INTERNAL LINKING: Building Your Optimized Website

Internal linking is the process of adding links on your website which redirect to more content on the same domain. There are many opinions as to the best methods for internal linking, so lets stick to the commonly accepted ‘best practices.’

Internal Linking Done Right

Use descriptive anchor text for your links. Notice that the link for anchor text directs you to an article about anchor text. It does not need to be overly descriptive just use common sense to judge whether the anchor text describes the link. This helps the search engines determine the relevancy of a link.

Only link to relevant pages. A general rule of thumb is to link pages which have similar or overlapping content. This way if the precise information is not found, both human readers and bots can easily find it through a link to similar content. Also, avoid linking to higher level pages such as the homepage. You want people to dig though your site, not return to the homepage and move on.

Keep the number of manual links on a page to around five. With the exception of very large articles, ¬†you don’t want to overcrowd your page with internal linking. Simply link to the most relevant pages. This allows both people and bots to easy find the most relevant information, thus making your site more optimized.

This is an example of how the Google search engine determines good linking.

Internal Linking

General Internal Linking Practices

When using internal links, make the links open in the same page. This helps keep people focused on what they click on.

Only use link titles when it will help users navigate. Typically your anchor text will handle explaining the link to the user, but if you think someone could benefit from more information then use a link title. Try not to repeat the anchor text as the user can already read it. A link title is only relevant for users and not search engine bots.

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