You will hear or read about the importance of backlinks for SEO purposes and that they are essential for improving the rankings of business websites on Google. What you might not be so familiar with though, is that the internal links within your website also play a key SEO role in boosting rankings. In this article, we are going to examine why and how your internal linking aids your rankings.
Internal Linking Explained
Internal linking within a business website is a relatively easy concept to understand. They are simply links that are created that allow navigation from one page of a website to another when someone clicks on them. Internal links can either be part of the navigation of a website or not.
Some links will be hidden behind a button that users click and are then taken to another page whereas other links are visible in highlighted text and when that text is clicked the user will be taken to another part of the website, or even another part of the same page.
It is important to understand the difference between internal links and your backlinks. Backlinks will always originate on another website and link to your website, whereas internal links will always originate within your website and link to another part of your website.
Why Internal Links Help Power Your SEO
One of the most important points about internal inks is that you control them, unlike many of your backlinks. This means that you can specify both their origin and their destination to maximise the SEO benefits of each one.
Whilst internal links might not have as much power as some backlinks, they are certainly not devoid of power. For example, if you have a page that has a strong backlink to it from a powerful, and well-established website, Google will credit your page for that. In addition, if you link from that page to another page within your website, some of the power from the external backlink goes with it to give another page more power.
Repeat this numerous times throughout your website with your backlinks and your internal linking structure and you can soon see that the cumulative effect is to give multiple pages within your website more SEO power which manifests in better Google rankings.
Internal Links And Why Google Likes Them
Referring back to when we mentioned the use of internal links as part of making navigation easier for visitors to your website, this is going to earn you credit from Google and here is why. Google has an obsession with user experience, which you may see written as UX. UX guides and informs much of what Google has within its ranking algorithms and there are many data points that it uses to measure a website’s UX.
One of those measures is how many pages a user clicks during a visit to a website. Another measure is how long visitors remain on the website, and specific pages. Now, compare what those will be on a website with few internal inks and where visitors find it difficult to navigate through, and a website with well-structured internal linking that has been used to create a menu system that visitors can easily understand and use.
If you reckon that the latter website is going to provide a far superior UX than the former, you would the correct. More to the point whilst we are discussing SEO, Google also sees it that way too. It means internal linking has provided an excellent user experience, and for that reason, Google is almost certain to boost the ranking of that website.
As a bonus SEO benefit, your internal links also make it easier for Google to establish relationships between pages on your website and the content on each of them. By strategically linking specific content using hypertext and URLs, it provides Google with greater confidence in a page’s relevance for a search term and is more inclined to rank that page for it.