Internal links benefit search engine optimization. But knowing how to use them and understanding their value is not always easy. Here are 10 frequently asked questions about internal link management for SEO.
10 FAQ for internal links
1. How are internal and external links different?
It’s a question of who makes the connection. An internal link is something you control – you link from one of your pages to another. External links are created on another site and refer to yours. External links are also called backlinks.
2. How do internal links help SEO?
Internal links do three things:
- Signal value. Search engines assume that your internal linking decisions indicate your priorities – what you consider important.
- Report relevance. Words used in the anchor text of a link help search engines understand the meaning of the page the link is linked to.
- Create relationships between pages. It is unlikely that two unrelated pages will be linked to each other. Links connect two pages together in a contextual way, giving extra meaning to both.
External links convey the most value, but internal links help distribute value more evenly so that other pages have a better chance of ranking in organic search.
3. Which pages should I link to?
Link to the pages you want to rank. The more you need a page to rank for, the more links that page needs.
4. Where to place internal links?
Link from pages that have a higher value, such as a home page and top-level category pages. But all relevant pages are candidates for link building. Each page on your site links to other pages through header and footer navigation. Use this navigation structure to link to your most important pages.
You can also create contextual links in the main body of the page. For example, you can link from a paragraph on your home page to your most important category page. Make sure, however, that the links are part of the page design and have some value to your buyers. Putting a list of links at the bottom of a page for SEO purposes only is spam, and search engines will treat it accordingly.
5. How many internal links should my site contain?
There is no definitive answer other than the links must be relevant to the content and useful to buyers. Placing more than three links in a sentence will seem obnoxious to buyers. However, if a sentence is a bulleted list of useful resources, six links for six bullets may be appropriate.
6. What should the link text be?
The visible part of the link – called “anchor text” or “link text” – must be a relevant keyword or phrase. Avoid using “learn more” and “click here” unless that’s what you’re trying to rank for.
7. Should I link from my blog to my e-commerce site?
Yes. A blog or other section of content should link to your ecommerce pages and vice versa. Links from high authority pages are most valuable.
8. How to create an internal link in HTML?
Basic HTML links are structured, as shown above, with an anchor tag, URL, and anchor text.
9. How to create an internal link in WordPress?
In WordPress, linking is as easy as copying the URL you want to link to, clicking the link icon below, and pasting the URL into the field that appears.
10. How to identify broken internal links?
Sooner or later you will have to deal with broken links when you add and remove content and edit URLs. You can monitor broken links for free in the Google Search Console coverage report, which lists URLs that return a 404 error, signifying a broken link. For each of these URLs, use the Search Console URL inspection tool to determine where they are linked from.
Alternatively, you can use a crawler such as Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider or DeepCrawl. It will tell you which of your URLs are returning 404 error codes and which pages are linked to.