Section 6: Internal & External Links
When we talk about the search engines visiting your website, it’s common to use words such as ‘crawling’ or to refer to them as bots or spiders. Realistically they are more of a robot (bot) than a spider however the spider analogy is sure easier to explain.
Think of your website as a spiders web, with all of the internal links throughout the website and menu systems joining different pages and posts together in a weave. When the search engines, or spiders come along, they use all of those pathways, links etc to move around the website. The idea is that the spider has lots of fun along the way, it has lots of routes to take where it can find new information and link through to further information, but it also doesn’t want to get stuck going around in a circle.
You can also help the spider out by giving it a sitemap to help it along the way, we will very briefly address this in our ‘taking your SEO further’ section.
Internal Links refer to links within your website – so one page to another, an image to a post, a post to a page etc
Internal links are incredibly important within a website, they make up the spiderweb that we talked about previously as well as providing users with easy ways around the website directly from the relevant content.
Internal links could be keyphrases written within content, headers, ‘read more’ type buttons on summaries or excerpts or even images.
External Links refer to Outbound and Inbound links:
Outbound links are links on your website which take a user to a different website.
For example: You may be affiliated with another company or organization and wish to mention them on your website and provide a link over to their website.
Any external link from your website should be set to ‘open link in a new window’ when set up so that your visitor is not taken away from your website completely.
Inbound links are links on a different website which bring the user to a specific page or post on your website.
For example: You may wish to mention your most recent blog post on your company Facebook page with a link directly to the post on your website.
Inbound links are a great way to get new visitors to your website and if those visitors stay a while, move around etc, this will in turn help your SEO credibility in the search engines.