When it comes to the basics of search engine optimization, or SEO, one of the hot topic words to know is links. Links are incredibly important when it comes to your website’s search engine optimization. Links are part of what leads search engines like Google to your website. There are two main types of links in the realm of SEO: external links and internal links. External links one domain to another. Say someone links your blog post on their own, that is an external link. Internal links, also known by some as backlinks, are links that tie one page of a domain, to another page of the same domain. In simple terms, internal links link your website to your website. So if you put a link from one of your older blogs into a newer blog, that is an internal link. But what exactly are internal links and how do we use them in SEO?
What are internal links good for?
Internal links are very useful to SEO. Internal links are one of the many ways that search engines find your pages. Google likes to use internal links to find and rank your website. The more internal links you have, the better the page rank is.
Not only do internal links help with improving your rankings on search engines and help search engines to find your page, but internal links also are user friendly. Internal links make it super simple and easy for your website’s users to navigate your website. Linking one page to another similar page, allows for ease while using your website. Links also allow for users to be exposed to more of your website’s content. In order to use a lot of internal links, there must be a lot of content. Being able to link one blog post to another will let your users go from one page to another with ease.
Websites are built with a hierarchy in mind. They are built sometimes like a pyramid, with the most important information and pages up front and center. Internal links can help to establish your website’s hierarchy and to help establish link equity. Linking your pages on your website allows for search engines like Google to find your pages that are sometimes harder to find.
How to use internal links
Internal links do important things for your website’s SEO, so how do you use internal links? Internal links are actually pretty simple to use. Internal links can be found in simple and obvious places such as the homepage of your website, and in the menu area so that users can navigate your website, but internal links can also be found in blog posts and in other content heavy areas of your website. The first step to using internal links though in other parts of your website, is to create content for the links to go in.
Once you have your content created you have to determine what information you want to link to a particular page. This can sometimes take time, because you do not want to link irrelevant pages to content just to be able to say that you used internal links on your website. Figure out which pages on your website are relevant and then link it using appropriate anchor text. Anchor text is the text that the hyperlink to another page is attached to.
When you have chosen what to link your page to you simply attach a link. The hardest part of the whole process is just finding which pages will be the most relevant and how to attach them to your page.
What to avoid
While using internal links on your website may seem just like a walk in the park, there are some things to avoid during the process of using internal links. Things like broken links or orphan pages can hurt the hard work you are doing to make your website stand out.
Broken links can seem like a smaller problem than what they are. When your links do not work, not only are users unable to successfully navigate your website with ease, but broken links also disrupt link equity.
A lot of links to unimportant information is also not a great thing to have on your website. When you link to unimportant information not only is it bad for SEO but it also can create a negative user experience. If you are continuously clicking on links to useless information you are eventually going to stop clicking on links altogether.
Another thing to avoid is deep-linking important pages. If you have to click multiple links to get to an important page on your website something is wrong. Deep-linking can bring down traffic on important pages and deny users a more streamlined experience on your website.
Orphan pages are another detriment on your website. Orphan pages are pages with absolutely no internal links on them. They are hard to find for both search engines like Google, as well as users.
Some things to remember
While link building may seem like an easy thing to master, there are always things you want to remember to avoid and things you want to remember to do. Avoid pitfalls such as using broken links, irrelevant links, avoid deep-linking, and stay away from creating orphan pages. Ask yourself questions when you are creating content and adding internal links to your site. Is this linking to relevant information? Does this link make your website easier to navigate? Does this link insertion feel like it fits? Does this link enhance your website for search engine optimization and for user experience?
The use of internal links, or backlinks, is an important part of SEO that needs to be utilized well in order to do what it is supposed to do. Link building allows for users to better navigate your website, while also allowing search engines like Google to find your site and rank it accordingly. Link building does not have to be something big and scary, it is just another part of SEO.