online store you internally linked to from your blog. With that said, now you know the power of internal linking it’s time to get optimising.