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Why is internal linking so important for SEO?

Backlinks are a big thing in SEO, but don’t focus on them so much that you forget all about their sibling: internal links. These links can play a crucial part in search engine optimisation, helping search engines to understand your site easier and to make it more usable. Here’s why:

They guide search engine crawlers

Search engines use crawlers to navigate websites and decipher which are the most important pages on it. If you have several links on your site which all point to the same page, a search engine will likely determine this page to be more important and show it in a higher position in the search engine results.

Make sure you link to different pages to assist these crawlers. Don’t create orphan pages, which have no pages linking to them. That would be like forcing the crawlers to cross a river that has no bridge going over it.

They affect your SEO and the usability of your site

A website requires regular maintenance and links can break as you make changes to the site. If you’re deleting pages or moving them to a different part of the site, you need to implement some redirects to stay in the good books of the search engines and of visitors to your website.

Internal links also work to engage visitors. By pointing towards further useful content on your site via the links, you can keep them on your site for longer.

They can help you distribute link equity across your site

There will be some pages on your website, such as category pages, that won’t inspire other websites to link to them because they don’t provide a massive amount of value. Since other sites aren’t linking to them, search engines won’t consider them important.

Internal linking can help you spread some of the link equity (authority) you earn from backlinks to your important pages. Use content marketing on your website, such as informational guides — to which people will likely link — to link to important pages for your business that don’t receive many links.

Backlinks may hog the limelight, but don’t neglect your internal linking. Reinforce your SEO by including them in your content, keeping them up to date and using them to distribute equity across your website.

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