The links on your own website have an impact on the position of your web pages in Google’s search results. Good internal links make it easier for your pages to be indexed and ranked by Google.
Why are internal links important?
Links are one of the most important signals in Google’s ranking algorithm. Most people know that links from external pages are important. However, the internal links on your website also contribute to your rankings:
Google gives more value to pages with many links. Links from external websites help Google to see the overall value of a web page in comparison to other pages on the web. Internal links help Google to see the importance of a web page in comparison to the other pages of your website.
Pages with many links are crawled more often by Google. If you want to show Google that a particular page is important, make sure that you link to that page from many other pages of your website.
Click-depth is important
Some time ago, Google’s John Mueller explained in a webmaster hangout on YouTube that click-depth matters in search engine optimization.
“If your homepage is generally the strongest page on your website and from the home page it takes multiple clicks to actually get to one of these stores and that makes it a lot harder for us to understand that these stores are actually pretty important.
On the other hand, if it’s one click from the home page to one of these stores then that tells us that these stores are probably pretty relevant and that probably we should be giving them a little bit of weight in the search results as well.
So it’s more a matter of how many links you have to click through to actually get to that content
rather than what the URL structure itself looks like. A flat architecture may be more beneficial than like a long pyramidal. […]
I think the flat architecture definitely tells us a little bit more but it’s still something where you have to be careful not to overdo it. So if you link to all of your pages from the home page then […] it’s not something where you’d have much much value from that.
You still need some structure or some context around those pages. If you have a handful of pages that are really important for you then that will be perfect to link from the home page or any of the important pages that you might have on your site.”
Reduce the number of clicks that are needed to get to important pages on your website. For example, you can do to reduce the click-depth:
- Increase the number of high-level categories on your website. The more high-level categories your website has, the quicker people will find particular pages.
- Increase the number of related links on your pages. For example, you could increase the number of linked similar products on a product page.
How to improve your rankings for particular topics
Improved internal links can also help you to improve the authority of pages that deal with a particular topic. Create hub pages on your website that link to all pages that are related to a particular topic.
The page that covers the main topic should be linked from the home page of your website. That page should be an authoritative page that covers the main topic from an expert view. Then link to the related pages from the main page.
The related pages should also link to each other to reinforce the relationship between these pages. Use anchor texts that are related to the topic in your links. By creating these content hubs, you increase the ranking chances of the individual pages.
Tools can help you to optimize your links
With the right internal links, you can increase the authority of your website for your subject. You can also improve your Google rankings through rankings factors like click-depth and page importance. The tools in SEOprofiler will help you with that: