What is internal linking for SEO? How many internal links should you have in your blog posts? Is internal linking considered a backlink? I am going to answer all these questions in this blog post and try to help you to understand everything about internal links.
Before proceeding, let me tell you one thing SEO is not magic. It takes time to get results from your SEO activities. So learn to implement things and then be patient. In this Internal linking for SEO guide, I am going to share some best tactics to utilize this method to grow your blog over a period of time. So let’s get started.
What are internal links?
As the name suggests, when you create links within your website or internally, it is called internal links. To make it even simpler, when you link one of your blog posts to another blog post on the same website, it is called internal links.
Let me share an example of internal linking by sharing a page. In the below picture, you can find how a website is linking all its pages from one another with the help of internal linking. This is what I am going to explain in detail in this post below, so keep reading.
Now, what is an external link? Then it is exactly the opposite of this. This means when you link or include a link to a different website from your blog post that is called external linking. I will write a separate article on external linking. You can check out a few of my posts where I have shared some good resources for creating backlinks: profile creation sites, forum submission sites, social bookmarking sites, CommentLUV blogs, etc.
Now let’s focus on this topic: Internal Linking For SEO benefits.
Importance of Internal linking In SEO
Before starting this detailed guide, let me explain a few of the benefits of Internal Linking. Yes, internal linking has a lot of SEO benefits, and many bloggers simply avoid this method as they are not aware of this powerful method.
- Improve DWELL Time: With proper internal linking, you can create a very good navigation structure for your website. This will help your readers to explore more relevant pages from your website and they will easily explore other pages. This will increase your website’s DWELL time and further it will give a very good signal to Google.
- Distributing Link Juice: We all know why we create backlinks, right? Similar way, if you internal link your blog post from your high authority blog post with a dofollow backlink then your link juice will also pass to that page. This way you can easily boost the low authority pages of your website and improve their search ranking.
- Satisfy Google Crawler: You have to satisfy Google crawler so that Google can set up your website reputation. With proper navigation structure, Google crawlers can easily find all your pages, evaluate them and discover your website hierarchy. This will gradually help your website to position in search engines and accordingly Google crawlers will increase the frequency of visiting your website. If you don’t then let me tell you that, Google Crawler visits popular websites so frequently that their blog posts can rank in just a few minutes or in seconds. That’s the result of gaining the trust of Google.
Now let’s find out how many types of internal linking can be possible and also how can we strategically use this method to boost our website SEO.
Types Of Internal Links
Even if I summarized internal links, in short, it has a lot of things to discuss. First of all, let’s find out the different types of internal links. There are 6 types of internal links you need to know of: contextual links, navigational links, In-Content links, footer links, related posts, and image links.
Let’s discuss them in detail one-by-one.
1. Contextual links
This is the kind of internal link that we use while any blog post. You might have noticed that from this article, in fact from every article I always link my own blog posts with different texts. Those texts are called Anchor Texts. E.g. I wrote a detailed guide about the benefits of blog commenting in SEO and here you can notice that I have linked that article to this one. These are called contextual links.
2. Navigational links
These links are there for every website. Generally, we create MENU on top of our website and also at the bottom of our website. Through this menu, we generally link all our key pages, category pages, or important page links so that when someone comes to our website they can easily find out different categories, sub-categories, or other important pages of the website. For example, check out my website’s top menu and analyze how I linked my key pages.
3. In-Content Links
These kinds of links are also very much beneficial. These are links calling within the same page itself. Try to understand the difference between Contextual links. I am not linking a different article on my own website. Rather I will link a different segment of the same article. E.g. in every post, I use the Table Of Contents plugin and because of that, you can see an area like the one below has been created. When someone clicks on those links it will take them to that particular part of the post. Here is an example of in-Content internal Linking from this post itself.
4. Footer links
Footer links are also a good strategy for Internal Linking For SEO Benefits. You can check out my footer area where I have segmented 4 columns and included key articles & posts from this blogs. This area is linked to every page of my website. That means whenever Google crawler will come to any of my pages it will crawl those pages every time and gradually it will help them to rank. At the same time if you update those pages frequently you will get even further benefits.
5. Related Posts Links
Again check the end of this post area you will find my author bio with related posts in that category. For this feature, I am using a plugin and due to that automatically related posts of this category will show with the title. This is also a very good internal linking strategy to gain SEO benefits. In fact, a reader will also easily find similar blog posts in the category and may further read those articles. This way users will spend more time on your website reading different articles and this will give a very good signal to Google.
6. Image links
Mostly we use image links to give credit to a third party, whose image you are using. Now imagine you have created your own images like infographics or any kind of data chart. Now you can upload that image on your blog and from wherever possible as per the relevancy of that post and then link that image to the actual blog post where you have explained that image or infographic.
E.g. in the below image, you can find the exact image link of the picture I have used from the below website. You can use the same in your blog post as well. Creating good images will also attract a lot of external linking which is good for earning backlinks.
So, these are a few types of internal links that I found and shared with you. Understand them properly and make sure to use every one of them in your blog post. But you can’t do it overnight as for a good internal linking structure you need a lot of content and that takes time. So work slowly and grow with time.
How To Do Internal Linking For SEO Benefits [Best Strategies]
Now we know the different types of internal linking and also the benefits of internal linking for SEO. In this section, I will share some of the best strategies that you can follow and get the max out of this internal linking for SEO.
Create A Series Of Content Around A Topic
The best way to create content for internal linking is by targeting a series of content around a similar topic. For that, you should have a blog with a focus category. E.g. on this website I share Blogging Tips and how to grow a blog from scratch. That’s why whenever I write any article, I can easily internal link with old blog posts easily. And that’s why you should always create a blog with a focus niche or category.
Create Pillar Pages
In this blog, I have created a few pillar pages which are highly relevant to my blog category and I know that whenever someone will come to my website and they need those articles to proceed further. That’s why I have created a few pillar pages and also planning to create a few more. This way I can link them from Menu items or from blog posts whenever I talk about that topics.
Link Articles As Per Relevancy
This is a very important point. Internal linking is a way of creating backlinks only. When Google crawlers come to your page and find a link it will crawl that one. But if you are linking an article that is not relevant to the current topic, the crawler will not find that useful and it is not going to benefit your website. So it is better not to use the internal linking method if you don’t have relevant content. But if you have followed the previous 2 points then I am sure you will easily find plenty of content to internal linking for SEO.
Use Different Keywords As Anchors
As I have mentioned that internal linking is like creating backlinks for another post from your page only. So make sure you optimize the anchor texts every time you link that post from different articles. This is a very good strategy to increase your blog post ranking over time for various keywords.
If you don’t know what is Anchor Text then the below picture will help you to understand. In simple words, the text/word/keyword we use while linking to another blog post is called anchor text. For this, we can use different keywords when we link the same article many times from different blog posts keeping the relevancy.
So, from this article, I am linking my web hosting article using a keyword anchor like “Best WordPress Hosting In India 2021”.
Provide Related Posts Below Each Post
Related blog posts are also a very good technique to use this Internal Linking strategy. I use a plugin to do that. If you want you can manually also do the same and take the advantage of linking your old blog posts automatically.
Link Key Pages From Home Page
Your blog home page has the highest authority as most websites link to your home page only. So make sure that your home page should have a very good navigation structure so that you can link all important pages, and categories from the home page. This way whenever Google Crawler will visit your blog home page it will also crawl those key pages again and again. And if you keep updating them regularly Google will find those pages updating and help them to rank better gradually.
Create Parent Pages & Link Sub-Pages
In simple terms, focus on creating SILO pages. E.g. if you check out this Black Friday Deals page where I have linked many individual Black Friday Sales from one page. The page itself is ranking for this term and also linking to sub-products which is creating a very valuable page with a better SEO structure. Again, every time I link this one page, Google crawler will crawl all the linked blog posts.
Add Categories As Navigational Link
Many beginners don’t know that linking your categories is also very much beneficial for SEO. I occasionally internal link categories also. But mostly I prefer using all my blog categories from the top MENU area only. You can easily check my website header menu and explore the categories where I mostly write articles. This creates a very good website structure for search engines, they can easily crawl your entire website.
Use Sidebar To Link Popular Posts
I know nowadays many people use without sidebar layouts. As there is no such value in the links mentioned in the sidebar. That’s true, but for a good navigation structure, I still use sidebar links so that I can expose the most popular blog posts to new visitors. Otherwise, people will not explore more about your website, especially if you are a beginner. So, in the beginning, you can use the sidebar links.
FAQs / People Also Ask
Yes, using the right internal linking strategy can boost your SEO. Because with a good internal linking strategy Google will find all your pages easily, crawl them easily and it will reward your website with a better ranking.
For that, you need a lot of content on your website in a similar category. Then you can easily internal every post from each other with various keyword anchor texts. This is a very good strategy to increase your blog post ranking.
Yes, you can consider internal links also as backlinks, even though you link from one page of your website to another page. But you can’t compare internal links Vs backlinks from different websites. Both are important and different roles play.
Well, there are various thoughts from many expert bloggers & digital marketers. Personally, I always try to add at least 4-5 in a 2000-word post. In fact few more sometimes if I can easily link them keeping the relevancy factor intact. But don’t do it too much, as it may hurt also.
It’s Your Turn Now
So, this is all about internal linking for SEO. Whatever I am aware of and learned in the last many years I kept everything here. Hope you find this post useful. I would like to request you to add your point of view or knowledge by writing a comment below in case you want to.
Did you get any benefits by internal linking your blog posts? How was your experience? How Many Internal Links Should You Have in Your Blog Posts? Feel free to write a comment below and share your thoughts & feedback. Thank you for reading & sharing this article.