What is an internal link and why is it important for SEO



Hi guys, and welcome to another edition of Zupo SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation is what is an internal link and why is it important for SEO? So an internal link is one of the most undervalued points of SEO, and that's why I want to commit a whole video on it today. I feel like a lot of people don't use it and is one of those tools that you always have at your disposal. But again, this is Zupo SEO Talk & Tea. And today's tea is a chrysanthemum tea. This has been featured here before. We've had a cold version of it before, but today we have a hot version. It's a [inaudible 00:00:40], so it actually doesn't have any caffeine in it. And actually it technically is not tea, but it's actually chrysanthemum flowers. So it's one of my teas I like to enjoy it in the evening or if it's chilled. It's kind of one of my more favorite teas. But today I've just felt like having it hotter.

So anyways, let's jump on into the conversation. So what is an internal link? So if you know what a link is, it's pretty obvious. It's that blue hyperlink text that everyone's familiar with, and usually when you click a link, it takes you to another page. Internal link, quite frankly, is just a link that points to a page that's also on the same domain. So for example, if I have a website, Jasonspizza.com and on one of my blog posts, I link it to another page on my website, that's called an internal link. So that's pretty much what it is. It's just a link that links to another page on your own website or on a more academic way, it's a link that points to a page that is on the same domain as the page itself, right? That's a really complex way of saying the same thing.

So what this means though, is that what an internal link is and why is it so important, that's what it is. But why? Internal links are one of the ways that Google best understands how your website's structured. I think a lot of people understand that Google reads a website's texts, but if you have a website that has over 100, 200, 10,000, 100,000 pages, how does Google know what each page is supposed to be about, how it's supposed to be structured, how it supposed to be organized? They don't know. Right? And so how they do that is they go through internal linking. Internal linking is the method that Google figures out what you care about and how things are organized.

For example, if you have, a very basic level, on our typical website, you have the homepage with a navigation, home, about, services, blog. So if let's say we go to the services, I'm going to use the pizza example again, if I go to services and I hover over it, pizza will come down, breadsticks will come down, pasta will come down. If I go to pizza and I open it, then there's pepperoni, sausage, meat lovers, vegetarian, and the whole shebang. That is a good example of internal linking structure in action, but based on a navigational menu. So in this case, what you want to do is make sure that when you are internally linking, the navigation menu is easy. Everyone can do that. But where it comes into play is when you have multiple product pages, services pages, and other pages dedicated to certain products that you want all internally linked together.

So going back to the pizza example, let's say you talk a lot about pepperoni pizza because that's my favorite pizza. And you have a sausage pizza. Well, what you should be doing is you have a product page for a pepperoni pizza, you probably have blog posts about pepperoni pizza, and let's say you have another video page about pepperoni pizza. All those should link together. They should all point to each other. So somewhere in the text of each of them, they should all link to the other pepperoni pizza pages. And they all should link to the product page. Most importantly, because that will tell Google, okay, so this is the product page you have. And all these other pages are interrelated to that one product page. Therefore they better understand, okay, your site's this big but this, this, this, this, and that page are all for pepperoni pizza and will understand them and will structure that when we're ranking you. And therefore they get it.

If you don't have internal linking, they're guessing about what each page means and sometimes they guess wrong. And so though you may have a hundred pages dedicated to a pepperoni pizza, if they don't read it right, they might only account 25 pages and that can really hurt your own SEO battle when you're trying to fight against other websites.

So internal links is so important because it is something you can actually control. Building links outside of your website is difficult. Building links in your own website is so easy. You can just do it yourself.

So there's a great article by Bruce Clay about internal siloing or internal link structures. I would recommend you read. It is something that I do with all my clients. A lot of clients don't really see the value at first, but after we do it, they really start to get it. And I encourage you to do the same.

So internal links are just links on the same website that point to another page on that same website. And that's the way that Google best understands how sites are structured or organized, based on concepts, products, services, and so on. So if you're going to do anything right now, go to your website and look at your own internal linking structure. If you don't have one, build one, right? And that will be a great way for you to have a strong foundation for SEO purposes. Now I hope that was valuable today. If you like the video, please like and subscribe and I hope to see you guys again soon. Thanks.

About the Author

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.

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