I assume you are aware of what is internal link and we will not discuss about HTML code here, let’s jump to the topic “internal linking”.
You must be knowing the difference between the internet and intranet, similarly, links within the website limit are called internal, and if you link to another domain name that is an external link.
We are talking in detail on how to link internally, and why?
Any website contains multiple pages, they all are relevant but each page got a reason to exist. if you have pages without a need you must delete them first, they will not help but kill you.
Creating an XML site map
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"> <url> <loc>http://www.example.com/</loc> <lastmod>2020-05-22</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.9</priority> </url> </urlset>
Why do you need a sitemap?
This is very common to use a content management system to build a website, in fact you need a good one like WordPress to keep updating pages or just in case you need to publish a page every day. There are many pages you simply forget to keep track, like pages created with “tag names”, search result pages, and theme sample pages, even though you can’t see them linked on home pages, they somehow sneak to search engines, and these two-words pages are big NO-NO.
We have a simple solution, make a list of all pages and remove them, you can use online XML sitemap creator tools to identify all your unwanted pages.
Give your website URL as given in the image below
This XML sitemap tool will crawl all your pages like in the image below
Once it checks all pages, you will see a screen like
Now you can see all pages in the list of XML sitemap with an option to download
Click on “download your XML sitemap file”, save that, and open in a text editor, or you can open in the browser as well to check all page names.
Now, check all pages, open them all manually and see if you need them, remove all extra pages, make a fresh XML sitemap and this time you can submit that to Google Search console, after uploading this newly created sitemap in the root directory of your server. (only once you are done with all edits)
This work of identifying and removing unwanted pages should be done first before you start checking your internal linking structure.
Things to care, while linking internal pages
Home page links
The home page should contain all main service pages, contact information page, a blog if you have one, customer support page. It is not wise to overstuff your keywords with the tooltip, attribute of HTML linking, I have seen pages where they overdo keyword pumping, as if they are masters of search engines.
Search engines are smart, they filter you for reasons you easily overlook. Be natural, think as a website visitors, and see what you need.
The first page should explain what you have to offer, with text images and videos if possible, all pages that are of immediate need to be shown can have a prominent place in the top menu.
Main menu (top or left menu)
This should contain all pages, yes you can have here all of them with a sub-menu type like drop-down or in any cool way you wish to show them. The only thing you should care about is user-friendliness and device compatibility, here again, needless to write, never stuff keywords with HTML tags.
Main menu sample
Have you seen footer where you have all addresses, phone numbers, all pages, map, testimonials, latest blog, social media inline box, and everything that no one reads? That is like making your website a garbage box, you should not make your footer for search engines, make them for your real visitors, that will look great, and if that looks good to the customer, you are just fine.
Ideally you can have helpline numbers, Copywrite page link, the idea is to make it look good for visitors.
Footer link page sample
Blog page links
A blog main page should have a list of published articles with title and a small text from details, you can have an image from that article as well, keep a count of 10, articles on top pages.
Summery can be: All your pages should be interconnected with relevancy, and ides of linking is to present the next available page for users, not for search engines. avoid keyword stuffing, remove unwanted pages and make your website look good for users.