Internal links are an important part of SEO.
And as a matter of fact, Google takes internal links into consideration when ranking your site.
However, there is more than one type of internal link, and you may be wondering which one you should be using.
In this post, I’ll go over the different types of internal links and which one you should be using.
What are Internal Links?
Internal links are hyperlinks with the same source and target domains. They are hyperlinks on a website that lead to different sections of the same website.
External links take you to a different website, but internal links keep you on the same one.
What is the purpose of internal links?
Internal links connect one page on a domain to another page on the same domain. They are frequently used in primary navigation. These kinds of linkages are beneficial for three reasons:
- They allow visitors to navigate a website.
- They help establish an information hierarchy for your website.
- They help provide link equity (ranking power) around your websites.
Types of internal links you can use:
An internal link can be created using several different elements. Internal links in the text links, main navigation, footer links, and image links are the most popular.
These are the most popular internal links, and they help structure your website and guide the reader through the content. Every page of your website has navigation links.
Links within the content of a page that direct users to relevant pages.
Text links are hyperlinked words or phrases within your content. The text link is frequently structured in blue text and may include an underline.
An example of a text link is shown below:
This is the most typical type of link for an SEO strategy involving internal linking.
Images can also be used as links. Button images, charts, and infographics are examples of this. This type of link can be beneficial to readers if there is a page that would assist someone who wants additional information about that image.
Taxonomy and categorical links
These links connect relevant subjects, such as blog categories or related posts, to make it easier for readers to find content. They can also provide links to parent service pages.
Site-wide or footer links
Footer links, which are placed at the bottom of your page, are used to improve the usability of your website. A site’s footer often contains social media widgets, contact information, and an internal search tool for your website.
How to format an SEO-friendly link
In a sentence, include links to the most important text. Don’t use text like “click here” as a hyperlink. Using the current sentence, create the link.
The relationship should be natural, and the sentence should still flow and make much sense in the article.
Here’s an example of how your text link might appear in a sentence:
This is an example sentence for <a href=”/internal-linking”>internal linking/a>.</p>
The text between the <a> and </a> tags is known as anchor text, and it is the section used as the page’s link.
Internal links: Relative vs. Absolute
When you include an internal link, you have the option of making it absolute or relative. A relative link does not include the domain name, whereas an absolute link does.
When employing a relative link, the current domain is the same as the link domain. If the reader is using http rather than https, they will continue to see the http version. Similarly, if they are on the www version rather than the non-www version, they will remain there.
NoFollow should not be used for internal links.
By adding rel=nofollow to the hyperlink, you can instruct search engines not to follow it.
External links in blog comments and links in guest articles benefit from this.
This is not something you should include in internal links. You could add nofollow to internal links years ago to provide additional value (link juice) to the links you wanted to rank. If you try this now, you will lose the extra link juice because it will not be disseminated to the remaining links.
Keep Internal Links unique
When adding internal links to content, place them at the beginning of the relevant text on the page. There is no need to add another link if the subject comes up again.
If you add the same link to the page many times, Google will only consider the anchor text used in the first instance, or worse, it can cannibalize your keyword ranking.
A foolproof method for adding internal links regularly
You should go over your internal links every time you publish a new blog post. You should provide links to previous articles in your new article. You should also provide links to your new content in older articles.
There are plugins and solutions available to help you with this. You can use our internal link building tool for one.
However, I found that if you don’t automate the procedure, it works better. Some tasks are better done by hand.
Step 1: make a spreadsheet.
Begin by creating a two-column spreadsheet. The page URL will be in one column, and the keywords you want to target on the page will be in the other.
Only provide URLs for pages that you want to concentrate your SEO efforts on. This will largely consist of your blog pages.
Your homepage, about page, contact page, and category pages would not be included. Those will naturally have several internal links, and there will not be as many opportunities to build those up throughout your regular blog posts.
Keep this spreadsheet as minimal as possible. Don’t worry about using specific terms. Instead, include the key point.
If you’re using Google Sheet, you can highlight any keywords that are associated with 2 or more URLs.
You can create Conditional formatting and enter this formula:
You can change the color so you can visually see which keywords are duplicates. If you are seeing a lot, then you know you need to think about performing a link audit
Step 2: Include links to previous articles in your new article
Every time you publish a new article, go over it to see where you can add links to previous articles on your website. Incorporating links to past articles in your new postings indicates to search engines that the old content is still relevant and up to date.
- Go to the article that you just published.
- Refer to the spreadsheet containing your existing content and keywords.
- In your new article, use ctrl (cmd) + F to locate terms from previous articles.
- When you locate a keyword match, go over the text to see if it makes sense to provide a link to the previous post.
- Include a link to the previous article in the new piece to benefit the reader.
Steps 3-5 should be repeated for each keyword in your spreadsheet.
Step 3: Include links to your new post on previous articles
There are two approaches you might take depending on the size of your website. Searching each page manually will produce more accurate results. However, the second alternative is more realistic when your website’s content has grown and requires a scalable solution.
Option 1: search for keywords in old articles manually
- Navigate to each URL in your spreadsheet. Pressing the ctrl (cmd) button while clicking on each link will open them in a new tab.
- Open your spreadsheet to the first page.
- Press Ctrl + F to search the page for the keyword you want to use in your new post.
- If you discover a keyword match, go over the content to determine if a connection to your new article makes sense.
- If it does, include a link.
Steps 3-5 should be repeated for each successive page.
Option 2: search for linking opportunities in google.
Go to Google and search for your website using the keyword you wish to target. The site attribute limits results to the URL (your site) that you enter. Then, enclose your keyword in quotation marks. Here’s an example of a search:
This will provide results from your website that are relevant to that keyword. This will offer you the top sites to look at to see if adding a link to your new article makes sense.
Step 4: incorporate the new article into your spreadsheet
You’ll want to maintain your spreadsheet up to date. So, when you’re finished, make sure to add your most recent post to the list.
Where should internal links be placed?
Internal links for SEO are often created by inserting text links between blog entries.
There is no need to include several links on the About and Contact pages. These are already available in your main navigation.
You want readers to be able to navigate the more complicated sections of your website easily. This usually refers to the more in-depth sites, such as blog articles.
Tools to help with internal linking
Google search console
You can see your top linked internal pages in the Google Search Console. To obtain the report, navigate to Links and then More under Internal links.
This report displays the pages with the most internal links. The most popular pages on your website will most likely be the top pages. Those pages would be ideal places to include connections to your new content.
The bottom pages with the fewest links, on the other hand, are articles that could benefit from a link in a new article.
Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin
If you’re using WordPress and have the Yoast SEO plugin installed, you can get this information right in the posts or pages menu.
On the right side, there are two numerical columns. There is a column for the number of internal links in the article and another for the number of internal links in other articles that link to this one.
This gives you a quick overview of which pages could gain from internal linking.WordPress.
Our Linkilo WordPress plugin can help you analyze how many links you have, if you have orphan pages, cannibalization, and much more. Check out our features.
Whatever tools your manual approaches you come up with, it’s important to understand the benefits. Internal links help search engine crawlers index your site more efficiently. Internal links also help your site visitors navigate your site more easily. And each of these types of internal links is important for different reasons.