Internal Link

What is an Internal Link?

Internal links are text or image-based hyperlinks that appear on the pages of your website and point to other pages on the same domain. 

Internal links may be compared to external links, which are hyperlinks on your website that point to domains.



Why are Internal Links Important?

Internal links play a critical role in the overall usability and SEO performance of your website. Here’s why it’s considered important to utilize internal links on your website:


Internal Links Create the Structure of Your Website

The first thing you should know about internal links is that they help establish the structure, page hierarchy, and overall flow of your website. 

Websites should be structured in a way that aligns with the sales/marketing funnel: low-intent/TOFU blogs, articles, and glossaries link to medium-intent/MOFU guides and resources, which link to high-intent/BOFU product, solution, and sales pages. 

When this practice is followed, your website behaves like a funnel that siphons visitors to your high-intent sales pages – and it’s all powered by internal links.


Internal Links Help Human Users Navigate Your Website

Internal links create connections between pages that make it easier for human users to navigate around your website.

Most websites feature a navigation menu at the top or left side of the page that provides internal links to all of the most important sections of the website. 


Internal Links Help Web Crawlers Index Your Content

Search engines like Google use web robots known as crawlers to index new content on the Internet before it can appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Web crawlers read the pages of your website to understand their structure and contents. They also use hyperlinks to travel around your website and understand which pages are the most important. Without internal links, web crawlers would have a mucher harder time exploring your website, discovering your latest updates, and showing your pages to relevant users in the SERPs. 

5 Internal Linking Best Practices

Use Descriptive Anchor Text

Internal links can be image-based, but they most often appear as a clickable text hyperlink in a piece of content or as part of a navigation menu. Text hyperlinks often appear as blue and underlined, and the text itself is commonly known as “anchor text” or “link text”.

A text hyperlink should be attached to keyword-rich anchor text that describes the contents of the destination page. If the destination page is about chocolate milk, the anchor text should include the phrase “chocolate milk”.


Position Internal Links High on the Page

Internal links should be positioned high up on the page where users can immediately see them as the page begins to load, ideally above the fold. Positioning internal links near the top of the page makes it quick and easy for users to navigate around your website, lowering your bounce rate and increasing pages per session on your website. This is the main reason why navigation menus are so often positioned at the top of the page.


Build Internal Links to Key Pages

The internal links on your website should funnel visitors to high-intent sales pages, including product, service, and sales pages where they can complete your most highly-valued conversion actions. 


Add Internal Links to Older Content

As your website continues to grow, you should occasionally revisit some of your older pages and update them with new internal links to pages that you’ve published more recently. This practice keeps the link juice flowing around your website and helps with overall page rankings.


Use a Reasonable Number of Internal Links

According to Google, webmasters should limit the number of links on each webpage to a “reasonable number (a few thousand at most)”. In practice, the number of internal links you include on a page can vary widely, and it largely depends on the purpose and importance of that page.

Most web pages include a page footer and a navigation menu with internal links to every important section of the site. As your site grows, these menus get larger and the number of internal links on every page increases.

You’ll also want to include internal links within the content of any blogs or guides you post, directing visitors to your most important pages and other relevant content on your site. A typical blog post might include 10 or 15 internal links.

For pages that appear in your checkout process, minimizing the number of internal links helps your customers stay focused on completing the transaction and reduces shopping cart abandonment. It is not uncommon to see checkout pages with only 1 internal link on them (e.g. a button that says “Next Step” or “Confirm”).

How Do Internal Links Help Your SEO?

Search engines like Google view both external and internal links as indicators of the value and authority of a page. A page with a lot of links pointing to it is seen as more valuable and is more likely to rank well in the SERPs for related queries. When a page ranks highly in the SERPs, a link from that page is worth more.

SEO professionals sometimes use terms like “Link Equity”, “Link Juice” or “Link Value” to describe the idea that “Creating a link transfers value and authority from the source page to the destination page”. Regardless of what you call it, it’s clear that a strategic approach to internal linking can result in higher search rankings for the most important pages on your website. Internal links are vital to your SEO (search engine optimization) campaign and should not be overlooked in your strategy.

Have more questions about how internal links can help your SEO?

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