Do’s and Don’ts of Internal Linking
When I started working at Launch Digital Marketing, I was curious as to how my English degree would help me thrive as a Digital Content Publisher. I felt confident in my proofreading abilities and web design skills, but I truly did not know how much this job would help me hone in on my ability to be specific—my ability to pay attention to the details. It’s the little things, y’know?
Before Launch, I was more of a “big idea” kind of person. Why pay attention to each specific tree when there’s an entire forest to gaze at? After working in the digital marketing world for a few months now, I have learned how important the smaller details are. I have been introduced to the importance of quality control—more specifically the importance of internal linking.
What Are Internal Links?
Internal links are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on that same domain. They are commonly used in main navigation menus or on the homepage. Internal linking is important in the digital marketing world for several reasons, one of the most important of which is its role in a user’s ability to navigate through a website. It also helps establish what information on a webpage is of higher importance than other text. Lastly, internal links help “spread the love” around a website—basically, the more clickable the internal links are, the more hits for different pages on the site. Everyone wins!
There are some major do’s and don’ts when it comes to internal linking. These tips will help you create an easy-to-navigate, relevant, and successful webpage that is SEO-friendly and user-friendly as well!
DO Make Sure Your Page is “Clickable”
Whenever I’m on a website during my downtime, I always find that I am more likely to click a link that is:
- Descriptive without being pushy
- Relevant without being overdone
- To the point
So for example, if a web user is looking for the body shop page of a car dealership website, a simple phrase like “Mercedes-Benz auto repair” can directly and briefly tell a user to click.
DO Keep it Short (But Not Too Short)
One-word links are tricky. They can get lost in the content (especially if the hyperlink is the same color as the rest of the text), and when anchor text is too short, a user may accidentally read right over it. A longer link will get more attention and help a user determine if it’s going to lead them to exactly what they are looking for.
For example, a user looking to schedule an oil change at a local car dealership will have no trouble getting to the scheduling page if the hyperlink text is as simple as “schedule an oil change”—though there may still be some ambiguity if links going to that page are using simply “oil” or “change” as anchor text. You don’t want to mislead your user.
DON’T Get “Spammy”
Nothing will make a user head to that big red “X” in the top right corner of their screen more than a page that looks like spam. In terms of internal site linking, a “spammy” page is one with way too many links, or with too many links sharing similar anchor text. Every other word in every other sentence linking to every page under the sun is going to turn off users and make your site seem less legitimate. One or two links per paragraph will be just fine.
Internal site linking leans on relevancy, clickability, and clarity in order to help a user successfully and efficiently navigate a website. When I’m in charge of making sure a website’s content is of a high quality before it goes live, one of the things I make sure of is that the website’s internal links will best serve the site user. Hopefully the above DO’s and DON’Ts will help you ensure that your site’s users can navigate through your relevant pages without hassle or confusion.