What’s the big deal about internal links, and why should you pay attention to them? An internal link is a hyperlink which points to a page or target on the same website from which it is situated; in other words, it can be used to navigate to a different area of the same domain. Often their importance is understated, even by professionals who devalue them. So here it is, everything you need to know about how and why you should be using internal links in your websites, and what may have gone wrong if for some reason your pages are unreachable.
They make your website navigable for users
Let’s set the crawlers aside for just a moment and discuss what internal links do for the users of your site. Being that they link all of your pages together, displaying internal links become critical tools for binding your website together in such a way that your users can easily navigate around it.
This is where custom software development and web development become very useful because the right company can help you make something that not only caters to your business needs but also your users’. There would be very little point to putting in all that time and effort into developing a series of stunning pages if no one were to see them, having come from your landing page.
If you’re relying purely on SEO to make your pages navigable then you aren’t really being fair to users who actually want to traverse your website. But quite frankly, if you have no internal links setup, then even your SEO will suffer. This is when you need to ask yourself, is your online marketing bringing you results?
They give your website structure
One of the most important functions of internal links is their ability to create hierarchy within your website. Your homepage links to parent pages, which link to child pages and so on and so forth in a neat fashion which benefits your users and the crawlers.
Let’s take the example of DigitalSearchGroup.com.au, from their homepage you can navigate to ‘home’ (the homepage itself), ‘organic search’, ‘about’, ‘blog’, ‘testimonials’ and ‘contact us’; some of which have sub-links within them to navigate further down the site. Doing this has essentially created a yellow brick road which can be followed by both users, and search engine crawlers to properly index the site.
They spread out the ranking power
If you talk to any trusted web design agency in Sydney, they can provide you plenty of ways to secure your WordPress site. And, you can even secure your site while optimising your pages so that they rank for the queries they are intended for. Any page of your website does not need to suffer in ranking to accommodate the other pages which have theirs boosted. In terms of SEO, wouldn’t it be better if a user could be directed to pages and services they are looking for, directly from the search engine, depending on their queries.
Internal links help create what is commonly referred to as ‘link juice’ by giving search engine crawlers bridges to the other pages on your site. Without internal links it might be impossible for the crawlers to even know that other pages actually exist on the site, which means they will not be indexed into the search engine, and therefor may get completely lost in the digital ether.
This can also make things difficult for you as a developer to manage, especially as far as bad backlinks are concerned. To earn more about distinguishing bad links from good links as well as local SEO services in Sydney, contact Digital Search Australia.
Reasons for unreachable pages
Of course, simply laying out internal links for every page may not be enough to make pages easily available for users, but it’s the crawlers which can be most finicky in this regard. There are a few things you should look out for when using internal links that might still make the pages unreachable:
Links to submission required forms like drop down menus and surveys will not be recognised by crawlers since they will not attempt to submit a form, be careful to make sure that there are other internal links pointing to these pages.
Links from internal search boxes will not be make visible since crawlers will not attempt to submit a search query, perhaps this may work in the distant future when artificial intelligence becomes an actual thing, but as for now, this isn’t enough of an indexing strategy.
Java-scrip, Flash, and other plugins could also be uncrawlable and if they are, often do very little for the rating of a sites. For the best results in this regard it is often better to use HTML.
Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of the benefits and proper use of internal links to help users and crawlers to navigate and index your website.