Internal Linking: Types, Tips & Tactics to Improve Your SEO

Internal links also make up your website’s architecture. If you think of your website like a pyramid, with your homepage at the top, your internal linking profile forms the structure of that pyramid.
That means longer page sessions and more page views. That increased time on page also provides more opportunities for the user to convert, as long as your CTAs and conversion actions are properly optimized.
As mentioned above, any page on your website should ideally be reached in three clicks or less from the homepage. If there is no internal link to a page on your website, Google’s crawlers won’t see it.

What is internal linking?

First and foremost, relevant internal links make your website a better place for users. This is particularly true for those users arriving at your website for the first time with no previous knowledge of the content that lives there.
seo internal linking - crawler illustration
Strategically adding internal links, then, can have major benefits to your SEO performance.
Pillar pages are high-level pieces of content that provide broad information about a core topic. Throughout pillar pages are internal links to comprehensive articles on the subtopics related to that core topic.
If you don’t have the relevant content on your website yet, then add it to your SEO content calendar. Internal linking for SEO gets easier with the more high-quality pieces of content that live permanently on your website.
Instead of signaling importance or navigation, in-text internal links point to relevant information that the user can access at their preference.
Instead of signaling importance or navigation, in-text internal links point to relevant information that the user can access at their preference.

2. PageRank sculpting

PageRank sculpting is the process of leveraging your website’s PageRank more strategically through internal links and nofollow tags.
These internal links communicate to users where the “next most important” pages are after arriving on your website. They are called navigation links because they very much operate like a map, guiding users to where they should go next.
Ideally, any page on your website should be reachable in three clicks or less.
Unlike external links (or outlinks), which are hyperlinks that point to pages on other websites, internal links keep users on your website. They should not be mistaken for “inlinks,” (or backlinks), which are links from other domains that point “in” toward your website.

3. Crawl budget optimization

There are several types of internal links that you likely have on your website right now. Understanding their differences is important, because they play a key role in your website visitors’ journey.
These are a permanent fixture within your website header that communicate to users your website hierarchy. Most often they are organized around product categories, primary services, or key topic areas.
Some content management systems will automatically add redirects as you change these key elements, but not always. It’s important that you take the time to regularly schedule link maintenance into your strategy and identify and repair any broken internal links quickly.

Don’t ignore internal linking

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If you already have internal links scattered throughout your website and want to leverage them even more, here are some more advanced strategies for internal linking.
And all of those efforts will also benefit the most important stakeholders—your users—helping them discover more of your content and converting more often.