CEO of Letterdrop, former Product Manager on Google Search
Internal links are like a roadmap through your web pages. They increase time spent on your site and can direct visitors to high-value content, which increases the likelihood of conversion. They also help Google crawl through and understand the value of your pages.
Users might accidentally come across your content gems without them, but why take a chance? As a Content Marketer or SEO specialist, you know the value your content provides — it's time to deep-link and get it out there.
This article covers the value of internal linking and suggests some of the best internal linking practices you can use. We'll even show you where you can automate them.
What are Internal Links?
Internal links connect one page of your website to other pages on your website.
There are two main types of internal links. The first are navigational links like those in your navigation bar that take your user all over your website.
The second are contextual links, like those in the body of blog posts, that take users to related articles and pages.
Why are Internal Links Important?
When asked whether internal links are important for SEO, Google's John Mueller answered, "Yes, absolutely." He goes on to say:
"I think it’s one of the biggest things that you can do on a website to kind of guide Google and guide visitors to the pages that you think are important."
This is because internal links create pathways through your content. You can watch Mueller's full response at the 25:13 mark in the video.
1. They Increase Time On Site And Push Visitors Down the Marketing Funnel
You can help visitors navigate your site's right pages with internal links. They'll spend longer on your site if they find the information they want. This gives you more time to build trust and get them on pages that lead to conversions.
2. Google Uses Them to Crawl Through Your Content
Search engines use internal links to learn what your site is about, understand its topical authority, and how pages relate to each other. Search engines also consider pages with more links to them as your most important pages.
Pages without internal links are called orphan pages. You've left them out in the cold, and nobody can get to them easily. Avoid this if you want traffic and good SERP rankings.
How and When Should I Use Internal Links in Blog Posts?
Here are some tips for internal linking:
1. Target at least 3-5 internal links per blog post. Refer users to your related articles. The more relevant the information you can provide, the better.
2. Make sure hyperlinked anchor text is relevant to the page it's linking to. Don't use "Here" or "This link" — this doesn't give users or Google any information. Use the keyword of the target page instead.
3. Try directing visitors from a high-traffic page to a high-conversion page. Your page traffic with brings visitors in the funnel. If you know which pages tend to get visitors to book a demo, try your product, or sign up for a newsletter, see if you can naturally direct them there.
4. Think about influencing your internal linking structure. The easier it is to discover a page while crawling, the more likely it is they'll be indexed. This is a great way to get your content in the SERPs.
5. Look out for broken links. Forgetting to update a link when you move resources around means the URL no longer takes users where they want to go. This also happens if you type in URLs incorrectly. Make sure all your links work before publishing your page.
How to Find Pages To Link To
If you want to find pages you can link to, you have to type this into Google:
"site:[yoursite.com] [topic you're looking for]"
Can I Automate Internal Linking?
Keeping track of which page links to which page can be a drag. Once you start publishing over a few dozen pages, it becomes hard to manage. Some content marketers will create spreadsheets and try to keep them up-to-date with all the internal page links. I respect the dedication, but it's a futile exercise.
Let's take a look at what you can (and can't) do with internal linking on WordPress and Webflow.
You Can Find and Add Internal Links on WordPress
If you're using WordPress, you can add internal links directly in the editor.
WordPress doesn't suggest internal links automatically, but you can keyword search a page on your site that you want to link to and auto-add it.
You Can't Automate Internal Links on Webflow Alone
Unfortunately, Webflow doesn't have any feature that supports automatic internal linking — much to the frustration of its users.
You're stuck with doing the manual site search that we mentioned earlier, and will have to add the links to Webflow yourself.
Both WordPress and Webflow require you to make manual searches for links, which can be extremely frustrating. Luckily there is a platform that can take care of automatic internal links no matter what website you're hosting your site on: Letterdrop.
Letterdrop Can Automate Internal Links on Any Site
Letterdrop can take care of internal linking for you and integrates with just about any site, including WordPress, Webflow, and custom sites. It understands the different pages on your site, what they're about, and categorizes them so that it can discover internal link opportunities.
It then automatically suggests internal links for individual posts and identifies linking opportunities in bulk across your site as well. When you accept the suggestions, it auto-adds the link to your text or publishes them across your pages.
Here's a quick video of the feature in action.
Internal Links are a Roadmap Through Your Website
Don't leave your users and Google in the dark, where a direct link is the only way to deep-dive into your web content. Internal links are an easy way to boost your SEO. Unlike backlinks, they're completely under your control. If you're new to the internal linking game or struggling to do it yourself, and looking for an automated solution, reach out.
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