User experience has become a priority, as it can make or break a website’s success.
When most people think of UX, design and “clickables” come to mind, but it’s more than that.
The umbrella term also includes internal linking, something that helps no-end with your site’s navigation.
Enhancing Website Navigation
This is at the heart of a positive user experience. Internal linking contributes to it by providing users with clear paths to follow, so it’s easier for them to find the information they want.
When the navigation is easy, people are more likely to spend longer on your site: Bounce rates go down and the chances for conversion increase.
Internal links can be strategically placed within content to direct users to related or helpful information. ie. If you’re discussing a complex topic, you could link it to a “Beginner’s Guide” for readers who need more foundational knowledge.
These ensure that users of varying levels can explore your content at their own pace creating a better experience of your site.
Boosting User Engagement
Engagement is a metric that speaks volumes about the value your website provides to visitors. Internal linking helps drive it by keeping users immersed in your content.
When users interact with internal links that lead to more in-depth articles, relevant case studies, or related blog posts, they’re likely to spend much more time there.
Consider a scenario where you’re writing a blog post about healthy eating habits. By linking to recipes, nutritional guides, and success stories within your site, you’re not only providing valuable information but also encouraging users to explore content that aligns with their interests.
Distributing Authority and SEO Benefits
Internal linking isn’t just about user experience; it also has a significant impact on search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines use the structure of your internal links to determine the hierarchy and importance of pages within the website.
By strategically linking to important pages, you can distribute “authority” throughout your website, helping search engines understand which content is most available.
A well-structured linking system can lead to better indexation, crawling, and ranking by search engines. When they can easily discover and navigate through your content, your website’s visibility and accessibility improve, resulting in more organic traffic.
Best Practices for Effective Internal Linking
Make sure that the linked content is contextually relevant to the current page. Irrelevant links can confuse users and disrupt the browsing experience.
Use descriptive and natural anchor text that accurately represents the linked content. Avoid using generic phrases like “click here”.
Create a clear hierarchy of content with primary navigation menus and contextual links. This helps users and search engines understand the importance of different pages.
Quantity and Quality:
Avoid overloading your content with internal links. Instead, focus on quality connections that genuinely add value to the reader’s journey.
Regularly check for broken internal links and fix them promptly. They can frustrate users and harm any SEO efforts.
Sitemap and Breadcrumbs:
Implement a sitemap and breadcrumb navigation to enhance overall website navigation.