What are the best practices for internal linking?

Sandy Rowley
3 min readMar 2, 2024

SEO Expert, Sandy Rowley shares internal linking for best SEO

Internal Linking with SEO

Internal linking is a crucial aspect of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and usability for any website. It refers to the practice of linking from one page to another within the same domain. When done correctly, it can improve site navigation, help search engines crawl and index your pages more effectively, and distribute page authority throughout your site. Here are some best practices for internal linking:

1. Use Descriptive Anchor Text: The clickable text in a link should be clear and relevant to the page it’s linking to. Avoid generic terms like “click here” and instead use descriptive keywords that give users and search engines an idea of what they’ll find on the linked page.

2. Link Deep: Instead of constantly linking to your homepage or contact page, make sure to link deeper into your site to more specific pages. This helps distribute link equity throughout your site and brings visibility to more of your pages.

3. Use a Reasonable Number of Links: Don’t overload a page with too many internal links. Only include links that are relevant and helpful to the reader. A high number of links can dilute the value passed to each link and potentially confuse both users and search engines.

4. Follow a Hierarchical Structure: Your website should have a logical structure, with main categories and subcategories. Internal linking should help reinforce this structure, guiding users and search engines through your site in a way that makes sense.

5. Link for the User First: While it’s important to consider search engines, your primary focus should be on providing value to your users. Link to content that is relevant and helpful to the reader’s intent.

6. Use Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs are a type of secondary navigation scheme that reveal the user’s location on a website. They are beneficial for both users and search engines, as they help with site navigation and distributing link equity.

7. Optimize Your Link’s Placement: Links higher up in the content tend to carry more weight than those at the bottom. Place important internal links within the main body of your page content rather than in the footer or sidebar.

8. Regularly Audit Your Internal Links: Over time, content gets moved or deleted, which can lead to broken links. Regular audits can help you identify and fix these issues, ensuring that your site remains navigable and that link equity flows properly.

9. Use Content Hubs: If you have a lot of content on a similar topic, consider creating a content hub where you can link all related pages together. This not only helps with user navigation but also establishes your site’s authority on the topic.

10. Avoid Using NoFollow Attributes on Internal Links: The NoFollow attribute tells search engines not to follow a particular link. Generally, you want search engines to crawl your internal links, so avoid using NoFollow unless there’s a specific reason.

Implementing these best practices can significantly improve your site’s SEO performance, enhance the user experience, and ensure that your content is effectively indexed and ranked by search engines.

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