Interlinks or internal links are one of the most important on-page SEO elements. The purpose of interlinks is to navigate users from one page to another, but there is secondary benefit of using interlinks. Actually, when we talk about SEO and interlinks, if done right you may improve several SEO insights by interlinking. Normally, the purpose of doing smart interlinking is boosting website pages in search engine result pages. According Wikipedia,
An internal link is a hyperlink that is a reference or navigation element in a web page to another section of the web page or to another page that may be on or part of the same website or domain of the internet.
So now when we know the meaning of interlink, it’s time to learn how we can get the most of it.
First thing to have in mind is to avoid too many internal links on one single page. Exception to this rule are evergreen lists is the style of “top 100 bookmarking sites” or “best 50 free SEO tools.”
On the homepage, keep your interlinks in number bellow 100. Why? Because fewer interlinks transfer more link juice and thus give more power to the pages they link to.
Secondly, you should only link to related pages or resources that will satisfy user expectation.
Example you have a blog with categories Web Design, Web Development, SEO, and General Internet. So when you write a post about SEO, try to interlink posts within the same category. On that way, you strength your theme and give indication to the search engines that there is a special cluster on your website about search Engine Optimization. Why would someone who is interested in SEO, read further about programming? On a long-term basis, you will lose many clicks to your pages if you link to non-relevant sources. It is more likely that a visitor interested in SEO will click on a link about another SEO topic.
On the other side, Google’s Patent about anchor text (which is also about interlinks) says that Google measure click rate on each link and thus it evaluate the importance of your link and the power transferred. So if you don’t get clicks on your interlinks, you should consider changing your tactics and the way you link to other pages.
However, if you still intent to link to a page from another category, use nofollow tag. On that way, you will avoid mix of distinct themes of your website.
Another very important tip. Place your links as high as you can on the web page. Upper links get more value compared to those bellow the fold. Usually, these links get most clicks and Google consider as more important. Besides, these are contextual links. This is also taken from the anchor text Google’s patent.
The number is relative. You can afford more links on pages with more content, but not over do it. One link on each 100 words is enough. On homepage, than number could be bigger. You should also include at least one link to another related source on the web to look more naturally in the eyes of search engines.
As I said above, there are several benefits of using internal links on your website or blog; Navigate users to other pages Increase average visit duration, Increase page views, give value to the linked page and boost its ranking, Lower bounce rate
Bellow images, are taken from Google Analytics, to visualize the positive effect of creating internal links.
You can see from all above images that interlinking improved four crucial elements on a long-term basis.
For more than a year, the site bounce rate is lowered, the number of page views and page views is increased, and the average visit duration is increased for two more minutes. Impressive numbers. The site improved its rankings for the main keywords as well as LSI keywords and other long-tail keywords.
The most important thing after user interaction is of course Google, who is watching at these parameters, which are in correspondence with user behavior on a website.
Start improving your interlink strategy today, if you have any question, don’t hesitate to contact me.