The Importance of Internal Linking for SEO – and How to Do It

Internal links are more important for SEO than you think. Many websites make the mistake of only focusing on external linking. However, internal linking is also super-important for SEO. They can have a massive impact on your website rankings.
In this guide, we’ll look at how internal linking impacts SEO. You’ll also find some helpful strategies on how to make the most out of internal linking.

What is Internal Linking

Internal links are hyperlinks that link to pages in the same domain. Internal linking is when you link from one page to another of the same domain. Internal links are different from external links, which are hyperlinks to different domains.
Internal links seem to be very simple concepts. But strategic use of internal links can completely change your SEO game. Hence, it is very important to have a pre-planned approach instead of adding internal links without giving much thought to it.
Here are some of the reasons how internal links are useful:

  • Internal links help with website navigation.
  • They add structure and hierarchy to your website.
  • They help with the distribution of link authority or link juice throughout your website.

You can use internal links to provide easy access to content from your website. For instance, using internal links, you can redirect your users to useful blog posts. You can add internal links to your navigation bar to help offer a good user experience.
You can also use internal links to pass on authority from one page to another. Suppose you add a link from one page to another. Then this helps to pass on the link juice from the first page to the next. This can be very useful in boosting SEO for your website pages.
Internal linking is super-helpful for adding call to action and lead generation as well. You can add internal links from your content or web pages in the form of a call to action. You can add links to your landing pages in the same domain. This can be helpful in lead generation.
Internal linking can be extremely useful in improving your website’s UX. Suppose you add relevant and valuable internal links in your content. Then, it will help your users to get all the information that they need. Your users will be able to find the immense value out of your content this way.

Internal Linking and SEO

Internal links play a major role in Google’s algorithms. As mentioned above, Google uses internal links to understand your website’s hierarchy. Using internal links, Google indexes your website’s pages and understands them.
Suppose you publish a new page or post on your website. If you don’t add any internal links to it and don’t update the sitemap, Google wouldn’t index the page. Suppose you add a link to the new page from another page. Then, Google will easily index the page and understand its content.
Page ranks or page authority is a significant factor in SEO. You can alter page ranks with the strategic use of internal links. Just like external links, internal links can also determine your page authority.
Generally speaking, when a page has more internal links, then its page rank is relatively higher. So, you can boost the page authority of a particular page by adding internal links.
The quality and relevance of internal links also matter for SEO. Suppose you add a link to your new page from an existing, high-performing page. Then the quality of the link will be higher. Hence, the page rank of the new page will also be higher.
In this way, internal links can help you boost your low performing or newer pages. For example, suppose that you want to increase the page authority of a few pages on your site. You can do this by adding relevant internal links to these pages from your high performing pages. This can be of great help in boosting your overall SEO.
A case study by Ninja Outreach reveals the effects of internal linking in SEO. They used internal linking to boost their website traffic by 40%.

Importance of Internal Linking

Let’s look at the importance of internal linking in detail:

1. Internal Links Add Structure and Hierarchy to Your Website

Having a crawlable link structure is vital for better SEO. Let’s suppose that your website is well structured and with proper internal linking implemented. Then, Google will easily discover all the pages on your website.
This happens because Google largely relies on hyperlinks for crawling and indexing. It uses links to crawl pages on your site. It also uses internal links and anchor texts to understand the context of your content.
For better SEO, you should have a good navigation structure. Every page on your site should be accessible within three links. Pages with no internal linking are usually considered orphaned pages. These pages are not easily crawlable by Google.
Thus, adding an ample number of high-quality internal links is important to add information hierarchy to your website. This helps Google crawl and index your site. This, in turn, leads to improvement in your Google rankings.

2. Internal Links Help to Spread Ranking Power Throughout Your Site

Every page on the internet has a page authority. This refers to the authority and quality of that page.
Likely, a few pages on your site perform better than the other pages. This means that the authority of the ranking power of these pages is higher than the other pages.
While these high-performing pages will get a lot of traffic on your website, the other pages will lack authority and thus will not receive considerable traffic. You can combat this by using internal linking.
Using internal linking, you can distribute the ranking power across all the pages on your website. You can do this by adding internal links from the high authority pages to the low authority ones.
This way, link juice or ranking power will flow from the high authority pages to lower ones. And this will lead to an increase in the authority of your lower authority pages. This will lead to an almost even distribution of ranking power. And thus, ultimately resulting in better SEO and improvements in rankings.
Therefore, adding internal links will improve the ranking of lower-performing pages. Hence, you’ll improve the overall SEO of your website.

3. Internal Linking Helps in Offering Better User Experience

User experience is vital for any website’s SEO. Google’s algorithms consider user experience as one of the topmost ranking factors. And, internal linking can be a great tool for improving your website’s user experience.
Adding internal links to your website’s navigation, header, and footer links can greatly improve usability. Users will find it easier to navigate through your site and find all the information that they need.
Adding internal links to useful resources can also help improve the UX of your site. For example, suppose your users are looking for extra information on a topic. Then, adding an internal link to a useful content piece or a lead magnet can offer a good experience.
Through internal linking, your users will find all the information they need on your site. They wouldn’t have to hop on to other sites to look for more details. This impacts your website’s UX signals. The bounce rate will reduce, and the dwell time will increase.
Improvements in UX signals will help improve your Google rankings. This is because Google’s algorithms use these UX signals for ranking websites.

4. Internal Links in the Form of Call to Actions Can Urge Visitors to take Action

Internal linking also has some positive impact on the Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) of your website. This is because internal links are a great way to make the users take desirable actions.
Using internal links, you can urge the users to sign up for your email newsletter. Or, you can redirect them to a useful lead magnet. This can be of great help to improve your lead generation rate. It will help you bring more users down your sales funnel.
You can use internal linking for adding calls to action in various ways. You can add internal links to your landing pages from your content. These can be in the form of content upgrades.
Suppose you add an ample number of internal links to your landing pages. This way, you can also increase the authority of your landing pages. This will have a good positive impact on your conversions.

5. Adding Internal Links Can Help Google Discover New Content

New content on any website is harder to rank. This is because new pages have relatively lower page authority. Strategic internal linking can be of help to boost the SEO of new content on your site.
Google uses hyperlinks to find pages and content. Suppose that you publish a new page on your website. And you don’t update your sitemap and build many backlinks to it. Then, the new page would not be easily discoverable by Google.
Instead, suppose that you add internal links to the new page on your site. Then, Google will find it easier to crawl the new page. This is because the page will already have some context because of the links. And the page will also have authority from the linking pages.
Thus, it is best to add internal links to any new pages or posts on your site. This will help you instantly boost the authority of any new URL. If you don’t add internal links, these new pages might take much longer to get indexed and rank on Google.

6. Internal Linking Can Boost the Overall SEO of Your Website

It is evident from the above points that internal linking has a great positive impact on your website. It helps with user experience and defines an informational hierarchy for your site. Moreover, it also helps with the distribution of page authority.
Anchor texts added in internal links also play an important role in SEO. Anchor texts in internal links help Google to understand the context on the web page. The keywords used in anchor texts help Google to gather information about the contents of this page.
All these factors majorly contribute to an overall improvement in your website’s SEO. External links are vital for any websites’ SEO. But, you shouldn’t ignore internal linking also. Focusing solely on externally linking wouldn’t be of much help. You should actively try to focus on internal linking if you want to see a bump in your website’s rankings.

Internal Links Vs. External Links

Wondering how internal links are different from external links? Here’s an in-depth look at how internal linking differs from external linking:

External links are hyperlinks to other domains. Internal links are hyperlinks added to other pages on the same domain.
You can add external links only in content. You can add internal links in content as well as navigation bars.
External links are difficult to build. You need to implement various challenging strategies to build external links to your website. Internal links are completely under your control. Hence, there is a minimum effort needed in building internal links. You need to audit your existing content to implement internal linking on your site.
Adding spammy external links with no value may hurt your SEO. Google will eventually reduce your rankings if there are lots of spammy external links from your site. In internal linking, you do not have to worry about spammy links. This is because all the links will be to other pages on your domain. Hence, you do not have to worry about your rankings getting hurt.
High-quality external links to your website help in improving your domain authority. External links to pages on your site also improve the page authority of these pages. Internal links help to improve the page authority of your website pages. Google considers the quality of internal links while determining the page authority.
External links to your website help in increasing the quality of your site’s pages. Internal links help Google to find all the pages on your website with ease.
External links cannot help with the distribution of page authority or ranking power. Internal linking can help distribute ranking power or page authority across your website’s pages.

How To Do Internal Linking

Now you know how internal linking plays an important role in SEO. If you want to improve your Google rankings, strategic internal linking is of utmost importance. Here are some strategies that you can use to implement internal linking on your website:

1. Figure out the Structure of your Website

Before you start with the process of internal linking, you should understand the structure of your site. This is because your internal linking strategy will depend on it.
Most of the websites have a pyramid structure. At the top, we will have the homepage of the website. Following this will be the category pages. These categories will broadly divide your websites into different sections.
Under the category pages, we can have other subcategories. Or, all the other pages on your site may be directly linked to these category pages. If your website does not follow this or any other structure, you should start with an audit. You should try to categorize all your content into a structure.
Having such a structure for your website is important. This is because using a structure. Google will find it easy to crawl your site. Google will easily find all the information needed. Google will easily figure out the hierarchy of your site.
With a structure in mind, you can start by planning your internal linking strategy. You’ll know which pages you should add links to. And you’ll know how to interlink all your pages in the most efficient way.

2. Find Contextual Linking Opportunities

Contextual internal links are the most common and easiest way of linking. These are simply internal links added based on context.
For instance, suppose that you have a blog post on a certain topic. You can add internal links from this blog post to other content. You can do this whenever you talk about certain topics or keywords that you already have content on. This way, you can find many internal linking opportunities.
You can add contextual links from the middle of a page or content. Or, you can also add contextual links at the end of a page or post.
Suppose you have a pillar or cornerstone content. You can let Google know about this using contextual links. You can add links from all the related topics to the pillar content. This way, you can add many relevant internal links to your pillar content. So, Google will know that this is your most important piece of content on the topic.
You can find contextual linking opportunities by auditing your existing content. You can do a sitewide search for certain keywords. And add internal links for these keywords.

3. Add Links to Related Content

Having a related content section on your website can be super helpful. This will help you add new and relevant internal links. Not just that, it will also improve your site’s user experience.
For every post or content that you add to your site, add 3 to 5 links to related content. You can add these links on a sidebar. Or, you can add these links from the end of the article. This has numerous advantages.
First of all, Google will be able to comprehend your site’s structure better. Google will be able to crawl all the related pieces of content on your site.
Secondly, adding links to related content will help your users have a better experience. Your site’s UX signals will improve. This includes signals such as bounce rate, time on page, and similar others. This is because users will find all the information they need on your site. They wouldn’t have to hop on to other sites looking for more information.

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4. Interlink Hierarchical Pages

Many websites can also have a hierarchical structure. Or, some of the pages on your site may follow a hierarchical structure. It is a good idea to internal link all the hierarchical pages on your site as Google will be able to make sense of your site’s hierarchical structure this way.
A hierarchical structure usually has parent pages. Following these are several child pages. There can be more than one parent page on your site. A typical example of this would be a content or topic cluster.
In the case of a content cluster, there is a pillar page. The pillar page consists of generic content on all the subtopics. It is the lengthiest of all the pages in the structure. The pillar page is connected to various cluster pages. These clusters are based on one sub-topic each.
So, you should add links to all the clusters from the pillar page in such a case. You should also interlink all the sibling pages with each other. In the case of a content cluster, the siblings will be the cluster pages.

5. Add More Internal Links to your Cornerstone Content

Your cornerstone content is the newest or the most popular piece of content on your site. These might be the pages optimized for your top keywords. This content plays a pivotal role in your internal linking strategy for SEO.
First of all, you need to identify your cornerstone content. You can do this by going through your existing content. The top-ranking pages on your site are probably your cornerstone content.
Your cornerstone content is already performing well. You can give such pages a boost by internal linking.
You can start by adding links from other pages on your site to your cornerstone content. This way, you’ll be passing more ranking power and link juice to your cornerstone content. So, this will give a significant boost to your cornerstone content. Over time, you’ll find these pages ranking even higher.

6. Use Google Site Search to Find Internal Linking Opportunities

Finding internal linking opportunities can be tedious. Especially if you already have some content published on your site. You have to go through every piece of content and find keywords to link.
To cut short this process, you can use the Google site search option. Start by identifying the pages that you want to link to. You can also find corresponding keywords for each of these pages. You can use these keywords as anchor texts for your internal links.
Next, do a sitewide search on Google: “
Using this expression, you’ll get a list of pages that have these keywords. You can add internal links to these pages.
This approach makes it easier to find contextual linking opportunities. You do not have to go through every piece of content on your site. Instead, you can simply run site searches for top keywords and add internal links.

7. Add Internal Links From Your Highest Performing Pages

As discussed above, internal linking helps with the distribution of ranking power. Each of your site’s pages has page authority.
You can pass on this page authority to other pages using internal linking. This helps with even distribution of ranking power. More of your pages will start ranking on Google.
For implementing this, you should start by identifying your top-performing pages. You can do this using keyword research tools such as ahrefs, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest. Just search for your domain name. And then look for the “top pages” section. Here you’ll find all the top-performing pages on your site.
These top pages have relatively more ranking power compared to other pages. You can leverage this opportunity by passing link juice from these pages to other pages.
Find contextual linking opportunities on all the top-performing pages on your site. And add internal links in a natural and relevant way. Remember not to go overboard with internal links. Or it might hurt your site’s SEO.

8. Add Links to Categories and Tags

Categories and tags are a great way for internal linking. You can use categories and tags to section and group all the similar content on your site. You’d commonly know that this is a way of offering a good user experience.
Using categories and tags, users can find all the content on your site related to these topics. For example, suppose your site is about vegan food. You can have different categories for breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes.
And you can have tags such as “recipes under 5 mins” or “recipes under 20 mins.” By searching for these categories and tags, users can find all the recipes they would like to look at.
Such categories and tags offer a good way to add internal links. You can add internal links to the relevant categories from all your posts. And, you can also add internal links to related tags from your content.

9. Add a Recent Posts Section

Another great idea for internal linking is to add a “recent posts” section. You can add this to your site’s sidebar. This way, users will be able to navigate your recent posts from any page of your site.
You can add links to recent posts from your home page. This will help users discover your content. And, you can add internal links most naturally.
Usually, it is difficult to rank new posts on your site. Adding a “recent posts” section is a good way to get your pages indexed easily. And, you also pass on some link juice to all your new pages this way.
This works especially well when you link to your recent posts from your homepage. Your home page usually is more authoritative than other pages. So, this way, you can give some boost to all the new pieces of content that you publish.
If you using WordPress you can use this plugin.

10. Use Keyword-Rich Anchor Texts for Your Internal Links

Just like in the case of external links, anchor texts matter in internal links as well. Anchor texts are the keywords that you add hyperlinks to. These play a special role in conveying the right context of your links to Google.
It is usually a best practice to use keyword-rich anchor text. When you add keywords to your anchor texts, Google links these keywords to your pages. So, eventually, there is a higher chance that your pages will start ranking for these keywords.
You can use the primary keywords for any page as an anchor text for the internal links. You can also use any long term keywords that the pages are ranking for.
It is good to have some variation in your internal link anchor texts. You should avoid using the same anchor text for all the internal links for a particular page. This will make your internal linking look more natural. And, your pages will start ranking for more related or LSI keywords.

11. Add Internal Links Higher Up on the Page

Internal linking placement is also an important factor that you should consider. This is just like the case of external links. Any link carries more value based on how higher up you place it on any page.
The higher you place a particular link, the more value it will carry. So, try to place your internal links at the top of the pages. You can add internal links above the fold. You can do this by adding a sidebar with links to internal pages. You can place this sidebar above the fold.
Or, you can add internal links in the first few words of your content. Preferably add the links in the first 100 to 200 words on your content. This way, your internal links will carry more weightage. You can pass on more ranking power to these links.

12. Update Older Pages with Internal Links to New Pages

Older pages, on any website, usually have more authority compared to the newer pages. This is because Google has indexed these pages for a while. You can leverage this fact and use it for your internal linking strategy.
You can add internal links to newer pages from your older pages. Your older pages have more ranking power. By adding internal links to newer pages, you can pass on this link equity.
This way, Google will index your newer pages. And, these pages will start ranking on Google much sooner. You can make this a practice. Each time you publish any new content, add internal links from 3 to 5 older content pieces.

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13. Ensure That Your Internal Linking is Natural and Relevant

Internal linking is a very impactful strategy for SEO. Google gives ample importance to internal links. Unlike external links, adding internal links is totally under your control. Hence, it is easy to go overboard with internal linking.
Going overboard with internal linking might hurt your site’s SEO to a great extent. When you add internal links unnaturally, Google will consider this as a spammy link. If you add many such unnatural links, your website’s rankings may drop.
Adding unnatural internal links will affect your user experience. Users will find it difficult to read through your pages and content. This will lead to increased bounce rate and pogo-sticking. This will again indicate to Google, and it will lower your rankings eventually.
To avoid these, try to add internal links naturally. Any internal links shouldn’t break the flow of your content. It should add value to your content. All the internal links that you add must be relevant to the linking page and the anchor text. It is best to stick to these practices when implementing internal linking for your site.

14. Try to Link Deep

It is always a good practice to link deeper. Deep here refers to the pages that come at the bottom of your site’s structure. This is when your site follows a pyramid or a hierarchical structure.
You should avoid adding all the internal links to the pages that come on top of your site structure. These are usually your home page, services page, or your contact page. These come at the top and have links from the navigation bar.
Many websites make the mistake of adding lots of links to their homepage or contact page from all their other pages. This might not be the best practice. If you follow this strategy, many of your pages may be orphaned. And the link equity will not be evenly distributed.
To avoid this, try linking to pages that come at the bottom of your site structure. We call this deep internal linking. Your site’s link equity and ranking power will be evenly distributed. All your pages will have some link juice flowing through them. This will lead to a considerable improvement in your site’s SEO rankings.

15. Add Internal Links to Guide Visitors to High Converting Pages

Conversions are at the core of any business’s success. Maximizing conversions is the main goal for any business website. You can bring about improvement to your conversion rate by strategic internal linking.
You can increase your conversion rate by passing on link juice to your high converting pages. These are usually your landing pages or sales pages. These are the pages that you use to directly convert your visitors into leads.
You can strategically add internal links to these high converting pages from other pages. This way, you can pass on authority to these high converting pages. Your landing pages will start ranking higher on Google.

Relevant : Tips for Your eCommerce Landing Page

Your higher converting pages will get a boost on Google. These pages will start to rank organically on Google. This will lead to increased traffic to your landing pages. Ultimately resulting in an increased conversion rate for your business.

List of Tools you can Use to Create Internal Links

Now you know about the strategies that you can use to implement strategic internal linking. Let’s look at some tools that you can use to create internal links on your website.

1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the top keyword research and SEO tools available in the market. You can make use of ahrefs to identify link authority.
Identifying your link authority is an essential part of the internal linking process. This is important for finding the pages that have the most link authority on your site. Using ahrefs, you can do a site search and identify the link authority of your pages.

2. Moz

Moz is, again, keyword research and SEO tool. The best part about Moz is the page authority and domain authority scores.
Google attaches an authority score for every domain and page it indexes. Moz tool gives an approximation of these scores. This will be helpful to identify all internal page’s authority and use them for internal linking.
Moz’s Chrome extension called a Moz bar is also a useful tool for finding page authority for all your webpages.

3. Webceo

Webceo is a powerful internal linking tool that helps you add SEO-friendly internal links to your site. It has various useful features that can help you implement a sitewide internal linking campaign. These include link text analysis, link juice SEO, and removal of wasteful links.
Webceo helps you identify new internal linking opportunities. It also has lots of other useful features, such as landing page analysis.

4. Better Internal Link Search

Better Internal Link Search is a WordPress plugin. It helps you to improve your site’s default internal linking structure. It offers you internal linking suggestions and helps with adding internal links for taxonomies.
The tool is also extendable to developers. So, you can also modify the plugin to make your internal linking even better.

5. SEO - alrp

SEO Auto Links & Related Posts is also an internal linking WordPress plugin. This tool helps you automatically create internal links for related posts. The tool does this by searching your database for meta keywords and post tags.
The tool also enables you to add thumbnail images and titles to your internal links. This is a great tool to add links to related posts on the go.


To sum it up, we can say that internal linking is an essential part of SEO. Google gives considerable value to internal links. So, it is important to have a strategic approach to internal linking.
Many websites limit internal linking to simply adding contextual links. But, there is much more to it. Internal linking is a powerful tool that can completely transform your website’s SEO.
Using the techniques provided in this post, you can create a powerful internal linking strategy tailored to your site’s structure. You can launch and implement a sitewide internal linking campaign. You’ll see a significant improvement in your site’s rankings after using these strategies.
Do you want to save your time in doing internal linking for your website?
Leave it to our experts. They will take care of the Internal linking for your website.

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Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.