In the area of search engine optimization, almost every webmaster knows that you need links from other sites to boost your rankings in the search engines. While external links are vitally important to search engine optimization, internal links are also critical. The internal linking that you do on your own site is often not viewed as that important, but in reality, it can make a big difference. Here are a few things to consider about the importance of internal linking when trying to improve the SEO of your website.
What Are Internal Links?
Internal links are links that you have on your own site that point to other pages on your website. For example, if you have a link from your home page to another page on your site, this is known as an internal link. Internal links are used as a way to create navigation options from the various pages of your site.
Is It Important for SEO?
While external links are viewed as the most important factor for SEO, internal links do play a role. Search engines like to see a lot of internal links on a website. This helps improve the user experience and it can also pass PageRank freely from one page of your site to another. PageRank is an indicator that Google uses to assign weight to the importance of pages on the Web. When a site has a high PageRank, it is viewed as important in the eyes of Google. When one of your pages has a PageRank value, it can be passed on to other pages of your site through an internal link.
Choose Relevant Anchor Text
When you make an internal link on your site, you need to choose an anchor text for that link. The anchor text that you choose can have a big impact on the search engine optimization for your site. Try to choose anchor text that includes keywords relevant to the page you are linking to. This will be seen as a positive factor in the eyes of the search engines.
Benefits of Internal Linking
One of the main benefits of internal linking is that it helps with navigation. For example, you may want to put links on your home pages to some of the other pages on your site. Then on each individual page, you can link back to the home page. This way, no matter where a visitor comes into your site at, he'll be able to get around.
The Best Practices
When engaging in internal linking on your site, there are some seo practices that you may want to engage in. For example, try to include at least one link on your page that has the primary keyword for that page as anchor text. As a general rule, you may want to include at least two links for navigational purposes on each page. Include one link to the home page and another link to a related page on your site. This gives your visitors some options when it comes to navigating around your site.
Things to Avoid
While internal linking is important, there are also some mistakes that you can make in this area. For example, you don't want to have too many internal links on every page of your site. Also, you should avoid putting internal links too early in the content of your page. Search engines may feel like you are trying to manipulate visitors into clicking on links, and improving the average visitor page count.
Try to put links where they are most helpful to visitors. Don't do anything just for the benefit of the search engines. Instead, try to keep it real and do something that will help your visitors.
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