People pay hundreds to boost site authority but what if we told you that you can pretty much do it for free?
The internal linking impact on website authority is far more sustainable than any paid gig.
So sit back and relax whilst we big you up to search engines.
What Are Internal Links?
Before we get into their impact on website authority, let’s first get to grips with understanding what internal links are:
- Hyperlinks that point from one page to another on the same site.
These links connect pages together and allow users to go between pages easily.
Unlike external links, which lead to other websites, internal links keep everything within your site’s ecosystem.
Differentiating Internal Links from External Links
They’re not the same; they do very different things for your website.
- External links (aka outbound links): Point to other websites or external resources.
- Internal Links: Used to connect site pages, making browsing seamless.
Examples of Internal Links
Let’s consider a few examples to show internal links:
- Navigation Menu: The primary navigation menu contains several internal links. Clicking on “Services” might take you to a page that lists all the services your business offers.
- Related Articles: In a blog post, you may include links to related posts. If you’re writing about “Healthy Eating Habits”, you can link to posts on “Nutrition Tips” or “Exercises” within your site.
Now that we have a clearer understanding of internal links let’s explore why they matter for SEO and website authority.
Why Internal Links Matter for SEO
Improved User Experience and Navigation
Internal links give users a clear path between similar content.
When your linking makes sense, they’re more likely to stay on the site for longer, engage with content and convert into customers or subscribers.
A well-structured internal linking system can significantly reduce bounce rates and increase user satisfaction.
Helping Search Engines Crawl and Index Your Site
Search engines like Google use web crawlers to navigate and index web pages.
Linking from one page to another essentially tells search engines that these pages are related and important.
This can lead to better rankings and visibility in search results.
Distributing PageRank and Authority
One of the biggest pluses of internal linking is its ability to share PageRank and authority throughout a site.
PageRank is Google’s algorithm that measures the importance of web pages.
When you link from a high-authority page to a lower one, you pass on some of that authority to the linked page.
It can potentially boost a page’s rankings as long as it’s done well.
The Impact of Internal Links on Website Authority
Now, we’ll focus on how internal links specifically impact website authority.
What Is Website Authority?
Often referred to as domain authority, it’s a metric that reflects the overall strength and credibility of a site in a search engine’s eyes.
It’s based on various factors, including the number and quality of backlinks, content quality, user engagement, and, you guessed it, internal linking.
How Internal Links Contribute to Building Authority
When you use internal links, you’re associating related content.
This shows search engines that your website covers a particular topic comprehensively.
Over time, this can establish your site as an authoritative source in your niche.
As mentioned earlier, internal links improve user experience.
When users spend more time on your site exploring various topics, search engines see this as a sign of relevance and quality.
It can positively impact your site’s authority and its SEO.
Establishing Site Structure:
An organised website structure with well-planned internal links helps search engines understand the hierarchy and relationships between pages.
This makes it easier for search engines to assess your site’s content.
Internal links encourage visitors to dive deeper into your website.
Having users explore multiple pages on your site demonstrates that you have something valuable on there.
The more use someone can get out of your site, the higher your domain authority.
Internal links play a big part in building website authority.
They improve content relevancy, enhance user engagement, establish site structure and show the depth of your content.
Best Practices for Effective Internal Linking to Boost Authority
1. Use Descriptive Anchor Text
Anchor text is the clickable text within a hyperlink.
It serves as a critical signal to search engines about the content of the linked page.
To enhance your anchor text:
- Make sure the anchor text accurately reflects the topic or content of the linked page.
- Instead of using generic phrases like “click here” or “read more,” include keywords or phrases that provide context.
- Example: Instead of “Click here for more information,” let the link flow naturally in the content.
- Maintain a natural flow: Avoid over-optimising anchor text with excessive keyword usage. Keep it natural and user-focused.
2. Prioritise Relevance
Relevance is key when it comes to internal linking.
Make sure that the pages you link to are closely related to the content of the source page.
This not only aids user navigation but also signals to search engines that your content is coherent and comprehensive.
Link to related content:
- Choose pages that add value and complement the current topic.
- Linking to unrelated content can confuse both users and search engines.
Avoid excessive linking:
- While it’s important to create a network of links within your site, refrain from overloading your content with too many links.
- Maintain a balance to prevent overwhelming your readers.
3. Create a Sitemap
A sitemap is a visual representation of your website’s structure.
It helps you plan and organise your internal links effectively.
A well-structured sitemap aids in distributing authority evenly across your site and ensures that no important pages are left out.
Organise content hierarchically:
- Arrange your website’s content in a logical hierarchy, making it easier for both users and search engines to navigate.
- This hierarchy should be reflected in your sitemap and internal linking strategy.
- Example: For an e-commerce site, categories like “Electronics,” “Clothing,” and “Home & Garden” should be top-level pages, with subcategories and individual product pages nested beneath them.
Update your sitemap regularly:
- As you add new content or reorganise your site, update your sitemap to reflect these changes.
- A current sitemap ensures that your internal links remain accurate and up-to-date.
4. Monitor and Maintain Internal Links
Internal links require ongoing maintenance and monitoring to ensure they continue to boost your website’s authority.
Regularly review your internal linking strategy and make adjustments as needed.
- Check for broken links: Broken internal links can harm user experience and negatively impact SEO. Use tools or plugins to identify and fix broken links promptly.
- Audit link relevance: Periodically review the relevance of your internal links. As your content evolves, update your links to reflect the most current and related content.
- Optimise high-traffic pages: Identify pages on your site that receive significant traffic and strategically place internal links to other valuable pages. This can further enhance their authority.
5. Consider Mobile Users
With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure that your internal links are mobile-friendly.
Mobile users should have no difficulty clicking on and navigating through your internal links.
- Ensure clickable elements are touch-friendly: Make sure that links are appropriately spaced and large enough for users to tap on mobile screens without difficulty.
- Avoid pop-up ads or elements that may interfere with internal link interaction on mobile devices.
Remember, building website authority is a long-term thing.
Consistently providing valuable content and optimising your internal linking strategy will help your website rise in the ranks.
Establish yourself as an authoritative source in your niche and keep looking after your SEO.
Or get someone else to do it for you; we don’t judge.