When the source domain and target domain of hyperlinks are the same then that kind of links are termed as Internal Links.
Incorporating Internal Links in your site architecture is one of the most important SEO practices.
What are Internal Links in SEO?
SEO is not about the ranking of the whole website together. The search engine ranks individual pages of the website. This is the reason, it is important to make different strategies to rank the individual pages of the website.
There are a number of ways and methods through which these pages can be properly ranked in the search engine. One of such methods is that of linking building. The use of internal links helps the pages to connect with different other pages so that the best benefits such as higher exposure and high traffic income on the pages can be experienced.
Huge keyword-based indices of search engines need to see content for listing pages via a crawlable link structure. Internal links do this effectively and ensure link equity around the website. Ensuring proper information hierarchy is also a key feature of internal linking.
Let us understand this with an example
Here, you can see, 1 is internally linked to 2 and 5. Now, imagine a Google Spider reaches 1 and finds internal links to 2 and 5, but it will not find any path to reach to 3 & 4. Then Google would consider that these pages have low value. Higher value will be given to page 2 and 5.
So, any sorts of SEO strategies or content marketing maneuvers would not be significant if spiders could not reach to those pages.
Opting for a pyramid-like structure where proper linking of all the pages is done is considered crucial for optimizing the ranking potential of each of the pages. Category and sub-category pages of some of the top rated sites like Amazon follow this structure-
Specific anchor texts are used that are hyperlinked with such links so that the anchor texts can be clicked to reach out to the linked page of the same site. You can also consider your keywords as your anchor text for building internal links.
Here are some of the other key benefits that you can gain from such links-
Importance of Internal Links
1) Better Navigation
Internal linking can be done to connect different pages of the same website. When the linking is done to connect the different pages of a website, it is highly beneficial because it provides a great navigational experience to the viewers. This can be explained well with the help of an example.
While the viewers are going through the content on your home page, you can include anchor texts in the content that will be linked to other pages of the site.
In this way, the viewers can click on to that anchor text and can reach out to a landing page that is about the information that the viewer wanted to have. This helps the viewers to get across the information on the website in an easy way without searching for them much in the entire website.
2) Internal Linking empowers Link Building
Internal liking offers full authority in Link Building. You will not be dependent on any third party.
You are the complete processing of Link Building from end link anchor to the quality of the source page of link to the landing page of your link.
This will be quite helpful in search engine optimization of your site pages.
3) Spreading the Link Juice or Equity
In case of the external linking, it is important to get the authority from the other sites.
While when you are making use of the internal links to connect with the other pages of the same website, you are spreading the link juice to all over the website.
This link juice is also spread to the money page of the website and this is also one of the SEO strategies and also a strategy to gain sales from the viewers.
4) Internal Links offer good ROI
Bug business houses and e-commerce stores like Amazon has mastered the art of Internal Linking in a manner that they get the first rank in Google searches.
By setting up keywords that are relevant, e-commerce sites position themselves top in the search results as per the queries of audiences. This way, the revelation of new items via search engines gets alleviated.
5) Boosting Page Views
As it has been mentioned before that the internal linking helps the viewers to get navigated through the pages of the website in a much better way.
But just adding up the links will not help you. You should make sure that the pages that are connected should have contents that are relevant to the anchor text and the interest of the viewers too.
You should make sure that the contents on the page are highly informative and interesting in order to avoid the bounce rate.
6) Internal Links decrease Bounce Rate
With the help of internal links, you can influence your audiences to stay on your site that will ultimately decrease the bounce rate of your site.
Internal links are very significant in positively influencing session time, number of page views per sessions sorts of metrics. This way, ultimately your conversion rates will be increasing with a good margin.
7) Higher Page Rank
Interlink linking is known to be a great factor in the increased page rank of the website. The page rank of the website pages is calculated by the search engine depending upon the backlinks on the web page.
Hence, when the link juice is spread out in different pages of the website, it is highly useful in improving the page rank of the website.
Depending upon the page rank of the website on the search engine, the reputation of the website is also recognized and this leads to higher traffic and also higher conversion in return.
8) Improving Time and Control Bounce Rate
It has been discussed before that internal linking helps in increasing the page views. But it is also important to check whether the bounce rate is getting increased or decreased.
The bounce rate describes the percentage of audiences who are surely visiting the page but is exiting the website soon without much activity. This happens when the audience is entering the website and is getting navigated to a page through links but is not finding anything valuable on the page.
To decrease the bounce rate, you should link pages that are of higher value. This also improves the time on site of the viewers.
9) Internal Linking Improves Crawling and Indexing
In a website, there can be a number of pages that are internal and hence may not be visited quite often. When the visibility is so low, it also ranks down in the search engine.
The use of internal links allows the viewers to visit such pages that are hidden and are not visited quite often. When the number of visits on such hidden pages increases, it automatically increases the ranking of those pages in the search engine and hence attracting more visitors on it again.
10) Internal Links will hamper Keywords Cannibalization
You can understand Cannibalization as a situation when Google is crawling your site and finding a few pages are having the same keywords. In such situations, Google faces the issue of finding the right page as the search result of the query asked by a web surfer.
By using internal links, you can give Google the path to find the most relevant page to resolve this issue quite efficiently. This will ultimately increase traffic and conversion rate.
Internal linking is a highly important factor in terms of SEO due to its various benefits. Some of them are explained above. But just the internal linking is not enough to improve the ranking of the pages or the website.
It needs to be supported well by a properly developed content and a well-designed website.
The links are helpful in navigating the viewers and connecting the pages to offer various benefits.
But if the content on the pages is poorly created, this can have an adverse impact and can reduce down the reputation of the website.
Hence, the internal links are of high importance in the website but it has to be understood that it should be supported well with effective and engaging content.
Having any doubts about the right implementation of internal links? Feel free to ask us in the comments.