Clear and concise keyword or keyword phrase link anchors make it easier for your visitor to navigate to what they’re looking for. Linking using keywords will show your human visitors what they can expect to find if they click on the link. It also tells search engines that this word is highly relevant for the destination page.
- Helps visitors navigate the site.
- Highlights keyword phrases to the visitor.
- Tells search engine what is important.
Internal Linking Aids Navigation & Highlights Keywords
Using internal links is a double-whammy. It helps highlight navigation points for both Search Engines and visitors to your site too. The more effective internal links are, the more likely that people will follow them, ergo, Search Engines will also follow them. The linked text itself will be indexed as an important part of you website, hence the linked text becomes highlighted as important.
Over-optimisation of internal links can now create an undesired result.
The words that you use to create a link anchor on your site will help towards your website’s ‘relevance’ in Google search to a search on words matching the ones you used as the anchor. In other words, when creating a link in your site from one page to another page, be as specific as you can be about what words are linked and their relevance to the page it links to, and you will increase your chances of gaining Google rank. In total, there are somewhere around 200 largely unpublished ranking factors considered by Google. Our job as SEO experts is to determine as many of the 200 factors we can, collate them and assemble a plan that makes a positive difference for our clients’ rank.
Internal Linking How-To
There are several ways to create internal links in your website. Logically, the first way is via the main navigation.
Optimising your navigation links involves adding keywords into the linked text. In other words, a menu item that says “Spa Pool Installation” is clearly going to link to a page that offer installation of spa pools, whereas if your site is about spa pools, you may have omitted the words “spa pool” from that link, leaving only “installation”. “Installation” on its own offers no SEO value, but “Spa Pool Installation” does.
Every page you want visitors (and search engines) to find has to be linked to somehow.
Most website CMSs offer a way to add menu items and label them as you wish. Some may be limited in numbers of characters.
Another way to create internal links is to set links into the texts. If you happen to mention “spa pool installation” in a text that’s on a gallery of different spa pool models, then this is a good way to highlight to search engines that you also offer installation. The linked words are recognised as important and are stored for whenever someone searches for an installer of spa pools. All linked texts highlight the importance of the text that is linked.
Another way of linking internally is by using anchors. This is basically a link to another place in the same page. Again, highlighting the importance of the words being linked.
Things to Note
Search engines like Google now regard over-optimised internal links as less “natural”, expecting us to be Human, and sometimes use un-optimised text like “click here” as the linked text. The key is that you shouldn’t go overboard. Probably just a few linked texts in your main text is enough, as well as the ones in your navigation.
Pages that have no links to them cannot ever be found by search engines or human visitors, unless you have given the human the actual page URL.
Good internal linking helps your human visitors and search engine robots to navigate your website. A great place to put a bunch of secondary links is in your website footer. Footers (like headers and main navigation bars) usually stay constant throughout all pages, so the effect of those links are duplicated throughout your whole site. They will count multiple times toward your internal linking metrics.
Avoid linking to any external web page unless you have a profitable reason to do so. Sending people off your website could be the last you see of them.