What are internal links and why are they important for SEO?

How do I optimize on-page efficiency in SEO?
What other types of backlinks are there?

“Internal links are, as the name implies, links within a website. Through these links the visitor should be able to orient himself on the website and be forwarded to other subpages. “

Why internal links are important

As external links become more and more discreditable, internal links are more popular than ever.

But why?

Using internal links, the link power of a website can be passed on different subpages. Simply put, your visitors and Google can clearly identify which pages of your site are especially important through internal links.

How internal links improve usability

Internal links can be z. In the menu, in the content (body text), in the footer or in the sidebar on a website. It is important to design the internal linking so that the visitor gets enough relevant information quickly enough. If the links on the page are confusing or do not lead to the desired destination, the visitor loses track of the situation and quickly leaves to find out elsewhere.

It is also important that internal link with clear link texts. Unlike external links (backlinks), internal links should be linked with explicit texts in order to make clear to visitors, but also Google, what the internally linked site is all about. Do not internally link with trivial terms like “here”, but use strong, clear keywords that you want to rank.

Design the information architecture of a website correctly

The internal links therefore serve as anchor points and redirects on the own website. So think carefully about which information architecture you want to create for your website. Important categories and pages for which you want to achieve rankings should be z. For example, you can be reached quickly from the homepage with just one or two clicks. Since every website has different goals, unfortunately I can only give general tips 😉

In the picture above you can see a small example of a useful information architecture by internal linking to a website. On the homepage the pages “Katzenspiel Test 2016” and the blog can be selected with one click. In addition, a recent blog post on “Employment for Cats” links to the page “Cat Toy Test 2016”. Thus, the reader of the blog post will be redirected to relevant content of the page.

This is of course a very simple example, but it shows very well how you internally link meaningfully.

Internal linking in search engine optimization

From the SEO point of view, internal linking is used to pass on the link power that a website receives through its backlinks to the most important subpages (without large intermediate stations). Since backlinks are still an important ranking factor, it is very important to best distribute the link power on your own website. The deeper a subpage is hidden on your website, the weaker is often the link power.

Example : You have a website and strong links on the homepage. You have written several pages or contributions to certain products on this website and you want to rank well with them – If you now directly link the products on the start page, they will receive significantly more link power (and thus the chance of Google being considered relevant = better Rankings), as if these landing pages are hidden and can only be accessed via several clicks through various subpage pages.

However, the link power of each internal link is greatly attenuated if you place too many links on the home page. There is no concrete number of internal links per page, and it varies greatly from site to site. For example, a small blog should not have 100 internal links on a page. Larger guide portals (Amazon, T-Online, etc.) also like to handle more than 500 internal links per page, as this site has an incredible amount of link power.

A tip to give a lot of link power to as many pages as possible that you want to rank with are so-called overview pages. Here you link all relevant pages on a specific topic. Such a page can be placed in the footer, in the sidebar or in the menu. This ensures that all (external) backlinks also pass link power to this page. On such overview pages, the most important links to a certain topic can be collected and fed nicely with Linkjuice. On an overview page, you should not link externally and not to irrelevant subpages, which you do not want to rank.

If you want to give more link power to an “overview page”, it makes sense to link them in the sidebar or in the menu, as links in the footer are generally considered by Google as “less important”. An alternative to such overview pages are keywords or category pages in WordPress. If these are prominently linked internally in the menu, they also forward your link juice to posts.

To provide all major subpages with as much link power as possible, you should keep the information architecture of your website as flat as possible. So you can distribute the maximum Linkjuice on all important pages. If you want an optimal Google ranking for particularly important pages , these should be accessible with just a few clicks.

Content Links – Powerful tools for optimizing internal links

Content links are links in the body of a page. These have gained more and more weight from Google over the years – both external and internal links in body text. Be sure to include internal links in the content of your website.

Link here also with correct terms (Moneykeywords) and not with inconsequential terms like “here” o. Ä … Look at the links in the running text on Wikipedia.org – the same goes!

With links in the body text, you can provide your readers with more information and guide them through your website. It is important that the internal link are meaningful and not “forced”.

Do not link different pages with the same anchor text – this could lead to confusion for your readers, but for the search engine.

But do not overdo it with internal links: the more internal links are placed on a page, the less Linkkraft is passed.

Two internal links per 500 words of continuous text are completely sufficient – also a little less or, if it fits, a bit more. There is no rule here, but you have to decide for yourself if there is a linkable term in the text. Nothing, however, is worse than the obsessive attempt to randomize any words in your texts just to link. Link internally, if it makes sense and the pages fit together thematically.

Siloing: optimize internal link structure

In the SEO industry, internal linking often involves siloing internal links . Especially large sites benefit from this linking strategy.

When “siloing” internally only matching topics are linked. If there are several categories on a website, internal links never lead to different categories / topics. The internal links are only linked within the category / topic.

This strategy has several advantages:

The user should not be distracted by other topics as soon as he has decided on a topic. He should stay on topic until the desired conversion is triggered. For Google, a silo is an advantage in order to be able to better differentiate certain topics on the website. Also, the site can develop an authority through this linking strategy. If the competition in the SERPs is particularly high, no single landing page or blog post will help – no, entire categories need to be filled with content and internally supported. Siloing helps to be recognized as an authority.

7 important points to consider when linking internally

  1. Never internally link to Nofollow – It usually makes no sense to provide internal links with a NoFollow attribute, because this link power is no longer passed. Passing on link power is your ultimate goal.
  2. Never internally link with “here” or other meaningless terms. Be explicit in your link texts, as there are no over optimized internal links for Google. Explicit link text will also help show your visitors (and Google) what the internally linked page is about. As an example, look at the internal links in the body text of Wikipedia!
  3. Too many internal links on one side dilute the link power too much and thus their effect. However, there is no recommended number of links – ask yourself if every internal link you have made makes sense or not.
  4. If you rank on Google for certain keywords with multiple pages at the same time in the search results, correctly set internal links can help (prioritize!). Therefore do not internally link multiple pages with exactly the same keyword.
  5. Much does not help much with internal linking: Never link multiple times on one page to the same link target – this only dilutes the link power and does not strengthen the multiple linked page.
  6. Internal links should never link to 404 error pages, otherwise valuable link power is lost.
  7. Also, internal links that go through redirects should be avoided because link power is also lost here.