POP SEO Tip #9: Best Practices for Internal Links

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Internal links, simply, are those which join together the separate pages on any given website. These links are most important for SEO purposes in terms of establishing your site’s architecture. A well-constructed site is one that’s easy for a search engine to crawl and has a clear and consistent hierarchy. In order to ensure that your internal links work to your advantage, follow these best practices:

  • Categories / Subcategories: When possible, try to organize the content of your website into categories and subcategories with internal links moving from one to the next. Think of how Amazon is organized, and follow suit.
  • Fewer Links are Better: If you follow a rigid hierarchy, this should naturally lead to fewer internal links per individual page. Fewer internal links is better, because it doesn’t dilute your “link juice” – which is passed from page to page – as much.
  • Use Descriptive Anchor Text: The anchor text for your internal links should let the reader and the web crawler know where the link is going. That being said, if there are multiple internal links to the same page, make sure you change up the wording of those links.
  • Don’t Link Unrelated Pages: Make sure that there’s a logic as to why one page on your website links to another. If such logic doesn’t exist, it could lead to penalization.
  • Make Sure Pages Aren’t Hidden: If there are pages on your site that aren’t internally linked from somewhere, or are hidden behind something a search engine won’t crawl (like a form), then they might as well not exist as far as a search engine is concerned.

Choosing to follow these best practices for internal links won’t just help with your SEO strategy, it will also help to make your website more useful and easier to navigate.