Internal links on your WordPress website are links from one page or post to another.
These internal links do two things.
Firstly they help to form the structure of your website, and secondly, they help to link contextually from one page or post to another.
Internal links also establish a hierarchy of information on your site that both visitors and search engine bots can understand.
Architectural links form the structure of your website.
This type of internal link works as follows:
Your homepage > List of your services or products > Individual service or product
This internal link structure has a clear architecture that can be followed quickly.
Your homepage is at the top of the tree, then a top-level page followed by a detail page.
You will have as many of these as you need from your homepage:
- Your homepage > List of your services > Service one
- Your homepage > List of your services > Service two
- Your homepage > List of your services > Service three
- Your homepage > List of your services > Service four
WordPress typically manages this via categories and post archives, but it can also be done using pages with a parent/child relationship (we recommend the former).
- Your homepage > Category One Archive Page > A Post in this category
- Your homepage > Category Two Archive Page > A Post in this category
These links go between posts and pages, so contextual links go across your content rather than a top-down structure.
- Your homepage > Category One Archive Page > A post about subject A
May link to another relevant post:
- Your homepage > Category Two Archive Page > A post about subject B
This internal link runs across the structure of your website and can be used to help visitors find other related content on your site, even if it’s in a separate category.
What is all the fuss about internal linking if it’s so simple?
As your site grows, it can quickly become a mess in terms of internal linking.
The more content you have, the more mindful you need to be about internal linking so that your site maintains a structure that makes sense to visitors.
If you were to have every page of your site linking to every other page, there would be virtually no structure.
This confuses visitors and search engine bots, so you must avoid it.
Also, having too many links on your pages and posts simply waters down the importance of the link. This is called link equity or link juice.
If you have one link on Post A to Post B, 100% of the equity flows through that one link, as there are no other internal links on the page.
If you have five links on Post A to Posts B, C, D, E and F, the link equity is reduced to 20% per link.
But what about other links on the pages, such as the main navigation and links in sidebars and so on?
This is where your markup comes into play.
Using additional tags such as header, nav, main, article, section, aside, footer and so on helps explain your content’s structure and internal links.
This markup informs the search engine crawlers about the structure of your site and the links on each page.
This is called semantic markup, and it’s essential to get this correct on your site.
So how does WILO help with this?
Wilo makes it easier to find potential internal links on your site by scanning your WordPress posts and pages for potential links that match the word or phrase you are looking for.
It will show you how many pages, and posts have the potential for linking, what links are already, and what anchor texts the links use. It also keeps an eye on the number of links to ensure you are not adding too many.