SEO Basics: Why Interlinking Is So Important

drawing of a computer with a web page linking out to pages on either side, with both of those pages linking to pages below themTo help when researching information on a topic do you ever wonder why certain websites rank higher above others on search engines? One of the reasons this occurs may surprise you.

To boost your site’s online ranking, interlinking is a well-known part of SEO, but many underestimate how crucial it can be in an SEO strategy.

Keep on reading to learn more about what makes interlinking so important for strengthening your website.

Recent Case Study on Interlinking

In a recent study published by Zyppy, they examined various examples of interlinking. Let’s explore some of the things they surveyed:

Navigation vs. Body Links

In their research, they found that when the number of internal links increased past a certain point on a website, Google traffic started to decrease. This was explained by navigational/sitewide links versus unique links in the body content.

When website pages have many internal links directed at them, there’s a good possibility these URLs are linked in the navigation section from each page on the website. Larger sites with high search traffic did very well with navigational links compared to small to medium-sized sites.

Anchor Text Variations

Anchor text, the words you link from, are often replicated across a website. And when websites include a large number of anchor text variations from internally linking, it was correlated with higher search traffic.

In some ways, this explains why different pages with more internal links receive higher traffic. The number of links included on a page might not be as important as the uniqueness of links. For example, a navigational link would appear the same on every site page as it will only have one anchor text associated with it.

Naked URL Anchors

A “Naked URL” is a type of link included in the body text as simply a URL. For example, like this

Zyppy looked into whether using naked URLs were hurting search traffic and they concluded there was no harm in using naked URLs at all. Ironically, pages using naked URLs saw almost 50% more traffic than the other pages not including naked URLs.

Empty Anchors

Empty anchor texts such as image links were found to not help or hurt search rankings in any case. Over 6% of all links they analyzed contained no anchor texts and since empty anchor texts are correlated with image links and image links are usually demonstrated with body text links, they are thought to have anchors.

Exact Match Anchors

Over the years, there have been debates on whether exact match anchors should be used for internal links. The data presented by Zyppy found that web pages that included at least one exact match anchor resulted in around five times more traffic.

How to Find Pages to Intelink

ScreamingFrog SEO Spider

ScreamingFrog is a great (and free) tool to analyze both small and large websites to see what pages need more interlinks. Not to mention, it can find much more helpful data on broken links, discover duplicate content, page titles, descriptions, and much more!

Manual Interlinking

Checking the rankings of your product, service, or location pages will help identify which keywords are ranking well and which aren’t and can help you identify pages to build more internal links too.

One of our best tips for conducting interlinking is by site searching on Google. You do this by using this search query on Google: [space] keyword

By doing this, Google will show what pages that specific term is used on your site.

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Sixth City Marketing

About the Author

Sixth City Marketing

This post was written and edited by employees at Sixth City Marketing, a full-service SEO and digital marketing agency helping clients across all industries since 2010.

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