Internal linking strategies are an essential element of SEO and website design. They allow your content to be easily found by visitors while increasing user retention rates and helping search engines index more pages of your site. Unfortunately, with so much technical information out there it can be challenging determining how best to structure and optimize internal linking on your own site.

An internal link connects two pages on your website within your own domain. Anchor text, the text that appears blue when someone clicks the link and must be relevant to its target page, is of critical importance when creating internal links. There are eight main categories of anchor texts: Exact Match, Phrase & Partial Match, Synonym, Naked URL Branded Image Random with each offering its own set of uses and benefits.

Improve internal linking by linking each page on your website with one another – not only will this keep users on-site for longer but it also sends signals to search engines that this page should rank higher in their results.

Idealy, each page on your site should contain at least five links that lead back to other articles within it – this gives your site freshness value that plays into Google’s algorithm and will help it rank better for keywords being targeted.

But it is essential that when selecting articles to link to, they are relevant. This can be difficult if you manage a large website where different people write and publish content regularly; and knowing which articles have already been linked to can also be challenging when this content was published a long time ago.

An effective practice is ensuring any article you link to opens in a new tab or window, making it easy for the user to come back easily to where they originated and reducing bounce rate at once.

As placing internal links at the top of your page can help decrease bounce rate and increase dwell time, showing your content is engaging and useful – thus improving SEO performance.

At its core, the optimal number of internal links per page depends on several factors – content length and relevance as well as linking patterns across other pages in your site – to achieve maximum SEO benefits. When making decisions on this matter it is also essential to keep audience and website goals in mind; you’ll achieve an optimal balance by considering content length, relevance, page data etc when making this determination.