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Why are Internal Backlinks Important for SEO?

SEO Internal Linking plays a vital role in boosting the performance of your SEO content. These backlinks not only help search engines discover your web pages, but they also offer a blueprint of your website's structure.


Internal backlinks can set up a pecking order on your site, letting you prioritize certain pages and articles by distributing more link value to them.


A man's hand holding a mobile phone with an image of a link denoting SEO Internal Linking

By using effective internal linking tactics, you can indeed elevate your SEO game!


In this post, we'll delve into the importance of SEO internal linking and share best practices to help you master the art of internal backlinks.


Table of Contents



Understanding SEO Internal Linking


An SEO internal backlink connects one page of your website to another within the same domain. They help visitors and search engines navigate and map your website’s structure. Without them, certain pages might go unnoticed.


Beyond the common ones on your homepage, menu, and post feed, links can be embedded directly within articles or pages as ‘contextual links.’


These links guide visitors to relevant and engaging content while signaling to search engines the interrelation of your content and its significance.


Essentially, the more links a page garners, the higher its perceived value in the eyes of search engines. So, by strategically placing internal backlinks, you will be optimizing your SEO efforts.



Internal links versus external links


Every website, including e-commerce platforms, contains internal and external links.


While internal links weave together the pages and posts within your site, external links bridge your content to other websites.


In this article, we’ll hone in on internal backlinks and their significance for SEO.



The Significance of Backlinks for Google


Internal linking is pivotal for search engines like Google because it helps them discover and rank website content.


When a post or page garners numerous links, it sends Google a message that the content is of high importance or value, whether from internal or external sources.


As a website owner, you can control your internal linking strategies, which allow you to steer visitors and Google to your most important pages.



Internal backlinks create connections between content


Google navigates websites by tracing internal and external links through a Googlebot bot.


This bot processes the page from a homepage and proceeds via the first available link.


Through this mechanism, Google discerns the connections among various pages, articles,

and other forms of content, identifying which pages on your website discuss similar topics.


So, by embedding internal SEO linking, you ensure that Google recognizes the relevance of your content and the linked pages.



Internal backlinks assist search engines in locating your content more effectively


As websites expand and become more intricate, many B2B businesses grapple with the challenge of "orphaned" content—pages that lack internal links and are difficult for search engines to locate.


While modern websites often feature sitemaps detailing the URLs of most pages, search engines might still take considerable time to access these pages, particularly for big websites that have a lot of pages or new websites that Google doesn't visit often.


By backlinking to fresh pages, you open additional routes for search engines to access your content.



Link worth


Understanding that backlinks have their own value helps us see why it's good to have numerous links leading to a webpage.


A website's homepage typically has the highest link worth due to the number of backlinks.


This value is distributed among all the links present on the homepage. As you go deeper into a website, the value of a page is split among its links, and this pattern continues as you click on more links.


As a result, if you backlink your latest blog entries directly on the homepage rather than solely from a category page, they'll inherit more link worth. Plus, Google will detect these new posts faster when they're linked directly from the homepage.


Google considers pages with numerous high-quality links more pivotal, boosting its ranking potential.



Crafting an Effective SEO Internal Linking Plan


Regularly assessing and refining your internal linking strategy is vital for optimal SEO. It acts as a website wellness check for your website's health.


Through SEO internal linking, you ensure that Google picks up:

  • The significance of individual pages

  • The interconnectivity among pages

  • The inherent value of specific pages


Setting up your internal backlinking strategy involves a few key considerations.


Though the approach may vary based on your site and objectives, the subsequent steps serve as a reliable guideline.


1. Identify the optimal layout for your website


Visualize your website as a hierarchy or a pyramid to determine the layout. At the pinnacle lies your homepage, followed by primary sections or categories. Nested below are the specific posts and pages with potential subcategories.


If executed properly, your website’s menu should mirror this structure.


2. Identify your cornerstone content


Pinpoint the root of your content that captures the information you want visitors to land on when they search for your specialty topics or products.


Pepper it with numerous links to emphasize its significance to Google.


3. Incorporate contextual links


Once you’ve written multiple pieces on a specific topic, it’s wise to interlink them to show Google—and your audience—that they share a thematic connection. These SEO backlinks can be embedded within the text or positioned at the end of your article.


Additionally, you’ll want to signal to Google which piece represents your cornerstone: the most relevant article on the given topic. You can achieve this by embedding a link to the cornerstone within every article related to the subject. And remember to reciprocate with a link from the cornerstone to each of these articles.


4. Connect hierarchical pages


For websites with a hierarchical structure, ensure that parent pages are linked to their respective child pages and the other way around.


Additionally, make a point to interlink sibling pages. In a structured site, these pages inherently relate to one another, so interlinking is both logical and beneficial.


5. Think about incorporating a ‘related posts’ segment


Some website platforms have various plugins and modules that can easily append ‘related posts’ sections to your articles. This is a way to guide readers to more of your content that they might find valuable and broaden your audience.


If you opt for this, ensure the suggested articles are relevant. If in doubt, manually select and add the related articles rather than let the plugins automatically generate the links.


6. Consider integrating navigational links


Beyond linking from connected articles and pages, bolstering your cornerstone content’s authority can be achieved by integrating links from the homepage or primary navigation menu.

Prioritize linking to the content that's most important to your organization to enhance the backlink worth and amplify their prominence with Google.


7. Incorporate backlinks into your taxonomies


Taxonomies, such as categories and tags, are pivotal in structuring your site. Linking to the associated category and tags also improves Google’s grasp of your blog’s layout and simplifies navigation for visitors seeking related content.


For blog-based websites, embedding internal backlinks to the taxonomies associated with a post can be especially advantageous.


8. Incorporate backlinks to your latest articles


Whenever you publish new content, it’s a sound strategy to interlink it with other relevant content on your site.


Make sure the articles or pages linking to the new content are relevant. Random, unrelated linking isn’t advised.


While this might seem overwhelming, especially for frequent publishers, avoiding

accumulating unlinked or “orphaned” content is worthwhile.


Plus, by embedding internal backlinks in your latest pieces, you ensure search engine bots quickly discover, crawl, and index your newest content when they explore other site areas.


9. Think about linking to your top-performing articles


An effective tactic is to create internal backlinks that direct visitors to your website's most popular posts or pages.


Ideally, embed these sections in visible areas like your site's sidebar or footer, ensuring they're accessible from all your pages and content. Doing so will boost the visibility and importance of these top-performing pieces and increase visitor engagement. The heightened engagement will drive more traffic – a metric that Google often views favorably.



Diving Deeper: Advanced Insights on Internal Links


Nofollow links: rethinking their role


You might have links on your website that aren't crucial for SEO optimization.

Take a login link for your clients, for example. You don't need to distribute link value to a page like this because it doesn't need to rank high in search results.


By using this tag, Google will not track the link and will prevent any passing of link value.

You might be tempted to think, 'Great, I'll just add nofollow tags to less important links to channel more link value to crucial pages.'


But Google continues to evolve, and these days, nofollow links still get counted as links, nullifying the link value that might have been redistributed to other links on the page.


A smarter approach may be to reduce the overall number of links on a page rather than resort to nofollow tags.


It's important to note that applying a nofollow tag doesn't make the target pages invisible in Google's search results. If you wish to remove certain pages or posts from appearing in search results, use a 'no index' tag to inform Google not to render the page or include it in its index.


Optimizing anchor texts


Selecting the right words for links is crucial once you have decided where to put them and their link value. These words are called "anchor text" and what visitors click on.


Over-optimizing these words can harm your site, especially when it drifts into keyword stuffing.


In the past, using the same keyword in all your anchor texts might have improved your ranking; however, today's sophisticated Google algorithms pay attention to the words around the anchor text, giving it more weight than the anchor text itself.


So, while using keywords in anchor texts is still beneficial, it's more important to maintain a natural flow and not use the same keyword repeatedly.



Time to Link Up Your Content!


Proper SEO internal linking will boost your content's ranking potential, showcasing the interrelation of your content and highlighting your most insightful and valuable articles.


By following the tips shared in this piece, you can enhance Google's and your audience's understanding of your website, increasing your chances of achieving a higher rank.


To learn more about Marketeery's SEO services, click here.



About the Author


Jon Rivers, co-founder of Marketeery, has extensive experience with Microsoft, Oracle/JDE Edwards, MSPs, Technology Partners, and ISVs. For over twenty years, he has utilized this experience to enhance business growth and increase revenues.


Jon has been recognized as a partner community pioneer for his proven social media

marketing skills. He deeply studies social media messages and how they bring people to the website and interest them.


He loves to write engaging content and works closely with our graphic designers to ensure the design elements stand out.


His knowledge of technology and sales helps him grasp solutions quickly and improve marketing campaigns effectively.


Jon speaks often at Microsoft events and technology events. He is also on multiple boards, including the Microsoft Directions North America Board.


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