on page seo link building

On Page SEO – Importance Of Internal Links

It never ceases to amaze me to still come across excellent blog posts without a single internal link. Internal linking is the basis of on page optimization. As a matter of fact I truly believe that it should be one of our fundamental practices for optimizing our posts and pages.

What many bloggers don’t understand is that linking within not only improves SEO (search engine optimization), it also improves your readers’ experience and it allows you to navigate your users towards your target pages.  Let’s look at why on page SEO and particularly internal link building is essential for your blog’s well being.

Why Internal Link Building Is Fundamental For On Page SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Unless you are blogging just for fun and you have absolutely no desire to be found by search engines link-less strategy is the way to go.

But if on the other hand your objective for your blog is to be found you need to help the search engines find your posts and pages. Let’s have a look at why you need to do that.

When a person searches online for an answer, he inputs a question into the search box of a search engine such as Google  and within seconds the search engine retrieves information from its database and serves him thousands of pages of potential answers.

On WordPress alone 33.7 million new posts are published monthly. These posts need to be searched by search bots for information, indexed and stored in the database. The bots relentlessly scour the World Wide Web. And, in very simple terms, the search engine transverses the www universe by crawling it from link to link to link as you can see in the schematic and very simplistic diagram below.

Search engine crawling pattern

Search Engine Bots Crawl From Link To Link

I am also including an older but still a relevant video by Mat Cutts which explains how search works.


If your post or a page has no links to it from your other pages how are search engine bots going to find it and determine its value?

By linking your pages you are giving the search engines signals that tell them which pages are important or which pages or posts are thematically related to each other. This is very important because it helps the search engines evaluate your pages. If your pages have no links they are likely going to be deemed unimportant and overlooked by search engines.

Make sure that when you are linking to other pages you use your site’s keywords as well as LSI keywords (related words).

Internal Linking Improves User’s Experience

When your article does not have any internal links you are basically telling your reader that this is an isolated article. The reader may or may not explore your site further. If he does not, your bounce rate is up and you are basically telling Google or other search engines that the user’s experience was lacklustre and, because the visitor leaves the site quickly, your site does not have much to offer.

On the other hand, when you have internal and relevant links on your pages your readers will likely click on the links and explore your other pages. This immediately brings the bounce rate down. Low bounce rate is one of the factors that helps to improve your search engine ratings.

As well, and more importantly you want to offer your readers a good experience. You want them to learn from your blog. You want them to want to come back. And you want them to trust you so that eventually they will become your customers. By exposing them to your other articles you are giving them this opportunity.

Some of you may argue that that you have an XML and an HTML sitemap to help the search engines and the reader. As you know that I am in favor of sitemaps but it is not enough. A sitemap and a good navigation will help but I consider them sort of general and kind of unidirectional.

Internal linking is more specific and may lead your reader to articles that may be lost in a sitemap, especially if you have a large number of articles. Linking is very important, particularly for the older yet relevant blog posts that would be completely overlooked even when someone clicks on your categories because posts are listed in chronological order from the oldest to the newest.

There are various internal linking strategies that some bloggers adhere to. I am not going to include those here because it would make this post extra long and complicated. Personally, I like the flat site architecture concept of linking and if you want to learn about it you may want to check out Rand Fishkin’s  video from  Moz . It is one of the best that I found online for flat site architecture.


Hopefully this article gave you some food for thought regarding the importance of internal linking both for your blog’s on page SEO and also for improving your reader’s experience. If you’ll adhere to this practice you will also find that your bounce rate goes down and you may even improve your sales if your links lead to your product review pages.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you.


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7 Responses to On Page SEO – Importance Of Internal Links

  1. Raveena September 18, 2014 at 6:02 am #

    Internal linking keeps the visitors to visit again to our another article. It is a good idea to have such a great information. Thank you.
    Raveena recently posted…What’s Happening in Digital Marketing WorldMy Profile

  2. Norman May 13, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Thanks for the marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.
    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back someday.
    I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great work, have a
    nice evening!
    Norman recently posted…NormanMy Profile

  3. harshit February 1, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I totally agree with your post. nice write up
    harshit recently posted…How to unlock Pattern Lock? Step by Step Guide!My Profile

  4. Andy Bradbury January 28, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

    Hi Dita Thanks for this informative post.
    I am guilty of not putting internal links in my posts but Im gonna start doing them from now on.

  5. Sandy Halliday January 28, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Hi Dita,

    Great advice. I have made a point of going back to some of the oldest posts on my blog and linking them to some of my newest ones. I think it helps to provide a better reader experience and helps to keep them on my blog for longer.

    If a reader goes away satisfied with the information he is more likely to return. It’s a win win situation.

    Sandy Halliday recently posted…The Sugar Detox Diet: The Brilliant Way To Lose Weight and Feel GreatMy Profile

    • Dita February 20, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      Hi Sandy,

      I am glad you are going to do that. It definitely keeps the readers on longer. I love your blog, by the way

  6. Glenn Shepherd January 26, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Hi Dita,

    Great post as always 🙂

    I think you give a good breakdown of the reasons why you should make a practice of internal linking.

    As we know, it’s user engagement that’s one of the most important factors on our blogs rather than constantly trying to keep one step ahead of the ever changing SEO algorithms.

    With an internal linking strategy, not only are we improving the visitor experience but we’re also improving our search engine visibility. So even if the mere thought of SEO gives us a headache and we don’t want to spend vast amount of time obsessing over playing the Google dance, just an easy, simple technique such as internal linking can help us to easily improve our blogs both in the areas of user engagement and SEO, so it’s a win-win.

    Thanks for putting together this great overview, Dita.

    Glenn Shepherd recently posted…One Thing You Should Know About Joint VenturesMy Profile