What do golf courses and websites have in common?
Okay, yeah, that wasn’t one of our best jokes. But in our defense, internal linking is no joking matter.
Whoa, Dieselmatic, you might be saying, you won’t even try to joke about it? This must be heavy.
It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. So, what is internal linking, and why should your shop’s website include it? Keep reading, for we have your answers.
WHAT IS INTERNAL LINKING?
Internal linking is when you link one page on your website to another. It’s called “internal” because, well, it’s inside your own domain. For example, Aragorn’s Independent Repair Shop posts a blog about winterizing trucks. Within that blog they include a link to their winterizing service page. Usually, this link is within the body copy (although it can be in a headline or picture).
That’s the classic depiction of an internal link, though there are other sorts, too: any links from your header or footer menus are considered internal links.
For this article’s purposes, we’re going to focus on internal linking within body copy.
WHY SHOULD I INCLUDE INTERNAL LINKS ON MY WEBSITE?
Good things come in threes, so here’s three ways internal linking can benefit your website:
It improves user experience. A visitor who clicks the aforementioned “winterizing service page” internal link presumably wants to know more about that service and how much your shop might charge for it. By giving the user all the information they need—in an easily navigable way—you’re providing the website version of offering a guest coffee, cake, and a super-nice bathroom.
It helps search engines figure out your site. Linking pages that feature similar topics or information helps Google, Bing, and other search engines index your site properly. And the more a search engine “gets” your site, the more authoritative it seems—and the more relevant potential customers it will point toward you.
It can help with lead generation. Say someone lands on your winterizing blog (yes, we’re going to use this example throughout) and clicks the internal link to your winterizing page. Say, they think, I oughta get the fleet ready for the White Walkers. And then they book service through another internal link, or at the very least call you to make arrangements.
Boom, lead generated.
INTERNAL LINKING BEST PRACTICES
If you do nothing else in your internal linking, follow these best practices:
- Choose your anchor text wisely. What is anchor text? It’s the portion of your sentence or paragraph that links to another page on your site. Your anchor text relays to search engines what the page being linked to is all about. If “winterizing your truck” is the anchor text that links to your winterizing services page, the phrase “winterizing your truck” tells Google, Bing, etc. that the information at this link will be all about…wait for it…winterizing your truck.
Your anchor text should be clear and straightforward. Don’t get coy with your visitors; “Click here” may tell them what to do, but it’s not telling them where they’re going to do it. If you’re internally linking to a page about oil changes, use “oil change” as anchor text. If you’re linking to a page about mechanic certifications, use “certifications” as anchor text. And so on.
- Add links to new and popular posts: Got a new blog going up? Or is your winterizing article getting a lot of hits? Now is the time to add related links. Note that the subjects must be related. Don’t try to shoehorn a link to windshield replacement unless it really is necessary to your winterizing efforts.
- It’s about quality, not quantity. The more links the better, right?! No, no, no. Remember, your links should improve the user experience. If you link to your homepage every time you use the word “shop,” you’re just going to fatigue your visitors and confuse search engines. .
I CAN LINK INTERNALLY MYSELF, RIGHT?
Oh, for sure. Assuming you have a website and you’re updating it frequently, you can hop into new and existing pages and add internal links, creating an intricate connective web through your site.
Once you know what you want to link to, and what anchor text you want to use, it usually doesn’t take a ton of time. But you’ve already got a ton to do, which is why you’re on our website to start with—because you know the Dieselmatic team is going to build you an awesome website and digital marketing campaign, internal links fully included.
Curious? Want to hear more? Schedule a demo today. We can’t wait to show you what we can do.