Internal page linking is a link system connecting pages on a site. It is an important site optimization strategy that helps improve its visibility in search engines and enhance user navigation.
Its main point is to link all the site's main pages together. Put links from older and useful pages to newly created pages and create a never-ending list of links so that most of the material is linked to each other.
Internal linking also helps users find information on the site more easily and quickly. It provides a smooth transition between linked pages and creates a logical web resource structure.
In this article, we'll review the basic principles of internal linking and share effective strategies for applying it. You will learn about the types of internal linking, its possible ways of implementation, and rules of application on specific examples.
Abstracts About Internal Linking
Internal linking directly impacts the site's visibility in search engines. It refers to creating links between pages within the site itself, which helps improve navigation and content indexing. In this context, we have presented some theses about internal linking:
- It used to be that the number of external links to a site and a specific page was more important than the quality of content and behavioral factors. Now (at least for Yandex), even a site with zero links can get visitors if the page is quality.
- Without external links in Google, it isn't easy to get traffic. Many commercial themes in the top 10 are old and uncomfortable but pumped up with links sites.
- Yandex also counts links in commercial topics.
- You can get a filter on Google and Yandex for buying links. A good purchased link is one that you wouldn't think was purchased.
- Internal linking works well for SEO, but it's more justifiable for larger projects where you have somewhere to link to and from.
- With internal linking, you can improve the donor page on your site and get the right anchor to another page.
- Internal linking allows you to "hook" users and redirect them to the landing page.
- Internal links from visited pages of the site to new pages accelerate them into the search engine.
- Linking with an emphasis on marketing rather than SEO can be counted very accurately - in the money earned.
Considering and implementing these internal linking principles will help optimize the site for search engines and improve the user experience, which affects its success and effectiveness.
Types of Linking
Website linking can be done in different ways and for different purposes. Here are a few types of linking:
These link types have the common goal of linking different web pages or sites. Linking sites with links is important to building an effective site structure and optimizing search engine visibility.
In the following, we'll take a closer look at each type of linking. You will be able to realize the clear difference between each type of linking:
Manual linking is labor-intensive and time-consuming, but it allows complete control over various subtleties, such as the correctness of anchors, the proper distribution of per-link text, and the use of only relevant links. In most cases, manual re-linking is used when adding text.
Automatic linking is done using plugins and scripts. Often such plugins are used to generate menus, site maps, "breadcrumbs," "new articles," and many other sections. All these blocks are much easier to generate with an automatic script because if the site is large and has a lot of activity, the list of articles, products, and comments will be constantly adjusted.
Contextual links are written anywhere in the text in a recommendation format, such as "you can read more about this here." On information sites, in most cases, there are separate blocks, in which the first is the text "Recommend to read" or "Learn also," which contain links to some material that may be useful to the user on a particular page. In other words, any links in the text are categorized as contextual and greatly impact the depth of viewing.
Cross-links are links located in the site's sidebars and menus. In particular, this applies to the list of categories and blocks with the most popular articles on the site or in the recent past. They also affect the ranking, although much weaker in comparison with the contextual, in connection with what is better to think in advance about their use in the design of the structure of the site.
Unanchored links in neutral words, such as:
- on the site.
In addition, unanchored links include simply providing the URL of the landing page or the company's name.
Anchor refers to a key query that sends the user to the appropriate store category. Anchor links are the most effective format of linking, which significantly increases the relevance of the material in relation to a particular query. The key difference between these links from each other is the text of re-linking, which may differ from each other in the following types:
- exact link - direct query;
- morphological - exact, in which the number or case is changed;
- diluted - with the surrounding query with appropriate text.
Reciprocal linking of internal pages allows you to create a more complex internal structure based on the overall structure, as shown in the diagram above. Mutual linking allows you to collect static weight on certain pages of the site, transfer the logic of related pages to these pages and thereby increase the page's relevance.
For example, the pages can compete in a search if you have five pages with the same keywords. Thanks to mutual linking, we can link from four pages to one for a common keyword query, indicating that this page answers the query and not all five pages.
Possible Implementations of Internal Website Linking
Internal linking is an important aspect of site optimization. Yes, it helps improve user navigation, site structure, and search visibility. Proper use of internal links can make it easier for users to find the information they want on your site. It will also allow search engines to understand its structure and content better.
In this context, several possible implementations of internal linking exist, including main menus, breadcrumbs, and additional blocks on pages.
Each of these methods provides convenient ways to link between different pages on your site, making it easier for users to navigate and interact more effectively with your content. Let's take a closer look at each of these items:
The first option for internal linking is a drop-down main menu, which contains all the major categories of the site. It is to ensure that the robots can easily follow the links on the site.
The main drop-down menu is one of the most common ways to implement internal relinking on the site. This menu usually contains links to the site's main categories or sections, allowing users to easily and quickly find the information they need. In addition, the drop-down menu can be structured and organized by levels, making navigating the site easier.
Breadcrumbs is a specific tool that is supposed to show the nesting level of the page. It is used to link to all levels of the category at a level higher than the user is at the moment.
Breadcrumbs are a navigation element that displays the user's path from the home page to the current page, considering the hierarchy of categories and subcategories. They allow users to easily return to previous category levels and navigate to other related pages.
Breadcrumbs are also an effective internal linking tool since each category level is usually a link to the corresponding page.
Additional Blocks on Pages
Most often, online store links can go through blocks of the form: "This product is bought with "or "Leaders of sales." "Recommended Products," etc. It is necessary to link product cards with each other.
Such blocks are based on algorithms analyzing user behavior data, and they offer similar or complementary products that may interest customers. Linking to these products within the blocks creates effective links between product cards.
This approach to internal linking helps increase users' average session time on the site, improves their shopping experience, and helps increase sales. In addition, it also promotes better page indexing by search engines and improves the SEO performance of the online store.
Internal Linking Rules
Internal linking requires some rules to be effective. Here are a few rules that we recommend you keep in mind when doing internal linking:
- The page and its content must be relevant to the inserted hyperlink. It is well-suited to link continues, complementing the subject.
- It is undesirable to add a link to the picture. Search robot better reads and understands the text content. But if you have already made the image clickable, specify keywords, at least in the Alt attribute and title.
- One article is enough to have 2-3 thematic hyperlinks. Their anchors should be different from each other. Otherwise, search engine glue links and some static weight will go nowhere.
- Combat the 404 error. If the page has become unavailable and the search robot can not index it - provide another relevant one.
Following these rules will help create effective internal linking, making your site more user-friendly and better indexed by search engines.
Classification of Linking by Type of Links, Their Location
Classification of linking by type of links and their location includes the following categories:
- Contextual. Hyperlinks are evenly distributed throughout the text. Ranking increases because they contain anchors with keywords. For example, if an article about the domain fits perfectly and links to the page about hosting.
- Navigational. Here the links are part of the article's table of contents. They help the reader to navigate the material and to find an answer to the question on the topic. They are used in the bulk of articles of 6 000 characters, with at least four subheadings.
- Transverse. It includes all the hyperlinks placed in the side menu and tabs. They are important to structure because they greatly affect the site's ranking properly.
- Thematic. You've probably come across a group of hyperlinks at the bottom like "useful," "read more," "similar," or "read more with this" more than once after reading a blog post - this is thematic linking.
Each of these types of linking has its characteristics and purpose, but the overall goal is to improve the site's navigation, search visibility, and user-friendliness.
Internal Linking for Online Stores
Internal linking is vital for online stores because it helps improve the user experience, increase conversions, and increase sales. The following internal linking tools are currently needed for online stores:
- Breadcrumb block on pages
- Block with this product to buy or recommend products
- The navigational menu includes all the categories of the site
- Main menu, which has end-to-end links to all major categories
- HTML site map with all the links to the pages that are in the Footer
- Links from text blocks in categories and product cards.
Which blocks should be used where? Here is the recommended use of blocks in different parts of the online store:
- Home page: Main menu, links to recommended products, and some promotions.
- Category page: Main menu, navigation menu, breadcrumbs, links to products within a category, possible relevant links from the text block, through links from the Footer.
- Subcategory page: Main menu, navigation menu, breadcrumbs, links to products within categories, possible relevant links from the text block, cross-links from Footer.
- Product card page: main menu, breadcrumbs, relevant links from the description text block, blocks with this product are bought and recommended products, flow-through links from the Footer.
Linking for Content Projects
For content projects, the following internal linking tools are currently required:
- Breadcrumb block on pages.
- Blocks of useful materials and similar articles in a page break.
- A navigational menu that includes all categories of the site (Not for all projects).
- Main menu, which has end-to-end links to all major categories.
- HTML site map with all links to pages that are in Footer.
- Links within the texts of the material.
Which blocks should be used where? Here are the recommended uses for blocks in different parts of specific projects:
- Home page: Main menu with main categories, selection of popular articles on the site, additional blocks by category.
- Category: main menu, possibly a navigation menu, breadcrumbs, links to stuff linked to categories, end-to-end links from the Footer site, links inside category text.
- Material: Main menu, Breadcrumb block on pages, Useful material blocks as page breaks, html sitemap in footer, links inside material texts.
In conclusion, internal linking is a critical aspect of site optimization that improves visibility on search engines and makes it easier for users to navigate. Users can easily find information and navigate through the content by linking pages within a site.
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