4 Ways Your Website’s Internal Links Pay Off

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Illustration of two people building a chain with large links.

Actively using internal links on your website is an important element of any successful SEO plan.  Internal links and their anchor text help Google understand your site architecture and the context of your content.  This results in higher rankings, more traffic, and better sales.  In this article, you will learn about internal links, tips for writing them, and how they impact Google Rankings.  Higher Google Rankings will drive more traffic and, if your content is effective, drive sales as well.  So if you want more sales, read on.

Real-Life Experience:

I recently picked up a website project, taking over maintenance and redesign.  A talented designer created the site, and it is beautiful.  Unfortunately, the designer had no SEO experience, and it lacked technical SEO elements.  I see this a lot when I take over sites.  After I added technical SEO elements, including some internal links, the website ranked higher for important keywords and gets rich results on search engine results pages.  Most importantly, the business has seen increased sales, and the owner is happy. The owner asked me what else can we do the make the site perform even better.  My response was to add more internal links.  He asked me, “What are internal links, and how will they help?”

An internal link is anything that appears on a webpage that contains a hyperlink to another page or content section on the same website.  The fact that it’s linking to another page or section on the same website makes it “internal.”  Links that send a visitor to another website and known as “external” links.  Here is what an internal link looks like:

A webpage from Sand Key Ventures website showing an example of an internal link.

In this case, the portion of the text that appears in green color and underlined is called the anchor text.  Anchor text is one of two parts of the link.  The other part is the destination pointer and is often a URL. The destination pointer is added with a text link provided by your page-builder application.

Things to Consider When Writing Anchor Texts

Clarity is the most important thing to consider when writing anchor texts.  Anchor text should accurately describe the destination, so when visitors click on an anchor text, they should land on the page they were expecting.  Tricking a visitor to click on a link but sending them to a completely different destination is a terrible user experience and should be avoided.  In the example above, the anchor text is the title of a blog post on my company’s website.  The destination is the post itself. 

Another important consideration is the color and consistency of anchor text.  The color of the anchor text should be different from the colors used in normal text.  Plus, the color should change when the cursor hovers over the anchor text.  A hover color change further indicates to visitors that the anchor text is a live hyperlink that will take them somewhere else when clicked.  It’s also fine to underline the anchor text, but if you choose to underline it, be consistent on all anchor text. 

Consistency is key when presenting anchor text.  Consistency will enhance the user experience because it helps the reader anticipate the elements of the page.  Therefore, make sure to present all anchor text in the same manner, with the same color, different from the color used in normal text.

Anything that helps a user engage more with your website improves the user experience.  Internal links help users discover related content.  As a result, they will stay on your website longer and engage with content found on other pages.  Getting visitors to stay on your website for longer periods of time and engage more with the content should be the primary goal of your user experience strategy.  Google considers time on site and engagement among the metrics used when determining page ranking order.  Therefore, the longer the site visit and the more engagement with content, the better.

Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EAT) are should important components of your website.  EAT will cement your position as a trusted source, making visitors more comfortable buying your products and services.  And if they don’t buy from you immediately, you can claim your spot in their consideration set of possible vendors.  To learn more about EAT and its impact on Google Rankings, read my article, If You’re Hungry for Higher Google Rankings, It’s Time to EAT!

Internal links, along with a sitemap and schema markup, help search engines like Google understand how pages relate to one another.  They help Google understand which pages are the most important and feature them in rich results.  Anything that helps Google understand the site architecture helps them to serve the pages most important to you and your visitors.

4. Anchor Texts are a Ranking Factor

John Mueller is a senior search Analyst at Google and, in a 2022 video, stated that the anchor text portion of internal links impacts rankings.  The website Search Engine Roundtable reports this in their article “Yes, Anchor Text is a Google Ranking Factor.”  This is mostly because anchor text helps Google understand the context of web pages.  And just like with website architecture, the better Search Engines understand the context of your content, the higher you will rank.

Getting your website listed on the first page of search results is important to every business.  And since every industry is competitive, every company needs a solid SEO strategy that includes internal linking.  Internal links improve the user experience, contribute to EAT, and help search engines understand your website architecture and the context of its content.  On top of that, links can help visitors engage more with your content and drive sales.  Sand Key Ventures specializes in on-page SEO, including internal linking strategies.  We use state-of-the-art SEO tools to help count links for every page of your site, identify link opportunities, and build them properly.  Plus, we obsess over consistency and the user experience.

Sand Key Ventures is a website company that focuses on user experience.  We write blogs establishing our client’s expertise, authority, and trust.  Our blogs drive revenue.  We also build new websites and provide SEO services to keep websites running clean and Google happy.  Call us at 727-249-2749 to discuss what Sand Key Ventures can do for you.  You can also send an email to michael@sandkeyventures.com.  If you prefer to copy and paste the email link, it is michael@sandkeyventures.com.

Thanks for your time, but now we’ve gotta run.  We have websites to build and audit, blogs to write, eCommerce to manage, and photos to edit.  Until next time, take care.