Internal links are hyperlinks to another page on the website. When the reader clicks on a word or phrase, the user is taken to another page on the site.

SEO writing protocols are a fundamental in Houston SEM companies. New content developers often wonder why there is a requirement for “x” number of internal links. After all, shouldn’t the focus be getting external, or inbound, links from other websites?

All the SEO forums agree your efforts should be directed towards receiving those coveted, inbound links from reputable sites. The reasoning is inbound links from other people in your industry helps to increase your page rank. Experts want to reference other experts, not imposters.

How does linking to yourself establish you as an expert?

The answer is that it does not. You can recommend yourself and sing your own praises all you want, but unless others hold the same view, your reputation as the go-to guy is not established.

But here’s the thing. Although internal links might not count as much towards ranking as external links, they are important to search engines and your audience in 3 ways.

1. Providing Search Engine 4-1-1

Internal linking gives search engine bots a helping hand in 3 ways.

  • Navigation
  • Establishing a page hierarchy
  • Help spreads link juice

Sometimes complete site navigation is hidden from the bots. If the bots can’t see a page, the page isn’t indexed. If the main navigation links have subcategories, the bots may see the main link and one subcategory link, but could miss pages, such as subcategories of subcategories, deeper down. If the site map is not updated for each added page on a regular basis, pages might escape indexing. Using internal links help the bots find and index pages that would otherwise be missed.

Providing internal links also establish a page hierarchy. It tells the bots which pages are more important than others. Think of this as a pyramid with the most important page at the top and the pages that are linked as providing the structural support. Getting the internal linking just right to support pages with a higher priority takes thought and time. Just remember that the Great Pyramid in Giza wasn’t built overnight.

Finally, internal linking help spread link juice. Link juice is a relatively easy concept. If you link a page to another page that ranks higher, your page receives “credit” for linking to an “expert”. The “credit” gives your page more visibility.  Visibility is important to getting the page on the first page of search results.

2. Increasing Audience Value

Content developers at Houston’s SEO companies place a priority on providing audience value. Internal links are significant to the targeted reader by

  • Linking to pages containing more detailed information and/or explanations about the topic
  • Linking to related articles/posts that help you make a point
  • Directing the reader to related content they might want to read

Need I say more?

3. Improving Bounce Rate

Part of good SEO is watching the analytics, the bounce rate in particular. Bounce rate measures how long a visitor stays on a site.  Internal linking increases the time a visitor stays on your site, particularly when you link to relevant information that the visitor has not seen before and really wants to read and digest. If your visitor lingers a while, your bounce rate goes down.

So you see, internal linking is very important to SEO strategy, search engines, and your audience. Think it out, build it, and internal link at will.