The Importance of Internal Linking for SEO

The Importance of Internal Linking for SEO

There are countless factors of importance that contribute toward a website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) performance and SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) rankings, and one is internal linking within a site.

Given that there are now so many aspects of SEO for marketers to manage, anything that doesn’t reach off-site can be under-estimated and left unconsidered: but internal linking for SEO should not be overlooked and here we explain why.

What is Internal Linking?

An internal link is any link from one page to another within the same website or domain. Users of a website use these links to navigate around the content on the site and to find the content they want, and (hopefully) take a desired ‘conversion’ action. Internal linking for SEO refers not just to the easy navigation of a website for its users, but also for the navigation of search engine crawlers around the domain to determine its content, appropriate audience, authenticity and usefulness.

How Internal Linking For SEO Fits in With Other Aspects of SEO 

Internal linking is not a direct SEO contributor in the way that keyword usage or mobile responsiveness is. It does, however, act as an indirect contributor. Internal linking around a website connects content and helps the ‘crawlers’ of search engines build a contextual map in order to rank it appropriately.

While external linking may demonstrate authenticity and trustworthiness to search engines from external sources, internal linking helps it then decide how to rank its content: creating a hierarchy by providing more important, content-heavy and most-visited pages more link equity than those that aren’t frequented or found to be useful. As a result, the more internal links to a page establish higher potential for good SEO ranking performance.

Why is Internal Linking for SEO Important?

Google and other search engines may be able to read your webpage as it stands alone, but there is only so much information that can be gleaned from a single page. Internal linking allows search engines to better comprehend not just the topic but also the value of a website, by maximising the content to be analysed. Internal linking allows search engines an indication of which pages are most important, and so help best present websites on SERPs in the most effective manner.

Internal linking is also positive for UX (User Experience) as it allows users to navigate and identify useful content, engaging users for as long as possible on the site and ensuring they’re able to access as much information as they need to before leaving.

Both benefits of internal linking are important, but it is critical that webmasters and marketers balance the two.

How do Internal Links impact on Bounce Rates?

The Bounce Rate of a website or page is the amount of users, usually expressed in a percentage, that arrive on a domain and then leave the domain to ‘bounce’ elsewhere: either to head back to a search engine, to visit somewhere else online, or to close the browser entirely. Bounce Rates vary hugely across industries and page types, but generally speaking, a lower Bounce Rate is better than a high one as it indicates the content within a page is engaging, valuable and relevant to the audience.

Internal linking for SEO or just for navigational purposes helps lower a website’s Bounce Rate and increasing the average overall time on-site as it encourages users to spend longer on the domain and ensures they needn’t immediately click elsewhere for information. This can help organisation’s websites gain competitive advantage above others and better their conversion rates.

How is Internal Linking Positive for UX?

Without internal linking throughout a website, users will only access the information or content on the page which they’re on and will be unable to take any further actions. This will inevitably result in them having to leave the site and search elsewhere for whatever it is they’re looking for if not immediately found; unless it is somehow addressed on the single page.

Internal linking for SEO promotes a good UX: keeping users on the domain for longer, presenting them with links relevant to their interest and encouraging further exploration. All of this demonstrates brand authenticity and trustworthiness, creating an overall positive perception of the website.

Types of Internal Links

There are two main types of internal links within a website.

The first, and almost always present (and certainly almost always required!) links are navigational links. These are those present on the homepage and supplementary webpages and menu that allow users to easily move around the site, accessing the pages they need to.

The second type of internal links are contextual links. These are links embedded within other on-site content, pointing users to other interesting and related content within the site. Contextual links encourage users to work around the website and allow search engines to understand the value of such content. The more contextual links a webpage receives, the higher up the hierarchy and the added importance search engines will add to it.

Both types of internal links are important and both can be considered positive contributors toward both UX and SEO.

Internal Linking Best Practices

Search engine algorithms and best practices shift and change all the time, but there are some that can be followed for internal linking processes.

While there is no definitive limit to how many links should be included on any one webpage, Google has indicated that its crawlers have the ability to read hundreds of links per page. However, a balance must be drawn here between ability and functionality. While it may be considered beneficial for search engines to have hundreds of links to move between and read, this is likely to result in a poor UX through the likelihood of incorrectly or mistakenly clicking links and the interruption of content.

It is best practice for webmasters and marketers to review their internal linking regularly in order to ensure they are not missing any obvious opportunities that could prove beneficial for users. This includes a scan of content that may be appropriate for related topic linking and the inclusion of descriptive and appropriate anchor text.

Where to Begin with Improving Internal Linking for SEO

Businesses should begin their internal linking and SEO practices with a full website audit to ascertain a current position and to assert the best areas for improvement and work moving forward.

Specialist SEO experts such as Woya Digital are able to offer full service packages that help better internal linking for SEO and best practice, as well as ensuring these processes line up with other aspects of SEO to rank higher, reach the right audience/s and gain competitive advantage above competitors.

On-Page and Technical SEO

On-Page and Technical SEO

Google processes over 8.5 billion searches every day. The rise of the internet as an everyday consumer tool has impacted hugely on business practices for firms of all shapes, sizes and types, and SEO is just one discipline that most simply cannot afford to ignore.

SEO forms a full-time role and profession itself, but for those who don’t have the time to invest into both the learning and practice of it, it can be a very confusing area.

The Definition of SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation: the process of optimising a website so that the automated algorithms behind search engines are able to understand what they are, who they’re relevant for and where to feature them in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

The exact process of SEO is an ongoing one that is completed continuously in line with all new content published and the updates made to algorithms. For the most part, SEO refers to the optimisation of business web presence for Google’s systems (after all, in most areas of the world Google holds the highest market share for search engines by a long way) but its practices do hold benefits for other search engines, too. For the purposes of this article we will be focusing on SEO for Google.

Two of the main types of SEO activity are on-page SEO and technical SEO.

Does SEO change over time?

Absolutely! Google makes tweaks to its algorithm constantly – and although there are no set public details around every system change, experts estimate there to be between 500-600 changes a year; which is almost two a day. While many of these changes don’t make significant differences to the way businesses should approach SEO, some do.

The sheer volume of change involved in the way Google works is why so many organisations invest in either hiring a full-time SEO specialist or working with an expert external team.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO, also sometimes called on-site SEO, is the optimisation of web content through the inclusion and correct usage of specific keywords and phrases. All written content on a web page is scanned regularly by Google and so is constantly monitored for relevance and authenticity. On-page SEO not only makes clear to Google what a website is about and who it’s relevant for, but also helps the algorithm decide where to rank it on SERPs compared to other similar sites – which are likely those of a business’ competitors.

What does On-Page SEO involve?

On-page SEO is primarily the creation of written content featuring the keywords and phrases searched by those relevant to the business, as well as the alignment of page-specific elements such as title tags, headings, content, and links internally and externally to the site.

On-page SEO used to be primarily achieved by the input of as many mentions of keywords as possible in a practice known as ‘keyword stuffing’. This was believed to demonstrate relevance to the algorithm and is still fairly widely practiced. This practice however is now detrimental to SEO performance – the system has evolved a long way since its origins and will websites will be penalised for keyword stuffing and for the production of inauthentic and inorganic content, rather than relevant, high-quality content.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the optimisation of technical aspects of a website in order to increase the ranking of its pages on SERPs. The elements to be optimised here are still technically ‘on-page’ such as the written content, but these are pillars that aren’t in word format that still contribute to search ranking.

Technical SEO is a fairly new discipline and something that unfortunately many businesses still miss the mark on. The usability of a website now forms a core part of Google’s ‘Web Vitals’ which form criteria a website must meet to rank highly.

What does Technical SEO involve?

The technical elements of a website that can be optimised permit a search engine to ‘crawl’ it faster and more easily, and present opportunities for easier access by users. This includes optimising site load speed, responsive in format to the device on which it is being viewed, that all site content is unique and not duplicated, that all links work and that the site is held securely without presenting any safety risks to users. All of these aspects affect the overall user experience of the site, and contribute just as much to the potential search engine rankings.

How to successfully integrate all areas of SEO into your business

SEO is an important tool for digital marketing and will transform a business’ success online. Its potential is not to be underestimated, and neither should the ongoing effort and work required.

Hiring a specialist SEO agency or expert is a prudent decision and different levels of involvement and activity can be managed depending on budget and the website scale. Woya Digital are an expert SEO team who understand the evolving needs of successful SEO. Get in touch with us to discuss your online business growth.

Successful On-Page SEO: Top 10 Elements

Successful On-Page SEO: Top 10 Elements

SEO services or search engine optimisation is more complex than ever before, especially on-page SEO. It is no longer a simple process of marking various things off of a pre-determined SEO services checklist.

Woya Digital’s successful search marketing for our pay monthly SEO services involves the use of 10 important on-page SEO elements that are extensively understood and properly implemented.

What is SEO?

SEO is an abbreviation that in full means ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. Optimising web content for search engines is a marketing discipline within itself (cunningly enough known as search engine marketing). The practice of SEO refers to the optimisation of content on a website so that it can be easily judged on its relevant, appropriateness and importance by search engine programs – meaning that it is ranked high in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) when a user searches for a relevant word, term or phrase.

Search engine marketing and SEO practices are often just focused on Google, as it’s by far the world’s largest and most used search engine, but in broad terms, optimised content prioritises websites across all search engines.

What are The Benefits of SEO?

Searching for something online when they need more information is second nature to a huge chunk of the world’s population.

Google alone processes some 3.5 billion searches every day, and with mobile devices and apps at the fingertips of an increasing number of people, the world wide web is more accessible than ever. In order to cut through the ‘noise’ on search engines, businesses must differentiate themselves from their competitors and other, similar, companies – and good SEO can allow them to appear in search results above others; making them considerably more likely to receive traffic and convert that traffic into their desired action (an online purchase, filling out a contact form, etc).

What’s the Difference between On-Page SEO and Off-Site SEO?

SEO comes in two forms: on-page SEO and off site SEO. To some extent, those working in search engine marketing have power over both, but the latter is maintained through indirect control.

On page SEO is everything that can be controlled within a business’ website or web page to influence its search engine relevance – such as keywords, tags, page load times and core web vitals. Off site SEO refers to other websites reinforcing a page’s relevance – through backlinks and mentions.

Top 10 Factors of On-Page SEO

There is lots that can be easily tweaked and changed in order to better optimise your content. These ten areas are easily influenced and quickly improved.

1. Title Tag

The title tag, which is basically a short description of 60 characters, is used by the website visitors and search engines as the identifier.

The title tag itself, placed between <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags near the very top of the HTML code for a particular page informs the search engines what the page is about. Together with the Meta description, the title tag is the representation of your business in Google and search engines.

2. Heading Tag and Keywords

Heading tags are simply the headers that are used on a website post to divide it into different sections. The Heading tag is the main heading that comes after the title on any given webpage. The use of the main keywords that help define a target in the Heading tag is one of the most popular on-page SEO services and techniques because it helps to improve the visibility of your website in a search engine.

3. Subheadings and Keywords

Headers are not limited to just the main or focus heading. There are up to 6 different header tags that can be used in any given website. Each specify and outline a different aspect of a post.

The heading tags from number 2 and onwards are all known as subheadings. It is encouraged that each subheading, especially the first three includes the main keyword for for increased SEO ranking. Using subheadings to break up long passages of text gives an extra opportunity to demonstrate the topic the copy is about and to increase its readability by making it easier to consume in short, sharp chunks. Formatting copy this way encourages the reader to continue reading and to stay on the page for longer.

4. ALT Image Tags

An ALT IMG Tag is the abbreviation to the ALT attribute to an IMG tag. The ALT tags are the alternatives to the text that are added to images in case the browser is unable to properly render them. It is a way for SEO services marketers to ensure that the search engine associates a websites main keywords with related images to strength their search rankings.

The use of ALT tags on images is one of the most successful on-page SEO strategies. Especially for web-stores selling their products online. This practice ensures that the products show up on the Google image search as soon as the keywords are entered in the search bar.

5. Keywording the first 100 Words

Most websites include a long and detailed introduction at the beginning of their posts, only choosing to mention their focus keywords much later and further down, and then they complain that their SEO services and SEO rankings are not working.

That is because the later a keyword is introduced in a post, the longer it takes for Google to recognise and understand what information is being presented on your website. As such, for optimal search engine optimisation it is essential that the main keywords be introduced within the first one hundred words.

6. Website and Server Speed

According to Google, the server speed, website and page speed are taken into account by the ranking algorithm. A slower page means high rate of abandonment, loss of links, and decreased visitor engagement, making it a critically important factor to take into consideration when marking an on-page SEO strategy.

The most recent updates to the Google algorithm include a focus on the time it takes to load pages on a website; across desktop PCs, laptops and on mobile devices. This will prioritise those sites that load quickly over those that don’t, in order to keep quality web content as accessible as possible. To ensure the pages on a site load fast, image resolutions and sizes should be reduced and any excess content and coding removed.

7. Mobile Friendliness

It’s estimated that around 60% of Google searches are carried out on mobile devices, so it’s critical for businesses that their websites work on differing devices. Such compatibility across devices is known as ‘mobile responsiveness’ and allows a site to load optimised to the device it’s being loaded on; in different sizes, formatting and layouts. As a result, Google (and other search engines) prioritise search results for websites that display well across differing mobile devices – after all, if users don’t find a site they can navigate well on their mobile through Google, they’re unlikely to use it to make the same or a similar search again.

8. User Experience (UX)

When a user visits a website, they need to be able to quickly and accurately find what they’re looking for and navigate the site easily. This is known as User Experience, and commonly abbreviated down to the letters UX.

User Experience Optimisation is a practice in itself, and one that’s ever-evolving as technology develops. However, there are some quick and easy steps that can be taken by businesses in order to improve their UX standards and in turn, their SEO.

If a business’ desired call to action is for a customer to make contact, they can display contact details on every page of their site in a prominent position in order for them to be easily spotted. Similarly, small contact us forms can be added for easy form-filling. Menus and headings should be easily named and categorised so that they’re as simple to navigate as possible. Simplify fonts to make them as uncomplicated as possible and ensure text is well formatted, short, snappy and of an appropriate tone to the audience.

9. E-A-T

E-A-T is an abbreviation that stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Although not a direct ranking factor, if businesses intend to take on the position of an industry expert or thought leader in a certain sector or topic, E-A-T is something that needs to be considered through all content creation. In order to demonstrate all three, the content on a website should be able to demonstrate to search engine programs that it is:

  • Well informed and explained in relevant language
  • As correct and accurate as possible
  • Written by or supplied by a qualified person
  • An independent source of information
  • Trusted by others as a source of information
  • Citing other trusted sources of information.

This can be tricky to navigate but if the focus is on producing good quality copy and content, then it should come as a by-product of that already being produced on the site.

10. Website Security (HTTPS)

As part of its commitment to user safety, Google includes website security as a ‘ranking factor’ when it comes to deciding how to present search engine results. This means that websites with good security protocols will be ranked higher than those without.

HTTPS is a secure connection – encrypting the connection between user and website so that no one is able to intercept and acquire any of the data shared between the two. HTTPS (rather than just HTTP, as typed in a web browser) demonstrates that the website being visited has an SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Level Certificate). This isn’t actually a certificate at all, but rather a small piece of code that encrypts data privacy.

HTTPS is now the default security level for new websites being set up, but older sites may not have yet switched across. Most web hosting facilities offer SSL Certificate implementation for just a nominal fee. Moving from HTTP to HTTPS will have an immediate impact on both search engine ranking and consumer trust, as it illustrates a commitment to data and user privacy.

On-Page SEO Support

Woya Digital is a social media marketing agency offering SEO and Local SEO solutions that are aimed at getting you to page 1 of Google. We can assist companies of all sizes, anywhere, promote themselves through the internet. Our fixed price offering is straightforward and yields results!