Internal links have the same effect as external links (backlinks). The difference is, the website owner can control 100% of the amount, location and structure. Building internal links means building a website structure. And to build a strong structure, it’s not enough to just rely on ‘related posts’ and links in the navigation menu. There are techniques so that your website is more robust.
Regarding internal links
In order not to misunderstand, I first briefly explain the meaning. Internal links are links ( link ) that leads from a page to another page on a similar website. While external links or backlinks come from outside the website.
There are 3 main purposes of links in websites:
- Simplify visitor navigation
- Forming the website structure
- Distributing authority to other pages of the website
So, if on your website there is 1 page that has high authority (the reason is backlinks), you can distribute its power to other pages. This is the importance of internal links.
Good website structure
I mentioned earlier that one of its functions is to form a website structure. The reason is because pages that get a lot of internal links will be considered main pages by search engines. In off-page SEO guidance Here I explain the importance of links, internal links are also included in it.
Here’s a nice (simplified) website structure pattern:
Each circle gives one website page and the lines show links. The bigger the circle, the greater the authority of the page (because there are many links). This kind of structure is good because it shows in detail which content is the main and which contents are related and support the main content. Thanks to this, audiences and search engines can easily explore the site.
This main content is linked a lot and connects other content.
Why ‘related posts’ isn’t enough
Many websites, especially blogs and online shops, only rely on automatically generated related posts to build internal links. This kind of method is not good enough to build a website structure.
The reason is that the links in related posts are generated automatically by the method, you have no power to determine which pages are the most important on your website. As a result, the website structure looks like this (assuming aggressive):
With related posts, all content is on the same level. There is no content that is considered important, there is no supporting content. This is because one page links other pages without weight and with the same quantity. If you only use related posts, it means you are the same only rely on backlinks to determine page priority. Less powerful than websites that rely on internal and external.
In addition, attendees also visited pages on related posts less often than internal links that were created manually.
Intentionally or unintentionally, your website must have some main content. This main content is usually high-quality content, the process of making it takes the most time, and you feel the most proud of it.
If you don’t feel like you have the main content. Check your Analytics and see which pages are visited the most besides the homepage. Make these pages the main page. Improve and redevelop the contents.
Furthermore, any other content that you create after this is good for derivatives, follow-up explanations, or side content from the main content which can be linked back with internal links.
These main contents will later have a high potential to appear on Google’s site links.
Tips for building internal links
The following are ways you can build internal links manually without using any plugins to create a good structure.
1. Insert in content
The best form of link is the one between the sentences in the content. First, because it looks natural. Second, visitors are more interested in clicking. Third, rich with keywords. The link to a certain page optimally appears once so as not to disturb the reader. It’s better to link 2-3 opposite pages in 1 post than 2-3 to the same page.
2. Use anchor text
Just like backlinks, use anchor text to link to each internal link. Do not use generic phrases such as “click here”, “this page”, etc. for internal links unless absolutely necessary. Don’t use overly optimized phrases either. Insert it into sentences naturally so that sentences are still easy to read but still describe your link.
3. Avoid links to the following pages
Do not link to the homepage from within the content because there are already many links on your website that point to the homepage. Do not also put a link to your own page, it’s useless. Other pages that you don’t need optimization for search engines such as contact, discourse, and rules also don’t need to be linked.
4. Link relevant pages only
The internal links that you post must be to pages that are on a similar topic. For example, page 1 has the topic of fried tofu recipe, page 2 has the topic of fried tempeh recipe, page 3 has the topic of motorbikes.
You can link pages 1 and 2, but never connect pages 3 with 1 and 2.
Be careful not to put rel=”nofollow” for all links on your web page. Nofollow links are considered not to distribute page authority to other pages, so it will be useless SEO wise.
6. Do not disturb comfort
Whatever things you do on your website should not disturb the convenience of readers, including internal links. That means, don’t put up too many links and don’t put up irrelevant links.
How much is too much? Depends on the length of your post.
7. Limit the amount site-wide link
Site-wide links are links that appear on all pages of your website, for example links in the header, sidebar and footer navigation. Most of these links will have no real impact, instead it will make your structure less attractive and distract visitors.
This is a manual internal link building technique to get a good structure. In the process of creating a website, anything that is run manually usually gives better results than completely automatically.