Having strong online visibility is vital for your website’s success, and using search engine optimization techniques is the best way to increase your site’s visibility. You can use many SEO strategies to improve search engine rankings. One common method is to use internal links, or links on your website that lead to other pages on the same site.
Search engines find and rank pages by using crawlers that click on every internal and external link on each page, then the links on the pages the original links lead to, and so on. Some search engines, including Google, rank search results by the number of links that lead to a page. Google’s algorithm that ranks sites by links is known as PageRank, named after Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. This is only one of Google’s SEO algorithms, but it is probably the most well-known.
If you organize the internal links for your website correctly, it can boost your Google search ranking. The more links you have leading to your homepage, the better your homepage’s PageRank will be. Your site can have two types of internal links: links that create navigation throughout your site, such as a menu with links to an “About Us” or “Contact Us” page, and other links that are found within the context of your site.
Typically, the best way to organize the navigational links on your website is to link to only a few pages from your homepage and link to more specific subcategories from those pages. Every page on the website should link back to the homepage. First and foremost, though, your site should be user-friendly and easy to navigate. If you have too many links or a confusing layout, visitors won’t have the patience to figure out how to navigate the site.
You can discover which of your website’s pages have the best ranking by looking at your site’s internal links, or its “Internal PageRank,” a term coined by the SEO blogger Paul Shapiro. The Internal PageRank looks just at pages within one site, instead of across all sites like Google’s PageRank.
To determine your website’s Internal PageRank, you first must use a crawler to crawl the site and compile a list of all the internal links. There are several SEO crawlers available, both paid and free. Some popular ones include Rob Hammond, Screaming Frog, and Beam Us Up, but you can find many more. After using a crawler, download and install the free program R, which will tell you which page on your website has the most links leading to it, and therefore, which page has the highest ranking.
Your homepage should have the highest ranking of all the pages, according to both the Internal PageRank and the Google search results. Visitors should find your site’s homepage before any of the other pages in a Google search. If one of your other pages, such as a blog post or an “About Us” page, has a higher ranking, you should rework the site’s architecture to be sure that your homepage has the most links leading to it. You can add or remove links on different pages on your website to fix the problem. In general, if every page links back to the homepage, the homepage will have the highest ranking.
Using internal links is a straightforward way to improve the search engine ranking for your website. Determining your site’s Internal PageRank will let you discover which of the pages will have the highest Google search ranking. All the links on your site are completely within your control, so you should easily be able to use the links to your advantage for SEO.