An often-forgotten part of the SEO optimization of a site or blog is the use of internal links. These links not only provide more interaction on your site but also help to rank higher in the search engines.
Why should you pay attention and how does internal linking work? Below are practical SEO tips that can be applied straight away.
The theory behind internal links
Internal links, just like links from other sites, help to rank your content higher in search engine’s search results. But if you don’t do it according to the rules of these search engines, it can also lower your ranking.
The theory behind internal links is that you can only link from one article to another if you provide the visitor with relevant subject-related additional information.
Example: If you write an article about baking a cake and you link to an article about sneakers, there is no link between the two topics. Nobody wants to read anything about cake baking and suddenly gets interested in sneakers. A link to an article about the best oven gloves or ovens would make sense.
Using internal links to cluster information
Search engines do everything they can to analyze your site in the best possible way and to value the information you offer. You can help by linking related articles to each other.
With this, you actually tell the search engines what you have to say within a certain knowledge domain.
A common method is to first write a generic article and then link it to all specific sub-articles. These sub-articles then link all of them to each other.
In this way, you form a so-called silo of knowledge about a certain subject.
Using internal links to prioritize the information
A simple rule of the game is that a page to which most links from internal or external links point is the most important in the eyes of search engines.
Other factors such as the number of visitors and how long visitors stay on the page also play a role, but incoming links are very important.
By giving one article more links than another, you can play with prioritizing content. Keep in mind 3 rules:
Links from the main page are most valuable
Links from a frequently visited page are then the most valuable
Links from a page that is rarely or never visited can harm your page authority.
Use internal links to give context to a page
If you create an internal link to a page you can incorporate it in your text or place it randomly on your page. The most effective method is to include an internal link in your text because it gives the page extra context for the search engines.
Example: If you write an article called “the best tips for baking a cake” it is the first thing search engines look for. Based on the title, search engines analyze the rest of the article.
If you use the words ‘bake a cake’ in your new article, you can make a link to the previous article.
What works even better is to enrich the sentence with, for example, the words ‘bake the tastiest cakes’.
Because of this, search engines know that the article is not only about cake-baking tips but also about ‘tasty cakes’.
Don’t use too many internal links within 1 article
Of course, you can exaggerate. Too many links within 1 article can be seen as deception by search engines and can even result in a penalty.
The golden rule here is that a link should be logical, but a whole sentence where every word is a link, does not read pleasantly and before you know it you click the wrong link as a visitor.
There is no maximum number of links, but most SEO professionals use an average of 5 to a maximum of 10 links per article of at least 500 words.