What Is Internal Link Building?

What is internal link building?


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George Panayides

Digital Marketing Specialist

What Is Internal Link Building?

Master Your Internal Links With This Guide

Internal link building is a huge factor in technical SEO. So what exactly is internal link building? Well, it’s where you create links from one page of your site to another page of your site. 

I’d argue that internal link building has been one of the most important strategies I’ve used to get better rankings online and build out EEAT on Google through topic clusters and internal links. 

So in this article I’m going to be breaking down exactly what internal link building is, some of my best hacks and strategies that don’t take forever, and a few things to avoid that could cause you some issues. 

You’ve come to the right place to find out pretty much everything about internal link building that you’re not going to find anywhere else on the web. These strategies are new and not outdated. 

Anyway, let’s get started explaining what link building is and help you become a master at your internal link building strategy. 

PS. If you are looking for an expert link building specialist, then feel free to book a consultation call with me so I can send through my strategy to you. 

Definition Of Internal Link Building

Internal link building is the practice of creating hyperlinks within a website that connect one page to another page on the same site. 

These links are created to help users navigate your website much easier. It’s like having a system of signposts within your website, guiding visitors from one page to another related page.

This not only makes it easier for visitors to find more information and navigate around the site, but it also helps search engines understand and organise the content of your website, which can improve its visibility in search results.

In short, internal link building is about linking pages within your website to create a better, more connected experience for both your visitors and search engines.


Internal Link Building Is Apart Of a Broader Technical SEO Strategy

When I think of internal link building, I actually think about technical SEO. Why? Well, because technical SEO refers to the process of optimising the infrastructure of a website to help search engines crawl and index it more effectively.

And this is exactly what internal link building is doing as well. It’s helping search engines crawl and navigate your site by giving them another ‘path’ or ‘route’ to go down. The easier pages are to find through internal links, the easier they are to index and rank.

Although a part of this broader strategy, it’s very important to isolate your internal link building and work on it as a separate project. It’s so big, and requires a concise effort and a technical approach, that it’s mostly overlooked. 

Internal link building for me is probably the most important factor in technical SEO. When I analyse the best performing pages on my website, it’s those with the most internal links. Authority is pushed through to those pages and they boost the organic rankings. 

Anyway, if you want to learn more about technical SEO I’ve got a full blog here. For now, let’s see exactly why internal link building is important, and what kind of effects it has on your SEO. 

Why Is Internal Link Building Important For SEO?

Well, internal link building helps with a multitude of different things which are covered below. I would like to stress, internal link building on its own probably isn’t going to make a huge difference unless it’s at scale. 

When done with a broader SEO strategy, internal links play a very crucial part to increasing your rankings. However, if you solely focus on internal links then you’ll likely see little difference to your organic rankings. 

It’s worth me mentioning, if your internal links are getting clicked through then Google will notice this decrease in bounce rates and increase in engagement rates and likely crawl these links faster and more frequently. 

Internal link building help page authority distribution

Another thing internal link building is useful for is to pass through the page authority across your website. For example, if you have a blog post with 15 high quality backlinks from external websites, your page will carry a high page authority. 

It’s a good practice to distribute the link juice from these backlinks to the most important pages of your website. And how do we do this? Through internal links of course. You can add internal links to your important pages to pass through the juice and boost their rankings.

diagram showing the distribution of page authority

You can enhance your user experience through internal link building

I sort of covered this above when I mentioned the funnelling, but yes you can improve your user experience using internal links. This is because it’s so much easier for users to navigate and get the answers that they want.

Rather than doing a new Google search, if you have a similar topic that answers any question your readers or users have and link through to it then users can click through and find what they need.

Internal link building can improve your crawl budget efficiency

Internal links help optimise the efficiency of search engine crawl bots on your website. This is because the hierarchy and the navigation is so much easier because there are multiple ‘doorways’ the search engines can go to. 

If your website is well structured with lots of internal links, then you are ensuring that crawlers can reach and index all of your important pages. This in turn will mean more of your pages are live on Google to get more clicks and traffic

crawl budget report in google search console

Set a clear website hierarchy using internal link building

Internal link building is amazing for telling Google and search engines exactly which pages are your most important. This creates and sets a clear website hierarchy highlighting which pages are most valuable to you. 

This also allows you to create topic clusters and supporting pages. For example, you can create main product pages or categories and support them with more detailed, specific content in blog posts. You can link back to your product pages. 

Internal Link Building Can Be Used To Funnel Users Through To Sales Pages

I actually use internal link building to help funnel my users to my sales and offer pages. I might explain in an article about a particular product or service, and then mention at the end something like – “I’ve got more information here for you”. 

I’ll then link this through to my sales page and funnel the users through. Most of the time users will click through and convert on your website. If you are providing them enough value from the blog post or place of the original link, they might be ready to convert. 

This is an excellent way to monetise your internal link building whilst still maintaining a user first strategy. You are not just linking for internal links for search engines, you’re trying to get users funnelled through to take action. 

funnel users into your sales pages diagram through internal link building

Use Google Search Console & Ahrefs To Optimise Your Internal Link Building

I guess now you understand what internal linking is, you will likely want to know the best way to see your internal linking and optimise it. Well, I’ve found my most effective way of optimising my internal link building is through the following tools:

Google search console & internal link building

In Google search console there is a section under ‘links’ which shows all of your internal links across your website. Here’s a screenshot for reference. 

internal linking report inside of google search console

Here you can see your most important pages and which pages might have little to no links to them. You can optimise your most important ones and push them up in the rankings. Please note, sometimes it takes a while for changes to show in GSC. 

Ahrefs & internal link building

Another excellent tool is Ahrefs. This allows you to see your website’s internal links and actually see the anchor text as well. Your anchor text will make a difference in the optimisation of your internal links. 

Ahrefs also makes it easy to see which pages are lacking internal links and which ones have the most. You can widely optimise to add more areas for automated internal links for the pages you want to rank using this tool

ahrefs internal linking report preview

Anchor Text Can Help Improve Your Internal Link Building Strategy

As I just briefly mentioned above, your anchor text will make a difference in the optimisation of your internal link strategy. Simply put, the more organic and helpful the links are, the better it’s going to be. 

Now, although I haven’t actually seen a direct ranking factor from natural anchor text, I have seen an indirect improvement. This is because more users click it. And if more users click it, Google sees it as helpful through many on page metrics. 

Try to avoid anchor text that is the same keyword as the URL or page title. This is because that anchor text might be too similar to other places like the footer, header or dynamic sections of your website. Google has some helpful anchor text guidelines here. 

Although you can be much more vigorous with this compared to external link building, it’s less user friendly so it might mean less people decide to click through. The more natural and organic your internal links can look, the better results you will get. 

google anchor text guidelines preview

Internal Link Building Hacks

Ok, so here’s some of my best internal link building hacks as well that can help you build more internal links with less effort. I think that’s probably why people overlook internal links, because it’s hard to scale effectively without losing quality. 

These tips should help you automate your internal link processes whilst keeping them user friendly for customers to click through.

Use relevant or recent posts to build internal links

On your blog posts, add a small section to include your relevant posts or pages. This will automatically create a high quality, user friendly link back to your important pages and funnel the customers through. 

If the topics are highly relevant, the users will likely consider learning more and click through your internal links. This is great for passing traffic across your website and showing Google your site is loved by everyone. 

recent posts hack to create more internal links

Your header and footer pass through sitewide internal links

If you are looking to quickly build internal links to a very important page in one simple change, then consider adding that link to your header or footer. These changes will happen sitewide and create an internal link on every page. 

This way every page is going to be passing through authority, traffic and juice to your header and footer. This creates a clear hierarchy as well allowing crawl bots to understand which pages are the most important. 

Link in your blog articles to funnel traffic and juice through to your important pages

We mentioned this above, but yes it’s important to funnel your traffic and juice across your blog post pages. This is where internal link building goes hand in hand with topic clusters. You can create a topic cluster with multiple articles and link them all together.

This way you can share the relevance, authority and traffic across your entire topic cluster. If you have multiple topic clusters then you can bring them together by linking topic clusters to topic clusters. This makes it easy for Google to understand your expertise.

internal linking through to your important pages

Breadcrumbs can help crawlers get to your pages and provide better UX

Another simple hack for internal link building is using breadcrumbs. This means crawlers can easily navigate product pages, parent categories and more without having to find them elsewhere. 

It creates a fantastic site architecture and is ultra user friendly for users to navigate through your website. You can also see visually how deep your links are. E.g. Your product page might be 3 links deep or 3 levels of breadcrumbs. 

User First Internal Links Carry More Weight Than Over Generic Anchor Text

This is now because Google uses algorithms to understand the context of the anchor text and the surrounding paragraph. If your anchor text is descriptive and provides context then your internal link is going to be much more relevant and helps Google understand your content. 

Not only this, but there is also an enhanced click through rate by using descriptive anchor text. Users are more likely to engage with links that seem directly relevant to their interests or the information they are seeking.

While descriptive anchor text is beneficial, it’s also important to avoid over-optimisation. This refers to the practice of stuffing anchor text with exact match keywords in an attempt to manipulate search rankings. Don’t bother with this. 

It seems to always go back to the same thing with Google, which hasn’t changed since they pretty much started. User first is what is the most important.

Don’t Create Too Many Internal Links Per Page

It’s good practice to limit the number of internal links you build on your page to around 10-15 depending on the content length. This is because otherwise it becomes confusing and less user friendly. 

Too many links can also take away the impact of the link juice as it’s being split across too many links it’s only passing a small amount of authority through. Always keep the most relevant links first, and then the less relevant links last. 

Also when it comes to things like crawl budget too many links could cause problems. If your site has an excessive number of links, it can lead to inefficient use of your crawl budget. Especially if those links direct to less important pages.

For me, it always comes back to a user friendly approach. If it seems like too many, then it’s likely going to be too many. Google actually said this in their guidelines here as well (I’ve also added a screenshot below for reference). 

dont create too many links guidelines by google


So there you have it. All of my inside knowledge into what internal link building is, and of course my best strategies and techniques to do when it comes to building internal links. 

Let’s be realistic, you are going to need to add internal links into your SEO strategy so why not start now and take some of the steps I’ve provided above in my blog. 

Now, as you all probably know, link building is fast paced and moving forward very quickly. I’ve actually written a blog on the future of link building here, which you might find interesting. 

Don’t forget, internal link building is extremely important, but it shouldn’t be something you solely focus on as it works better as part of a bigger SEO strategy. 

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, and share any additionally internal link strategies or success with everyone else. 


About The Author

George Panayides is a digital marketing specialist, focusing on SEO, Google ads, Social media marketing, website development and link building. He’s looking to help other freelancers or business owners become a master in their industry and move towards a better, more successful future.

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Hey, it's George. I'm giving away my marketing secrets (because apparently, I'm just that nice 🙄). You can thank me by linking to my content ha ha.

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