Links are essential to eventually get your website to the first page of Google’s search engine results pages (SERP’s). Links help Google to understand the content in a more comprehensive way. Hence, a website with many links tends to perform better than others.
There are two types of links, external and internal links. People usually focus on external links and ignore internal links. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of internal links and how you can use them to boost your ranking in SERP.
What are Internal Links?
Internal links are the links that redirect or target a page that is within the same domain. For example, inside your blog post, you can link to one of your resource pages that contains information relevant to the blog post. Both your readers and search engines will find such links helpful.
For example, from this blog post, we can link to Mandala Digital’s relevant blog post on ‘How to make it easier for Google to crawl your website‘ with internal links. This hyperlink is an internal link, and it is relevant to users.
Internal links are the primary source of passing page authority and help users to navigate to different pages. There are various internal links, namely, Homepage, Menu, Post feed and the link you add in your content. These links are called contextual links.
Contextual links are critical from a users/readers perspective as well as Google’s perspective. Internal links help establish a hierarchy of your website, and it allows Google to connect with your website in a much better way.
The Importance of Internal Links
Google loves internal links.
A good internal linking structure helps Google to understand a website in a better way. Google’s crawlers/spiders/bots see a website differently from a human and use internal and external links like a spider crawling its web, following the different strands (links) for information.
According to Google, “Some pages are known because Google has already crawled them before. Google discovers other pages when Google follows a link from a known page to a new page.”
When you link up two pages that hold relevance to each other, it helps Google set up a contextual relationship between them.
When you link up two or more pages correctly, it helps your website create a sense of expertise in the eyes of Google. Authoritative content often performs better than other forms of content.
Passing authority with internal links
When two pages are linked together correctly, page authority is transferred, which increases the page authority and results in a higher ranking.
You might be wondering what is ‘Page Authority’ and how it is passed? Let’s imagine one of your articles went viral, and you got many external backlinks to it, that is, other websites linking to your article. This will increase its page authority.
When you link your other articles to this particular ‘viral’ article, their page authority is likely to increase. This is termed as “Passing link Authority.”
‘PageRank‘ is an algorithm that decides the ranking of the page based on authority. ‘Interlinking’ between two pages is an essential factor that determines the authority.
Internal links help users to navigate between pages.
Internal links help users to read resourceful information regarding the article they are reading. This gives two important benefits:
It helps to gain customers trust.
A person reading your blog post is no less than a customer that might be interested in your service. So if you provide more of your relevant links, they’ll spend more time on your website getting to know you and/or your business, your trust authority will grow, and your conversion rate may increase given other on-page factors have been considered.
Low Bounce Rate and High Dwell Time
When readers spend more time reading articles on your website, the bounce rate reduces and dwell time increases.
Bounce Rate – A user bounces when they have not engaged on the landing page, such as click a link on the page. This visit is a single-page visit.
Dwell time – The amount of time a person spends browsing a website after they’ve clicked the link via Google search results. It is the time spent on the website before clicking back to the SERP results.
Both of these measurements have a lot to do with increasing user experience and, when done correctly, often result in higher rankings.
Read more about how ‘UX Signals’ can give you a higher ranking in SERP; How UX Signals Can Skyrocket Your Website’s Ranking.
How to Correctly Build An Internal Links Strategy?
To correctly build internal links, you’ll have to start by deciding on what your hub pages will be. You’ll also need to create a site architecture. You can’t build a house without any plan!
Before moving further, you’ll have to know about the different levels of pages on your website.
Level 1 Page is the page you want to make as your home page.
Level 2 Pages are your category pages and,
Level 3 Pages are post pages.
Dividing your websites’ pages into different levels will help you to design your SILO Structure. Now let’s move on to how you should link your pages together.
Home Page (Level 1 page)
The home page is your main page. You can link your home page with different hub pages. The homepage will attract more external links, so it is crucial to link all the ‘Level 2’ hub pages with your main page.
Decide Hub Pages (Level 2 Pages)
A Hub Page should be a page that is very important for your business, but at the same time, it should target a broad keyword. The best example of hub pages is category pages.
Categories are essential for business because they provide important information and insights. Category pages and category keywords usually target a broader keyword. Consider linking such hub pages to topic clusters.
Topic Clusters (Level 3 Pages)
A Topic Cluster is the main hub page we decided on, the main page of a particular topic. Such pages should link back to hub pages to integrate topical relevancy.
Moreover, any other supporting articles of the topic cluster should be linked to give depth to the topic. A simple practice like mapping out a topic cluster with your hub pages can help visualise the site architecture.
When you know what type of pages to link to, you should also consider where the link is on the hierarchy before building the internal link. There are three types of link quality based on the position of the link:
- Level 1 page is usually the best quality link.
- Level 2 pages usually give medium quality links.
- Level 3 pages are usually the lowest quality.
Ideally, the Level 1 page should give a high-quality link to a Level 2 page. Similarly, A level 2 page should give the Level 3 page a high-quality link.
If you follow internal link building techniques such as these, search engine crawlers will find it easier to understand your website, the relevancy and importance of each page.
Understandably, this could all be a little too much for you, you’d prefer to spend your time on other things. If this is the case, jump on a Discovery Call with us to see how we can help you. BOOK HERE.