Tips on linking pages internallyI love geek speak. Here at DWD, we toss around acronyms and code/web/bloggy jargon like we invented the internet. Even more so, I love teaching the how and the why, so I won’t leave you hanging with the obvious question:

What’s internal linking, Renee’?

It’s when you link a piece of text inside your page or post to another page (or post) within your website (or blog). Links are considered either “external” or “internal” depending on perspective. Generally, a link to a page outside the site’s domain is considered external, whereas one in the same domain is considered internal. Here is an example of an internal link.

The official Wikipedia Definition: (That’s an external link, by the way.)

An internal link is a hyperlink that is a reference or navigation element in a webpage to another section of the webpage or to another page that may be on or part of the same website or domain of the internet…

The Power of Internal Linking
Help the reader

If you use internal links in a natural way, you will guide visitors to helpful areas of content that are relevant and avoid circular navigation. Which I myself have been guilty of, I might add.

Remember that helping the reader is the most important thing that you can do with your website. The Search Engines’ main goal is to serve their searchers with good, relevant content that fits their needs. Those sites that do this BEST, win the race to the top of the rankings.

Provide link juice

So let’s say that you do some analytics research and find one of your pages is converting better than other pages. By giving that page link juice, in other words, linking to that page often in your blogs or other web pages you will provide that golden goose page with SEO juice. So it’s more likely to get indexed better, come up sooner in search, visited more often, and ultimately shared more. Boo-yahh!

Decrease the bounce

A great by-product of enhancing the reader experience with internal links is that you decrease your bounce rate. Each time that a reader clicks on an internal link they are no longer counted as a bounce. This is great because it means that you have engaged your potential client and they want to read even more of what you have to say.

When you see your bounce rate going down after using well placed internal links, make sure and pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.

A Few Do’s on Internal Linking

#1 Do fill out the descriptive options on your link. Example below:

Tips on internal website links

#2 Link to blog posts

Definitely link to blog posts from within a page. If you are writing content for a web page and you find that a blog post would help emphasize the topic then link to it. Linkety clickety.

#3 Keep a list (check it twice)

It can be quite handy to keep a spreadsheet of your internal links. This will help you keep an eye on what you are doing. It can become an easy habit to always link to the same pages all the time. The goal is to make sure that you are providing the best possible information for your reader so keep it relevant.

If you have a spreadsheet with your page titles and their URL links then it will be easy to scan and find the right reference for yourself. Tip: Surfing your website for pages to link to can be quite distracting because you will find things that you want to change or fix. If this happens to you, start a journal or an Evernote notebook of what you find so you don’t get distracted by your honey-do list.

#4 Go backwards
If you haven’t been doing internal links within your website, there is no time like the present. Go update your pages and add internal links.

…And Of Course A Few Dont’s

#1 Don’t do this for the sake of doing it.

If you don’t see a good reason to link internally then don’t do it. Again, your website will not crash because you didn’t link to another page. It is far worse to cram in a link for the sake of it then to not have one at all. This is what I meant by “naturally” – don’t force a link.

#2 Do not use the same anchor text all of the time. DEFINITION: Anchor text is the displayed clickable link text.

You don’t have to have the perfect phrase to link to your page. Sometimes it is ok to just say “Go here”and sometimes it is ok to use the exact phrase of the page (in-line text). Whatever you do just make it relevant. Learn more, Read more, Click here are not always necessary. Now go here and read about video marketing. Or you can just learn how we help you brainstorm script-writing for your YouTube video. See how that works? Awesome.

Your web page is not a link journal. Do not abuse your readers by expecting them to click over to 15 different links. Use your best judgement, and put yourself in the browsing shoes (eyes?) of your reader.

Do you have any web page linking tips that you can share? What has been your experience with internal linking? Tell us all of your linking horror stories.