The Psychology Behind Effective Internal Linking

The Psychology behind Internal Linking

It often goes misunderstood or ignored in the world of SEO.

Internal linking is something that people tend to forget about or disregard the benefits it can give your website.

One aspect that proves interesting results is taking the unique psychological focus into internal linking, and how it impacts user behaviour.

So, let’s take a look: Effective internal linking not only improves user experience but also boosts SEO.


Section 1: The Role of Internal Linking in WordPress SEO

What is Internal Linking?

Internal linking is the process of connecting one page on your website to another by using hyperlinks.

These links are what guide users from one piece of content to another within your site.

Significance in SEO

Internal links are more than navigational aids; they are the glue that holds your site’s structural integrity together.

They pass the authority from one page to another, helping search engines understand the hierarchy and importance of various pages.

This transfer of authority is often referred to as ‘PageRank”.

Impact on Search Engine Rankings

Effective internal linking has a direct impact on your search engine rankings.

When search engines recognise a well-structured web of internal links, they view your site and its content as more organised and authoritative.

It can lead to higher rankings in search results, ultimately driving more organic traffic.


Section 2: User Experience and SEO

The Connection Between UX and SEO

User experience is intrinsically linked to this.

Search engines aim to provide the best possible results to their users, and user satisfaction plays a pivotal role in the process.

Lower Bounce Rates and Longer Dwell Times

Links play a significant role in improving user experience by reducing bounce rates and increasing dwell times.

When users find relevant links, they are more likely to explore further and spend more time on your site.

Search Engines Reward a Better UX

If your site offers an exceptional experience for users, search engines will reward it.

So this, driven in part by well-implemented internal links, can cause improved search engine rankings.


Section 3: The Psychological Aspects of Internal Linking

The Psychology of User Engagement and Navigation

Understanding user psychology is crucial to creating effective internal linking.

Users look for content that directly answers their questions or fulfils their needs.

Internal links guide them on a journey, satisfying their curiosity and encouraging exploration.

Guided User Journeys

Think of internal links as signposts along someone’s path.

They guide visitors from one piece of valuable content to the next, so everything is seamless and well-structured.

Boosting Credibility and Authority

Effective linking can boost your WordPress site’s credibility and authority in the eyes of users.

When they find relevant links, they see your content as comprehensive and trustworthy.


Psychological Triggers

Understanding user behaviour and WordPress SEO is like having a toolkit filled with triggers that can be used to engage your audience more effectively.


This is a fundamental animal trait that drives us to seek answers and explore the unknown.

When strategically placed internal links hint at more valuable information, people are immediately more interested.

ie. Consider a travel blog mentioning “hidden gems” in a destination and linking to a separate article with the promise of telling.

Users like discovering things.

Fear of Missing Out (FoMO):

We all get this a little bit.

But with internal links, they can trigger FoMO by suggesting that by clicking on them they will reveal something valuable or exclusive.

ie. A tech blog might include a link with the text “Breaking News” leading to the latest tech developments or a tech giveaway.

People who don’t want to miss out are more likely to stay in the loop.

Desire for In-Depth Knowledge:

Some users need this for specific topics.

Internal links can cater to this desire by guiding them to more detailed and comprehensive resources.

ie. An article on “Basic Photography Tips” could internally link to an advanced guide on “Mastering Manual Camera Settings”, offering people a chance to go deeper into the subject.

Social Proof:

People tend to look to others for guidance and validation.

By linking to articles that showcase social proof, like customer reviews, testimonials, or success stories, you get into the psychology of trust.

When users see that others have had positive experiences or desirable outcomes, they are more likely to trust your content and continue looking.


By strategically placing internal links within your content that tap into these psychological triggers, you can start to see some interesting results.


Section 6: SEO Best Practices for Internal Linking

Using what you’ve learned about the psychology of internal linking, it’s important to harness the overall skills needed for successful WordPress SEO.

Here are some actions you can take to optimise your internal linking structure:

Anchor Text Optimisation:

The words you use to link from matter.

Instead of using generic phrases like “click here” or “read more”, add the anchor text naturally into your content.

Make sure it states what the text is linking to, so users can understand it better.

Relevant Link Placements:

The placement of your internal links should be contextually relevant.

The more fluidly your text reads, the more trustworthy your site feels to new users.

Having ambiguous “click here” links around your site, kind of looks like a computer virus waiting to happen, even if it’s not the intention.

Use of Descriptive Titles:

When you create internal links, consider using descriptive titles or tooltips.

These provide additional context to users when they hover over the link.

ie. If you’re linking to a product page, a tooltip like “Explore Our Latest Product – XYZ Pro” can give users an idea of what to expect by clicking.

Maintaining a Logical Link Structure:

Keep your internal link structure organised and logical.

Create a hierarchical structure where important pages receive more internal links and are easier to access.

Make sure that every page on your website is reachable within a few clicks from the homepage.

A well-organised link structure not only helps with WordPress SEO but also enhances user navigation.


Final Thoughts

Understanding user psychology is a great tool for improving your website and helps maximise SEO benefits.

Internal linking is not just a technical aspect of it; it’s a tool for enhancing user experience and boosting your site’s credibility and authority.

Try using WILO for the best internal link optimisation that just keeps giving, and boost your WordPress SEO today!


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Last updated: November 27, 2023