This post is actually an answer to a question asked by someone on Linkedin Community. While answering it, I noticed that the answer became a little detailed so I thought of making it a blog post for our readers.
Here is the question
Internal linking of websites is Important for SEO “BUT” Why do we need internal links when all links are provided on website menu bar?
For those who are new in SEO, let me first highlight the definition of ‘Internal Links’
Internal links are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain. They are commonly used in the main navigation. – Source – MOZ
Now let’s find out why it is so important?
You must agree that the primary aim of search engines is to find the best web pages about a given topic (better say keyword(s)). Search engines take notice of over 200 parameters to ascertain this, and out of these many parameters they put main focus to ‘inbound links’.
Inbound Links are like people on the web voting for your web page for a certain keyword or topic. The more votes you get, the more authority for the keyword you build in the eyes of search engines. It’s the same in the case of Internal Links as well. It’s also about voting, but the only difference is that here only you are the voter. You vote for a keyword and its page on your website. You vote to tell search engines the rational importance of a particular page for a particular keyword or keywords in question on your website.
Take a practical note here, you have a keyword ‘guaranteed SEO’ that you would like to rank your website for. But you have two different pages for this keyword namely – guaranteed-seo.html and guaranteed-SEO-faq.html. Not just that, you have also mentioned this keyword a few times on you homepage as it is your primary offering and you have also written a few blogs for this keyword. This is where the actual dilemma starts and search engines get confused.
Which page should they rank?
You would say – the main service page guaranteed-seo.html. But why?
Only because you created a few backlinks for it? How about those blog posts that you shared in social media and accumulated social signals to your blog for the same keyword?
Think from a search engine’s perspective. Wouldn’t it be best if you, yourself, tell search engines the best page on your website for the keyword in question? Yes, it’s would be the best approach. This is the reason internal links are that important. By using it strategically you define the importance of web pages on your website for a certain keyword(s).
Now let’s get back to the example I gave above. If you link all almost all occurrences of ‘guaranteed SEO’ to guaranteed-seo.html, it will be easier for search engines to decide that it’s the best page for that keyword on your website.
This is the reason internal links are so important. Start making the most it.
Still confused? Share your thoughts.