Much the same as link building on external sites, you should also focus on internal link building within your own site too.
In order for Google to find your content it first needs to have links from external sites. This legitimises your website to the Google algorithm and means that it can start to index your various pages. This means it can also be found by people searching the web.
Why do you need to be linking to your own pages within your content and what are the best practice methods?
What makes internal and external links different?
When understanding the difference between external and internal links, the clue is in the name. External links refer to any links your website has on other websites. Internal links are links on your own website to other pages within your site.
External links help you to build SEO metrics which boost your site’s performance on search engines. Internal links help users and search engines to navigate and discover the content on your site.
Why internal link building matters
It’s best to imagine links as breadcrumbs. When you include an internal link to another page on your site, search engines can follow that link and index the page it lands on. The more breadcrumbs you leave, the easier it is for search engines to understand and make connections within your site.
Google tends to divide internal links up by value. Typically, the homepage of your site will have the most value as this will be the page that has the most external links. The value of the homepage is shared between all of the other links that appear on that page. That value is then passed on to the following page and divided again and so on.
As a result, you will tend to notice that your newest blog posts, for example, will get more link value if you link to them via the homepage instead of just its category page. This also helps search engines to find your content quicker.
Once you’ve got a grasp on the idea that links pass on their value, you will realise the more links a post has, the more value it has. This results in Google viewing this page as important and pushing it up in search engine result pages (SERP’s).
How do you start internally linking?
If you don’t already, internal link building should be at the top of your to-do list. We would recommend thinking about the following to get you started:
- Determine the ideal structure of your site
- Decide which pieces of content are most important
- Add contextual links (link your content to each other if it’s relevant and supports the other piece contextually)
- Include a ‘recent posts’ plugin
Part of executing and maintaining any high performing SEO site includes link building. Whether that be external or internal, both are just as important as the other. So, next time you’re writing a new landing page or blog post, take a moment to think about how you can internally link it.