How Internal Linking Improves SEO & User Experience

How Internal Linking Improves SEO & User Experience

Internal linking is a cornerstone of on-page search engine optimisation (SEO) for any website. By linking together web pages, internal link building helps search engines to index your website content and make it easier to find.

However, the importance of internal linking is often overlooked in favour of other on-page SEO processes, such as keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions. Yet when you focus on building internal links, it can greatly improve the performance of your others SEO strategies.

Let’s look at internal linking and why it’s essential for SEO:

What is Internal Linking?

Internal linking is when you hyperlink the different pages on your website. This is the opposite of external linking, which is the process of hyperlinking to other websites across the web.

Internal links are an important component of website structure. They help to connect the various pages of content, streamlining the user experience to make it easier to navigate the site. It’s recommended that users can access any of your web pages in no more than three clicks.

Furthermore, internal linking is an essential part of SEO for your website, with the process communicating page priority to search engines like Google.

The Different Types of Internal Links

There are many types of internal links available on a website, each one offering different advantages for your SEO processes.

Menu Links

Menu links serve as the main internal links for a website, being placed on the website header. These links show clear navigation throughout the website and can be customised to suit the needs of your business.

For instance, an ecommerce store typically has menu links to the various product categories. 

By listing menu links, you communicate to users the important pages to visit upon reaching the website. Also called navigation links, menu links help guide your audience throughout the website from a single location.

Footer Links

Footer links are commonly used to link to pages like about us, contact us, FAQs, customer services. While similar to menu links, footer links usually focus on guiding users to resource pages when they need info.

Both menu links and footer links remain the same throughout every page to help streamline navigation across the website.

Sidebar Links

Sidebar links are used by websites with high volumes of content, such as news and sports sites. These links are useful for guiding users that are casually browsing to more targeted content, like the most popular/read articles.

In-text

In-text links are placed inside the body of website content, so are most used in blogs and articles. Rather than focusing on navigating different pages, in-text links help guide readers to information relevant to what they’re currently reading. Here is an example of an internal link to our web design page. The different colour text indicates that it is a link. 

The Importance of Link Building for SEO  

Here are some of the main benefits of internal link building for website SEO:

Better User Experience

The main benefit of link building is providing the best user experience on your website. internal links make it easier to navigate the various pages of your site, leaving a positive impression on first-time and retuning visitors alike.

If a website is difficult to navigate, chances are the user will quickly leave!

User Retention

Once a user arrives at your site, internal links help keep them there longer. The more links to different pages, the more chance you have of retaining users. Because you have links to various resources, you reduce the chance of them searching other sites instead.

Of course, when a user is on your site for longer, it increases the likelihood of achieving a conversion with the right CTAs.

Improved Ranking

Internal links make it easier for search engine crawlers to index each page of your website. With more indexing comes increased ranking on search engines, improving website visibility in the SERPs.

Conclusion

Internal link building is an on-page SEO strategy that offers many advantages, including higher rankings on search engines and more user retention. 

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