How are the internal links at your website? Do you have a wild jungle of links built in the days when people believed that the sheer number of links on a page was a useful metric? Do you have broken links that should take visitors to information about your goods and service, but don’t? Internal links are supposed to do two things:
- They make it easy for your human visitors to find their way around your website.
- They help search engines understand the structure of your website.
If that’s not what your internal links are doing, it’s time for an update.
Internal links for navigation
The main navigation bar on your homepage is just a group of links. That should be 5-7 links to the main offerings of your website. Your goods and services, your About Us information, your Contact page, your blog (no matter what you call it), your patient tools or other action areas — search engines and humans alike know these are the main things you want to share.
You might use spotlight boxes or header slides or pop-ups to send visitors to the right place or for calls to action. Each item uses a link to guide visitors to the page that will meet their needs.
All these links are for navigation. If they’re broken, use misleading anchor text, or take visitors to the same pages repeatedly, they’re not doing their jobs,
Internal links for SEO
Connecting your posts and pages properly helps you to communicate well with search engines. You may have a list of services on your homepage. Each service offering should link to a detailed page on your website. This clarifies your offerings to humans and to search engines.
You offer sleep treatments? Here are the internal links that will help you rank for “sleep treatments.”
- There should be a main page on sleep treatments which can be reached easily from a link on the homepage (probably in the main navigation) that uses the anchor text “sleep treatments.”
- The main page should be the hub of a content cluster of several additional informative pages. These additional pages might be blog posts or additional authority pages. They should link to the hub, again using “sleep treatments as the anchor text.
This helps search engines understand the structure of your content and see what you consider most important.
Internal links for linkbuilding?
When a legitimate, relevant website links to your content, you’re getting a vote of confidence. When you link to your own content, the effect is not the same. Of course you have confidence in yourself. Internal linking is not about linkbuilding.
It’s about communicating well with your human and searchbot visitors.
Don’t skip linkbuilding. Gaining backlinks from good websites is worth the effort. It’s just different from your internal links.