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What Is Internal Linking and How to Do Internal Linking?

By Digital Journal Blog

When it comes to optimizing your website for search engines, internal linking is a crucial aspect that should not be overlooked. Internal linking refers to the practice of connecting one page of your website to another using hyperlinks.

These links are essential for guiding users through your content and establishing a coherent site structure. In this article, we will delve into the basics of internal linking, its significance for SEO, and how it can enhance user experience.

Table of Contents

Discovering Internal Linking’s Fundamentals
Internal Linking: Its Importance for SEO
Internal Linking’s Effect On the User Experience
The Positive Effects of Internal Linking
What Separates Internal Linking from External Linking
A Successful Internal Link’s Components
Making A Clever Internal Linking Plan
Tools & Resources for Internal Linking
Guidelines for Internal Linking
Internal Linking for E-Commerce Websites
Links Within the Organization’s Information Structure
Internal Linking for Bloggers and Content Creators
Internal Linking for Large Websites
Mistakes to Avoid When Internal Linking
The Relationship Between Internal Linking and Site Architecture
Internal Linking for SEO: Dos and Don’ts
Internal Linking and Mobile SEO

Discovering Internal Linking’s Fundamentals

Internal links are like signposts on your website, directing both users and search engine crawlers to relevant pages within your domain. They are different from external links, which lead to pages on other websites. By incorporating internal links strategically, you can guide visitors to important pages, showcase related content, and increase the overall usability of your website.

Internal Linking: Its Importance for SEO

Internal linking plays a vital role in search engine optimization (SEO) for several reasons. Firstly, it helps search engine crawlers discover and index more of your website’s pages.

When search engines find a link to a new page while crawling, they are more likely to index it, ensuring it appears in search results.

Secondly, internal links assist in distributing link juice throughout your site. Link juice, also known as link equity, refers to the authority passed from one page to another through hyperlinks. By linking to high-authority pages, you can boost the SEO value of other pages on your site.

Internal Linking’s Effect On the User Experience

In addition to its SEO benefits, internal linking significantly impacts user experience. When visitors land on your website, they expect a seamless navigation experience that allows them to find relevant information effortlessly.

Well-placed internal links create a logical pathway, guiding users from one page to another and keeping them engaged with your content.

Furthermore, internal linking aids in content discovery. When users find valuable and related content with ease, they are more likely to spend more time on your website, reducing bounce rates and increasing the average time on site. This positive user experience can lead to higher conversions and improved customer satisfaction.

The Positive Effects of Internal Linking

Let’s explore the specific advantages of implementing a well-structured internal linking strategy on your website:

Navigation and Usability of Websites Should Be Improved

Internal links act as a roadmap for users, allowing them to explore different sections of your website seamlessly.

When your website is easy to navigate, visitors are more likely to stay longer and explore more pages. This positive experience can lead to repeat visits and higher engagement.

Link Juice Distribution to Boost Page Authority

As mentioned earlier, internal linking distributes link juice throughout your website.

By linking to pages that hold high SEO authority, you can pass on that authority to other pages, helping them rank better in search engine results.

This practice is particularly useful when you have new or less authoritative pages that could benefit from a boost.

Supporting Topic Clusters and Relevancy Of Content

Internal linking allows you to establish topical relationships between different pieces of content on your website.

When you link related articles or pages together, search engines understand the relevance and context of your content. This can lead to improved rankings for keywords related to your topic.

Raising The Average Time Spent On the Site and Decreasing Bounce Rates

When users can easily find more relevant content through internal links, they are more likely to stay on your website for an extended period.

This increased dwell time signals to search engines that your content is valuable and relevant to users, positively impacting your SEO efforts.


What Separates Internal Linking from External Linking

How to Identify Internal and External Links

Internal links refer to hyperlinks that connect one page of a website to another page within the same domain.

They facilitate navigation for users and search engines, allowing better access to various pages and content on your site. External links, on the other hand, are hyperlinks that direct users to pages on other websites.

Both types of links contribute to the overall link structure of a website and impact SEO differently.

Comparing and Evaluating the Function of Internal and External Links

Internal links are essential for establishing website hierarchy and spreading link equity throughout your site. They help search engine crawlers discover and index content more effectively, thus improving the chances of ranking higher in search results.

External links, particularly from reputable and relevant websites, act as endorsements for your content, signaling to search engines that your site is credible and valuable.

Using Both Internal and External Linking Techniques

The key to a successful SEO strategy is finding the right balance between internal and external linking. Focus on creating a logical internal linking structure to facilitate easy navigation for users and search engines.

At the same time, collaborate with other authoritative websites in your niche to earn valuable external backlinks, which can significantly boost your site’s authority and ranking potential.

A Successful Internal Link’s Components

Optimization of Anchor Text and Recommended Practices

A hyperlink’s visible and clickable content is known as anchor text. Optimizing anchor text for internal links is crucial for SEO.

Instead of using generic phrases like “click here,” use descriptive and relevant keywords that provide context about the destination page.

For example, if you’re linking to a page about “best digital cameras,” the anchor text should reflect this, like “check out our selection of the best digital cameras.” This not only helps users understand the link’s purpose but also provides valuable information to search engine crawlers for better indexing.

Positioning Links and Contextual Relevance

Where you place internal links within your content matters. Ideally, insert links in a way that naturally fits the context and enhances user experience.

Strategic placement of links can guide users to explore related content, keeping them engaged and increasing the time they spend on your site, which is a positive signal for search engines.

Additionally, consider linking from high-traffic pages to important target pages to distribute link equity effectively.

Implementing Nofollow and Dofollow Attributes

The rel=”nofollow” and rel=”dofollow” attributes influence how search engines perceive and follow links. By default, all links on a webpage are “dofollow,” indicating that search engines should crawl and pass link equity through them.

However, using the “nofollow” attribute tells search engines not to follow that specific link, preserving link equity from being passed to the linked page.

This can be useful when linking to pages like login or contact forms, preventing unnecessary pages from receiving link equity.

Making A Clever Internal Linking Plan

Making A Clever Internal Linking Plan

Before diving into internal linking, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough website content audit. This process involves analyzing all the pages on your website, assessing their quality, relevance, and performance.

By identifying which pages perform well and which ones need improvement, you can make informed decisions about internal linking.


Finding Linking Possibilities and Content Pillars

As you conduct the content audit, you’ll discover opportunities to link relevant pages together. Content pillars, which are authoritative and comprehensive pages on specific topics, form the foundation of your internal linking structure.

By strategically linking related content to these pillars, you signal to search engines the importance and coherence of your content.

Planning Cross-Linking and Hierarchical Structures

To create an effective internal linking structure, it’s essential to organize your content hierarchically. Place more critical and comprehensive content at the top of the hierarchy and connect it to supporting or supplementary content.

This hierarchical structure helps search engines understand the context and relationships between different pages.

Cross-linking is another vital aspect of internal linking. It involves interconnecting relevant pages that might not directly fit into the hierarchical structure.

Cross-linking enhances user navigation and encourages visitors to explore related content, which can lead to longer session times and increased engagement.

Tools & Resources for Internal Linking

Making Use of Software and Plugins for Internal Linking

Implementing internal links manually on a large website can be challenging and time-consuming. Thankfully, several plugins and software solutions are available that can automate the process.

Popular content management systems like WordPress offer internal linking plugins that suggest relevant internal link opportunities as you create new content.

These tools streamline the internal linking process and ensure consistent implementation across your site.

Link Analysis with Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a powerful tool that provides invaluable insights into your website’s performance on Google’s search engine. Among its features is the ability to analyze internal links.

By using the Internal Links report, you can see which pages are most frequently linked to and identify any potential issues with broken or poorly optimized internal links. This data can help you refine your internal linking strategy for better SEO results.

Measuring Internal Linking Success with Google Analytics

To understand the impact of your internal linking strategy, it’s essential to track its success. Google Analytics is an excellent tool for monitoring the performance of your internal links.

By analyzing user behavior, such as bounce rates, time on page, and conversion rates, you can gain insights into how well your internal links are guiding visitors through your website and whether they contribute to your overall SEO efforts.


Guidelines for Internal Linking

To reap the full benefits of internal linking, follow these best practices:

Avoiding Over-Optimization and Keyword Stuffing

While internal links are essential for SEO, over-optimization and keyword stuffing can harm your rankings. Use descriptive and natural anchor text that reflects the content of the linked page. Avoid repetitive keyword usage and maintain a balance between keyword-rich and generic anchor texts.

Maintaining A Balanced Link Distribution

Ensure that your internal links are distributed evenly throughout your website. Focus on connecting relevant pages, creating a logical flow of information for both users and search engines. Avoid linking to irrelevant or unrelated content, as it may confuse visitors and negatively impact your SEO efforts.

Updating and Revamping Old Internal Links

Regularly audit your website for broken or outdated internal links. Update or remove them to improve user experience and maintain a healthy link structure. Broken links can lead to a frustrating user experience and signal poor website maintenance to search engines.

Internal Linking for E-Commerce Websites

For e-commerce websites, internal linking can significantly impact product visibility and conversion rates. Here are some internal linking strategies specifically tailored for online stores:

Enhancing Product Pages with Internal Links

Within product descriptions, include internal links to related items, product categories, or informative blog posts. This encourages users to explore additional products, increasing the chances of a purchase.

Implementing Related Product Linking

On product pages, display sections like “Related Products” or “Customers Also Bought,” and link to similar items. This cross-promotion tactic can entice customers to explore complementary products, boosting overall sales.

Internal Linking Strategies for Shopping Carts

During the checkout process, utilize internal links to display upsell or cross-sell suggestions. Offer discounts for bundling products together, leading customers to additional items they might be interested in.

Internal linking is a core component of search engine optimization (SEO) that is essential for enhancing user experience and website visibility.

When done correctly, it helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your website, while also guiding visitors to relevant and valuable content.

Developing Silo Structures to Improve SEO

Silo structures are an advanced internal linking technique that organizes content into relevant categories or topics, creating a thematic grouping of related pages. This method helps search engines recognize the content’s context and strengthens the topical authority of your website. To create silo structures, follow these steps:

  • Identify Core Topics: Start by determining the main topics or categories that represent the core of your website. These should be broad and relevant to your overall niche.
  • Organize Subtopics: Under each core topic, organize subtopics or specific areas that provide valuable information related to the main category.
  • Interlink Thematically: Within each silo, interlink the pages together, ensuring that the anchor text used for internal links reflects the content’s subject matter accurately.

Navigating A Website Using Breadcrumbs and Site Maps

Breadcrumbs and site maps are crucial elements of a website’s navigation system, allowing users and search engines to understand the site’s structure easily. Implementing these features not only enhances user experience but also aids in distributing link authority throughout your site effectively.

  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs are a trail of links displayed at the top of a page, showcasing the hierarchical path to the current page. They help users navigate back to previous sections effortlessly and improve the overall user experience.
  • XML Sitemaps: XML sitemaps are files that list all the URLs on your website, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your content. Including internal links within your XML sitemap ensures that search engines discover and index your most important pages.

Linking to Cornerstone and Evergreen Content

Cornerstone content refers to the most critical and comprehensive articles on your website that cover the core topics of your niche. Evergreen content, on the other hand, remains relevant over time, providing lasting value to your audience. Linking to cornerstone and evergreen content strategically can significantly impact your SEO efforts.

  • Prioritize Linking: Link to cornerstone content from high-traffic pages or sections of your website. These internal links act as endorsements, signaling to search engines that the linked content is essential.
  • Update and Refresh: Regularly update and refresh your cornerstone and evergreen content to ensure its relevance and accuracy. Fresh content often attracts more internal and external links, boosting its authority.

Internal Linking for Bloggers and Content Creators

Bloggers and content creators can leverage internal linking to increase the visibility of their articles and enhance user engagement on their websites.

Interlinking Related Blog Posts and Articles

Whenever you create new blog posts or articles, look for opportunities to link to existing relevant content on your website. This not only improves SEO but also keeps visitors engaged with your content for a longer duration.

  • Contextual Relevance: Ensure that the anchor text used for internal links is contextually relevant to the content being linked. This helps search engines understand the relationship between pages and their topics.
  • Use Descriptive Anchor Text: Avoid using generic anchor text like “click here” or “read more.” Instead, use descriptive phrases that accurately represent the linked content.

Using Internal Links to Showcase Featured Content

Promote your most valuable or popular content by featuring it on prominent sections of your website. Internal links from high-traffic pages can channel link authority to these featured pieces, boosting their visibility in search results.

  • Create a “Featured” Section: Designate a section on your homepage or sidebar to showcase your best-performing content. Update this section regularly to maintain freshness.
  • Diversify Anchor Text: While linking to featured content, use diverse anchor text variations to maintain a natural link profile and avoid over-optimization.

Incorporating Internal Links in Guest Posts and Collaborations

If you collaborate with other bloggers or contribute guest posts to external websites, make sure to include relevant internal links back to your own content. This tactic can drive referral traffic and strengthen your website’s overall SEO.

  • Relevant and Valuable Content: Ensure that the linked content provides value to the reader and is directly related to the topic discussed in the guest post.
  • Seek Linking Opportunities: When collaborating with others, discuss the possibility of including internal links in your authored content and encourage them to do the same in return.

Internal Linking for Large Websites

Overcoming Internal Linking Challenges in Large Sites

As websites grow in size and content, managing internal links becomes increasingly complex. Some common challenges include:

  • Link Decay: Over time, links may become outdated or broken, leading to a negative impact on user experience and SEO.
  • Inconsistent Anchor Text: Large websites often face issues with inconsistent anchor text, which can confuse search engines and diminish the relevance of linked pages.
  • Content Silos: As websites expand, content may be categorized into separate silos, hindering cross-linking opportunities and potentially affecting site architecture.
  • Orphaned Pages: With a large number of pages, some may not receive any internal links, causing them to remain hidden from both users and search engines.

Implementing Automated Internal Linking Solutions

To tackle the challenges posed by internal linking on large websites, employing automated solutions can be highly beneficial. Here’s how:

  • Internal Link Auditing Tools: Utilize internal link auditing tools to identify broken or outdated links and rectify them promptly. Regular audits will maintain the health of your internal linking structure.
  • Anchor Text Optimization: Implement consistent and relevant anchor text for internal links to enhance search engine understanding and user experience.
  • Smart Internal Linking Plugins: Depending on your content management system (CMS), consider using plugins that can automate internal linking based on predefined rules, such as linking related articles or pages.
  • XML Sitemaps: Create and submit XML sitemaps to search engines to help them crawl and index your internal links more effectively, especially on large websites.

Internal Linking for Multilingual and Multi-Regional Websites

For websites catering to an international audience with multiple languages and regions, optimizing internal linking is crucial for SEO success:

  • hreflang Attribute: Use the hreflang attribute to specify language and regional targeting for different versions of your content. This will help search engines serve the appropriate version to users based on their location and language preferences.
  • Cross-Linking Language Variations: Link relevant content pages across different language versions to create a cohesive user experience and aid search engines in understanding the relationships between the content.
  • Regional Navigation Menus: Implement regional navigation menus with proper internal links to enable users to switch between different regional versions of your website seamlessly.

Mistakes to Avoid When Internal Linking

Linking to Irrelevant or Low-Quality Pages

One of the most significant mistakes in internal linking is connecting pages that have no relevance to each other. Doing so confuses search engines and users, leading to a negative impact on SEO. Ensure that each internal link makes sense contextually and adds value to the user’s journey.


Ignoring Broken or Redirected Internal Links

Broken or redirected internal links are detrimental to both SEO and user experience. Regularly check for broken links using tools like Google Search Console and fix them promptly. Redirect relevant broken links to appropriate pages to maintain a smooth user experience.

Excessive Use of Intra-Anchor Text and Over-Optimization

Using the same anchor text for multiple internal links can be seen as over-optimization by search engines. Aim for natural and varied anchor text that reflects the content of the linked page. Over-optimization may lead to penalties, so ensure moderation in anchor text usage.

The Relationship Between Internal Linking and Site Architecture

Organizing Website Structure for Seamless Navigation

An intuitive website structure is essential for effective internal linking. Create logical categories and hierarchies that allow users to find information effortlessly. A well-organized site structure helps search engines crawl and index your pages efficiently, positively impacting your SEO efforts.

Aligning Internal Linking with User Journey

Understand your target audience’s browsing habits and align your internal linking strategy with their user journey. By guiding users through relevant content, you can increase engagement and reduce bounce rates, which are crucial SEO factors.

Addressing Website Hierarchy and Information Flow

Define a clear hierarchy for your website, with essential pages positioned higher in the structure. The information flow should be logical, allowing users to access deeper content while maintaining coherence and relevance throughout the site.

Internal Linking for SEO: Dos and Don’ts

The Dos of Internal Linking Strategy

  • Utilize Descriptive Anchor Text: Use descriptive and contextually relevant anchor text to provide both users and search engines with an accurate idea of the linked page’s content.
  • Use a Reasonable Number of Internal Links: Avoid excessive internal linking on a single page, as it can dilute the value of each link. Link to the most significant and pertinent pages instead.
  • Optimize for Mobile: Ensure that your internal links are easily accessible on mobile devices, as an increasing number of users browse the internet on smartphones.

The Don’ts of Internal Linking Implementation

  • Avoid Linking to Every Page: Not every page on your website needs internal links. Avoid linking to unimportant or irrelevant pages, as this can lead to a poor user experience.
  • Steer Clear of Link Farms: Never engage in manipulative practices like link farms or excessive cross-linking between your own pages, as this can result in search engine penalties.
  • Don’t Overlook the Power of Content: Ensure that the content surrounding your internal links is valuable and engaging. Compelling content encourages users to explore further, reducing bounce rates and boosting SEO.

Internal Linking and Mobile SEO

Mobile-Friendly Internal Linking Techniques

  • Use Mobile-Friendly Buttons: Replace small hyperlinks with user-friendly buttons for better mobile navigation.
  • Optimize Tap Targets: Ensure that internal links are easily tappable on touchscreens, preventing accidental clicks.

Mobile Site Navigation Best Practices

  • Simplify Menu Structure: Streamline your mobile menu for easy access to essential pages.
  • Implement a Search Bar: Provide users with a search bar to find specific content quickly.


Internal linking, which uses hyperlinks to connect pages and content, is an essential component of website optimization and user experience. It enhances user experience and engagement by assisting users in navigating the website and search engines in discovering and indexing material more effectively.

Links within pages distribute link equity, which benefits search engine results. The use of relevant anchor text, refraining from overlinking pages, including related material, and utilizing breadcrumbs for easy navigation are key tactics. Using tools like Google Analytics to track and analyze internal link performance on a regular basis might assist develop tactics over time.

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