Marketing quick tip – how to pump up your website with internal links

by on September 26, 2011

Internal link building for small businessFirst off, let’s define internal linking. It’s when you link from a page in your website to another page in your website. By clicking the link, you don’t leave the website. You’re still there, just on a different page.

So if I am talking about small business marketing services, see how I cleverly link that to my services page? And how it’s highlighted? That’s an internal link in action. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will have noticed that I often do this within posts.

Internal links are so important, they are one of the many points I’ve included in my free website improvement guide. So let’s get into why they matter in the first place, shall we?

Using internal linking for search engine optimization

Usually, if you see a discussion about internal linking, it’s all about search marketing stuff. Google and search engines love internal links.

They read them to get a better understanding of your website. And they use this information in their complicated quest to deliver the best search results they can.

If search engine rankings are an important part of your small business marketing success, you’ve gotta get on those internal links. (Keep on reading below to see how your keywords will play a part in a good internal linking strategy).

Using internal linking to make things easier on your customers

Internal linking isn’t just to make those search engines happy. They actually are a very logical part of how you make your website easy for your customers to navigate.  In fact, they are an absolutely crucial part of ANY successful website strategy.

I’ll give you an example. I was researching a service on a website. Within the text, the business made reference to a particular service. Take a wild guess what was missing. You got it, an internal text link to the service they were talking about. I even went so far as to search the site for it, since I was actually interested. I looked. I scoured pages. I couldn’t find the info. And then I left in frustration.

Can you see what a missed opportunity this is? What a pain in the butt it is for the website visitor? How I left WITHOUT buying?

(And if you think that I’m picking on a small business owner that didn’t know better, I’m not! This was no little biz. The size of the marketing department of this company is probably larger than all of our small businesses put together :))

This example illustrates perfectly the importance of carefully thinking out your internal linking strategy and making sure that your potential customers can easily get to exactly where they need and want to go. Which is where you want them to go too!

Keep that logical thinking cap on when you’re executing this. Have you encouraged your readers to contact you within your website copy? Then link to your contact page. Makes perfect sense, right?

Getting more of your content seen

Internal links are also a great way of getting more eyeballs on that content that you so painstakingly put together.

You can never assume that every single site visitor will take the time to check out all the content you have available on your website. Of course they won’t. Not even your biggest fan will have seen everything you got.

So go ahead and link to that awesome blog post you wrote a few months ago.

You’re not being pushy. You are providing value. I often find fantastic info that I want and need thanks to internal links. If someone isn’t interested, they won’t click on the link. As simple as that.

How to effectively use internal linking

When it makes sense, the text that anchors the internal link should use your keywords. Give a little nudge to the search engines. Hey Google, remember, THIS is what my website is about.

If you’re trying to get more people to check out other content, then you can also consider making the text you’re using in the internal link interesting or engaging. Think about what might make some want to click.

Remember to be reasonable with your internal links. Don’t include 5 internal links to the same page on the same page, or in one paragraph. We’ve all seen that kind of tactic before… on spammy sites that we hate. Keep your readers in mind when developing your internal links and think about providing value.

So go ahead and peruse your website content, keeping your eye open for those internal linking opportunities. If you want some feedback after you’ve done so, leave a link to a page in your website down in the comments. I’ll be happy to check it out and get back to you. And as always, any questions you have are welcome in the comments section. I’m always around to share my insight and help support your online marketing adventures 🙂

Image source: Bill Longshaw /

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeremy Brown September 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

Hi there Martina,

Great reminder about Internal links. I too have had similar experience with websites that mention a certain topic that wasn’t covered in the direct copy, but never link to it. So, I pretty much get left sitting there wondering what the hell they were talking about.

Anyways, thanks for the important reminder!
Jeremy Brown recently posted..When it Rains it Pours, but Sunshine is Sure to Follow


Martina September 27, 2011 at 9:06 am

A lack of internal links is so frustrating, isn’t it? Thanks for the comment Jeremy!


Alison Dias-Laverty September 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Thanks Martina for yet another great post. This is also a reminder for me to continue what I had started with link building for my site which is still new less than six months. I’ll work on the link building and would appreciate your feedback once I complete it. Will send you an email when it is done.

Again, thanks for the great post.
Alison Dias-Laverty recently posted..Create your own DVD Slideshow


Martina September 28, 2011 at 9:20 am

Good stuff Alison! Glad you liked the post. We’ll be in touch soon 🙂


Lori Highby October 5, 2011 at 9:20 am

Great post, excellent reminder to everyone that linking is so important. Oftentimes, I think individuals focus more on the external linking and they forget about the importance of your internal linking structure. Great reminder!
Lori Highby recently posted..Featured Biz – Marquette University


Martina October 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

You’re right Lori! External linking is certainly given more attention, but the internal ones have their place too. Thanks for your comment 🙂


Morgan October 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Hi Martina!

Internal linking seems to be an untapped gold mine! I really can’t add onto the benefits since you pretty much covered them all. I especially like the one about making it easier for your customers. Linking a piece of text is SO easy and it keeps the customer from wondering what the heck you’re talking about by giving them a simple link to click to get more info.

Really great tip about not overloading your reader with internal links. That can be truly obnoxious and it gives the reader TOO much to do. An overwhelmed reader would rather leave than read more.

I would advise to have the link open up in a new window so that they can stay on your page while they browse the other topic.

Great stuff!
Morgan recently posted..How BlogEngage Has Impacted My Business & How It Can Impact YOURS!


Martina October 6, 2011 at 6:07 am

Internal linking IS very easy, but many businesses do forget about it. Thanks for highlighting the problem with adding too many of those links. Everything in moderation 🙂 Appreciate your comment Morgan!


Allison Duncan October 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I’m on my phone so I’ll keep it shirt, but do think the Yoast plugin or the LinkedWithin plugin is sufficient?

Learn about Self Publishing
Allison Duncan recently posted..How Not To Pigeon Hole Your Success


Martina October 6, 2011 at 6:23 am

Hi Allison,
LinkedWithin is a great plugin, as it also encourages people to dig deeper into your content. I personally have not used Yoast myself, but from what I’ve seen it’s a great way to save some time, once you’ve got it all set up. My only issue with it is that it can sometimes lead to the overload of internal links that we touched on. Especially if you are writing with your keywords in mind, and using them several times within the post (but it seems that you are able to limit the number of times a certain keyword gets linked). And it also does not work if you are using the tactic of making an internal link interesting, not necessarily keyword rich.
Anyone else have any thoughts on Yoast?


Jessica Chapman Clark October 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Wow. I knew that the external links to other sites and from other external sites were good for me. I didn’t know the internal ones I have gave me bonus Google magic too! Sweet! Makes me really happy my webguy did that all up for me!

Jessica Chapman Clark, Founder


Martina October 6, 2011 at 6:26 am

Hi Jessica,
The internal links certainly don’t carry as much Google weight as an external link coming into your website, however the search engines do still take them into consideration. Sounds like you have a good web guy 🙂


Raven October 7, 2011 at 1:41 am

This is really great! Links really great! Thanks for this idea..
Raven recently posted..Accommodation In Chamonix France


Martina October 7, 2011 at 5:59 am

Merci Raven!


A Website Designer October 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Great post as usual Martina, one other idea that I like is a WordPress plugin called “Contextual Related Posts”. Sometimes manually linking to stuff is a bit of a pain and something that is forgotten so with a blog site, adding this plugin means your main related posts will be picked up automatically with the title as the link text so you’ve got an automated stream of internal links as well.
A Website Designer recently posted..On page SEO


Martina October 11, 2011 at 9:22 am

Thanks for sharing Dan! I’m definitely going to have to give that plugin a try. Always trying to be more efficient 🙂


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