Explore What Internal Links Are and How to Use Them Properly
Why do we need internal links?
Internal links perform three main tasks:
- help with navigating the site;
- definition of the architecture and hierarchy of the site;
- page ranking on the site.
In addition, internal links improve search engine optimization of the site – they help search engines, they create a linked network of your posts on the site, and also cause readers to stay longer on the site.
How to properly use internal links?
1. Create a lot of content
In order for you to have many internal links, you must have many different pages on the site. Therefore you might need to create more content that you can link to. More links mean that your network of internal links work better.
In fact, it does not really matter if you have any internal link strategy, or not. What is really important is to provide a lot of useful links that lead to other useful materials on your site.
2. Use the anchor text
Anchor text is a text that is a link and that leads to another page of your site. There are also no special rules here – just choose a piece of text that seems appropriate for you, and make a link out of it that leads to another page on your site.
Images can also be links that lead to other pages, but be sure to properly write in the value of the “alt” field where this link leads to.
3. Link further
The more “distant” the material on your site is in regards to the link, the better.
Try to avoid such obvious links as a link to the main page of your site (visitors will be able to find it) or to a page with your contact information. In general, the rule is: do not add links to the pages of your site that are in the main menu. The best links are links to materials that can be difficult to find.
4. Provide useful links
Internal links suggest that, first of all, you think about your readers and that the link should be useful to them.
One of the key aspects of internal links is that they increase user engagement. When a user sees an informative link that leads to relevant content, he will most likely go over it and spend some time on your site.
Thus, internal links will help you improve the search optimization of your site, and help your readers to find useful information.
5. References must be relevant
Your internal links should be relevant, i.e. match the content of the material. Do not create links just to have them – do not bundle links for two different materials.
For example, if you write a story about dog food, then it’s hardly appropriate to link to your material about nesting parrots. But if you write about parrot feed, then a link to their nesting habits can be of great value to the readers. This link will be relevant, as the content in both articles have the same topic, so if possible always use links this way.
6. Use an adequate number of internal links
Internal links are good, but you do not need to overload the entire page with them. Google’s instructions are simple: “Adhere to an adequate number of links on the page.”
The question is: how much is an adequate number?
The answer is: no one knows.
There is no magic number – only you can determine the number of links needed. Sometimes three or four are enough, and sometimes in a large article there can be 10-20 references. Focus on your readers – add as many links as you think will be useful for them.
Internal links, if used with the above rules, will be useful to your site and your audience, and using them is not difficult at all. You can even go back to your old materials to make sure they have enough links in them, and if not, add them.
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