When we help clients revamp and optimize their websites for SEO, we often suggest they use textual hyperlinks to connect their internal pages. This type of internal link optimization offers tremendous SEO benefits by helping search engines better understand page content and focus.
Internal links connect one page on your website to another, relevant page on the same domain. As opposed to an external link, which connects your page to an another website altogether.
When a search engine spider crawls the web, it travels from link to link categorizing the information on each page it encounters. They rely heavily on internal link structures to connect and understand digital content.
By providing keyword-rich links to internal pages within your own site, you suggest to site crawlers the relevancy of keywords of those linked pages.
Your site may have a navigational menu bar to help users navigate from page to page, but this isn’t enough to offer SEO benefits. Links from a menu bar are less powerful than hyperlinked text found within the body of the page. Wikipedia is the best example of an internally linked page with targeted anchor text.
Each link on the page uses anchor text that describes the page that is being linked to. For example, the word “Hunting” links to the Hunting Dog Wikipedia entry. The word “Herding” links to the Herding Dog entry, and the phrase “pulling loads” links to the Sled Dog entry.
When we mention Pay Per Click Advertising, Content Marketing or Search Engine Optimization on our own website, we link to our designated service pages. By creating targeted internal hyperlinks signal the keywords that should be used to describe the page’s content.
This use of anchor text informs search engines about the content of your individual pages, and benefits SEO. This is the opposite of using hyperlinks with words like “click here.” Those types of phrases are more of a call-to-action for users which offer no SEO benefits.
Every page on your website should have text content that can be used to link to other pages. When your text mentions another portion of your website – that is the perfect opportunity for a keyword rich internal link.
However, there is one caveat. While it can be valuable to provide keyword rich internal links, too many can be a bad thing. Loading your page with too many links looks spammy. Keep it feeling natural and organic and you will be just fine.