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What Is Internal Linking & Why Is It Important?

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If you’ve been doing any digging into SEO for your website, then you’ve probably come across the term ‘internal linking’.

But what is internal linking, and why is internal linking important?

In this brief article we are going to cover:

  • What internal linking is in the context of SEO
  • Why it is important and beneficial for your website

Let’s get stuck in and start with the basics.

What Exactly Is Internal Linking?

Simply put, internal linking is where you link to other pages on your website.

This is compared to an ‘external’ link, where you link off to a resource that exists elsewhere on the Internet (click here for an example of an external link).

Most websites doing the majority of their linking through a navigation menu, e.g.:

Having a well-thought out and effective navigation menu is important to allow visitors to navigate through your site and find what they are looking for.

However, you also shouldn’t ignore the importance of internal linking within age content.

In fact, this is where the magic can really happen!

What you should always be looking for are opportunities to link one page of your site to another within the page content itself (not just relying on the navigation menu).

For example, if you have a product listing on your site and another product would make a relevant cross-sell, then you might link to that cross-sell product.

Another example would be linking from one blog post to another. For example, you can click here to read my guide on the best Google Analytics plugin for Wordpress.

Why Is Internal Linking Important & Beneficial?

Internal linking is beneficial and important for a few key reasons:

  1. It makes your website much easier to use. Although there are SEO benefits to internal linking (which I’ll come to shortly) one of the biggest - and most frequently overlooked - advantages of connecting your content and web pages together is that it makes your website easier to use. Rather than having to rely on the navigation menu, you can assist visitors in their “flow” through the site.
  2. It encourages people to spend longer on your website. If you have conversion tracking set up on your website (and if you haven’t, you really need to get on to this ASAP) then you can actually look at conversions by duration of time spent on your site. What you’ll generally find is that the longer someone spends on your site, the more likely they are to convert into a lead or a sale. Therefore, using links within your site can help retain visitors’ interest for longer, possibly leading to more conversions and higher value visits!
  3. Internal linking can also boost your SEO. By pointing links at pages that are important to your site (e.g. pages targeting keywords you’d really like to rank for) you can potentially increase your rankings. Without getting too technical, what you are doing with this process is indicating to Google which pages are the most important/relevant.

Conclusion

Internal linking is beneficial for your website for a number of reasons. From making it easier for people to find the content you want them to read, to promoting higher quality visits through longer session duration, through to potentially higher rankings, there many reasons to invest the relatively small amount of time required to set up internal linking on your site.

Start by going back through old content and linking strategically to relevant related articles, products, service pages etc.

From there, commit to including internal links in the new content you add to your site.

If you’d like more information, then watch this video of mine on the subject:

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