The Role of Internal Link Building for SEO: Best Practices and Strategies


Many website owners and bloggers tend to prioritize external link building over internal link building, often chasing after those coveted external links. However, it’s essential to recognize the valuable role that internal link building plays and how it can synergize with external link building efforts to enhance the authority and ultimately boost the rankings of your critical webpages.

As a dedicated link building agency specializing in external link acquisition, it is our responsibility to shed light on the magical potential of internal link building. By demonstrating how internal and external link building can work in harmony, we aim to empower you to elevate the importance of your key pages in the digital realm.

Why is Internal Link Building Important?

Internal linking is a crucial aspect of enhancing your website’s visibility on search engines, particularly for Google. It allows you to convey the importance of specific pages within your website’s hierarchy.

By strategically increasing the number of internal links pointing to a particular page, you effectively pass on more authority and relevance to that specific page, strengthening its significance in the eyes of search engines like Google.

The impact of internal linking cannot be understated. Our journey with one of our previously stagnant websites serves as a testament to its power. Instead of prioritizing external link-building, which this website already had a good share of, we decided to give internal linking a significant emphasis to see how it would transform the site’s performance.

The results were remarkable. Within just six months, our website experienced a substantial increase in traffic, more than quadrupling the previous numbers. What’s even more fascinating is that we achieved this surge in traffic without introducing new pages, but by strategically updating and optimizing our existing content. The magic lay in the art of internal linking, a powerful tool for website growth and SEO success.

3 Fundamentals of Internal Link Building

  1. Prioritize Important Pages: Ensure that your website’s most critical pages receive a significant share of the links. These prominent pages should be the focus of your link-building efforts to maximize their authority and visibility.
  2. Leverage External Links: When other websites link to your content, make sure that this incoming authority is effectively funneled into your essential web pages. This way, you can capitalize on external support to boost the SEO and recognition of your core content.
  3. Establish Topical Hubs: Create thematic hubs within your website structure to systematically direct authority to deeper pages. A prime example of this strategy is evident in e-commerce, where category pages serve as authoritative focal points, channeling their power downward to product pages. This hierarchical organization enhances your overall site performance and signals the significance of your content to search engines.

Leveraging Pages With Lots of External Links

Let’s dive into a critical aspect of our work, one that closely aligns with our core activities: the art of cultivating connections from external websites.

If you’ve been diligently toiling away on your link-building endeavors, striving to secure links from external sources, here’s a potent strategy to amplify the impact across your website.

Unveiling the hidden gems within your website is made effortless with tools like Ahrefs, enabling you to discern the pages that have garnered the most external backlinks.

This presents a golden opportunity to channel authority towards those pages that are inherently challenging to procure external links for, such as your service pages or software-related content.

A particular illustration from Ahrefs brilliantly elucidates the mechanism of transmitting the valuable link equity from heavily linked pages to the ones that drive revenue:

The solution is elegantly straightforward – embed an internal hyperlink within these highly linked pages, bridging the way to your most pivotal website sections. This synergy magnifies the potential of your entire website and empowers the pages that truly matter.

Basic Principles to Follow

  1. Employ assertive anchor text when creating internal links.
  2. Increase the frequency of linking to your critical webpages.
  3. Ensure that internal links maintain contextual relevance within the page.
  4. Revamp older content with both fresh material and strategically placed internal links; a frequently neglected aspect of website maintenance.

Think on a Page by Page Basis

Google assesses the ranking of individual web pages based on a granular, page-by-page approach.

Even if a domain possesses immense authority, its pages may struggle to rank if they lack internal links.

The success of authoritative websites hinges on their well-structured architecture, enabling them to effectively channel their high authority towards critical pages. These websites earn their status as authorities due to their strong foundation in SEO strategies.

Click Depth

Click depth, a fundamental aspect of website structure and internal linking, quantifies the number of clicks required to reach a specific page from the homepage. It is a critical consideration in optimizing the accessibility and visibility of important content on your website.

To illustrate this concept, let’s envision a website dedicated to insurance. Within this site, there exists a crucial page that offers a comprehensive comparison between two companies that specialize in pet insurance.

Navigating to this particular page entails the following path:

  1. Start at the Homepage, the gateway to the entire website.
  2. Move to the “Insurance Blog” section, narrowing down the content focus.
  3. Explore the “Pet Insurance” category, targeting a specific area of interest.
  4. Delve deeper into a sub-category called “Pet Insurance Comparisons,” demonstrating a higher level of specificity.
  5. The desired page, titled “Doggy Care vs. Puppy Power,” is located. However, since it was published two years ago, you need to scroll down and navigate through older posts to access it.

In this scenario, the click depth for the page in question stands at 5, encompassing the initial journey from the homepage.

So, how can click depth benefit you?

High click depth for a critically important page can pose a significant challenge. Ideally, you’d want to reduce this depth to enhance the visibility and accessibility of the content. In the example provided, you can optimize the click depth by raising the prominence of this comparison page. For instance, you might consider linking to it directly from the “Pet Insurance” page, effectively bringing it to a click depth of 3. If this comparison article is proving to be a significant revenue generator and you wish to amplify its authority, you could even take the extra step of linking to it directly from the homepage, thereby streamlining its access and recognition. This strategic internal linking not only ensures that important content is readily accessible but also enhances its SEO value and authority within your website’s structure.

Topic Clusters & Relevancy

Developing a strategic approach to generating a wealth of interconnected content and fostering internal links within a specific subject matter is crucial. Consider how e-commerce websites structure their content, with central hubs revolving around various categories.

The concept of relevance is gaining increasing significance, both for internal and external linking. In the contemporary SEO landscape, Google places a heightened emphasis on the relevance of content and its interlinking. This plays a pivotal role in enhancing search engine rankings.

It is imperative that your links originate from pages closely related to the topic at hand. Google recognizes and rewards the reinforcement of a specific page through numerous interlinked pages within the same subject matter.

This principle also carries significant weight for link-building strategies. Ensuring that your backlinks are thematically relevant is paramount in establishing a strong and authoritative online presence.

Tools = Power 🧠

The world of SEO can often feel complex, especially when we discuss concepts like ‘authority’ that seem to be treated as absolute metrics. Google remains vigilant in monitoring these factors, and our trusted third-party SEO tools do the same, which is why we should make the most of their capabilities.

Consider this: these tools strive to emulate Google’s evaluation process and assign a ranking to a web page based on their interpretation of how Google perceives it. It’s a dynamic landscape where tools act as our closest proxies in understanding and optimizing for search engine performance.


This tool is a remarkable asset for evaluating the distribution of external and internal links across your website’s pages. By providing insights into the link structure, it empowers you to refine your internal linking strategy effectively.

Sitebulb and Screaming Frog

These powerful utilities offer an enhanced perspective on your internal linking framework, providing valuable insights into the depth of clicks for specific pages within your website.

Key Summary Checklist

  1. Prioritize Your Key Pages: It’s essential to give more prominence to your most important pages by increasing the number of internal links leading to them.
  2. Minimize Click-Depth: Reduce the number of clicks required for users to reach critical pages, enhancing their accessibility and ensuring they’re not buried deep within your site’s hierarchy.
  3. Refresh and Enrich Old Blog Posts: Revitalize older blog posts by improving their click depth and incorporating additional internal links, keeping them relevant and engaging for users.
  4. Develop Content Hubs: Create thematic content hubs and interlink pages within these hubs, with a focus on boosting the visibility of your pivotal pages.
  5. Optimize Anchor Text: Be deliberate in your choice of anchor text for internal links, ensuring it accurately reflects the content of the linked page and incorporates relevant keywords.
  6. Leverage External Link Authority: Identify pages with a high number of external backlinks and strategically link from these pages to important internal pages on your site to bolster their authority.
  7. Reciprocal Linking: If certain pages receive numerous internal links, ensure they, in turn, link to critical pages to distribute link equity effectively.
  8. Utilize SEO Tools: Employ tools like Ahrefs and Sitebulb to perform comprehensive analyses of your site’s internal linking structure, identifying areas for improvement.
  9. Eliminate Orphaned Pages: Identify and rectify any orphaned pages, which lack internal links, as they may struggle to rank effectively in search results.

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