Why Internal Links are Your Greatest Weapon
Every single commercial website should have a strong network of internal links. There are very few strategies that have more of a significant impact on your business, not to mention how easy it is to do and how little time it takes!
Just as external links can help grow your business, so can internal links bring you more visitors by helping to increase your website rankings. But they can also help you to convert your new visitors into customers. Here’s what you need to know.
Internal links keep visitors on your website longer
The longer visitors stay on your website, the more chance they have of becoming customers. If a visitor to your website finds your content interesting, then they will very likely want to read your related content. You are doing them a service by providing an easy way to get to it.
Search engines love internal links
When a search engine finds a healthy network of entwined links, it assumes you have a lot to say on certain topics. And someone with a lot to say about a specific subject is often considered an expert. These are the sites which start to float toward the top of search results.
Think of internal links as threads connecting the pages of your website. Just as with bed sheets, a higher thread count often means higher quality and stronger fabric. So search engines crawling your website will take note of those many connections and deem your website strong, as well.
If you do it correctly.
How to use internal links
It is not at all difficult to use internal links effectively. There are just a few simple things to keep in mind.
- Only use relevant links. This is enormously important. Just as with external links, linking to a page on your website that is too much of a stretch in relevancy is a huge red flag to search engines. It looks like spam to them. If you don’t have an older post that is relevant to a new one, it really is better to just not have an internal link.
- Don’t use too many links. This is straight from the horse’s mouth. Google, itself, says, “Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.” One or two, at most, for every 500 words or so.
- Link FROM your Home Page, not TO it. Orbit Media explains, “Some of your pages have more authority than others. These are pages that already have links pointing to them. Your home page is the best example. Links from these pages to other pages will pass more authority and SEO value.”
- Link to good anchor text, not images. Linking to images is much less effective that linking to relevant phrases. Always avoid linking to generic phrases like “click here”.
- Link to and from older posts. Even Internet research giant Kissmetrics says that it’s worth going back and linking older posts. So every time you write a new post, you should link to an older one. But also, every time you publish a new post, take a few minutes to find relevant older posts and insert links in them to the new post.
Internal linking is quite simple and takes very little time. The upside potential is enormous. Every business should incorporate this practice into their marketing strategy.