Links are an important part of search engine optimization, or SEO. Building links is one of many tactics used in SEO because it signals to Google that your site is a quality resource. Sites with more backlinks tend to rank higher on the search engines, too. What you may not know is that there are different types of links, and some matter more for SEO than others.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the three most common types of links in SEO, what their purposes are and how to optimize them for better rankings and brand authority.
3 Types of Links for SEO
In simple terms, a link is an HTML object that allows a person to jump to a new location when they click or tap on the link. Some links keep people on your site, while others take them away from your site. The search engines also follow links to understand your site better and determine the authority of your pages.
Here are the three types of links that matter most for SEO:
1. Internal links
Internal links are links that navigate web visitors from one page on a website to another page on the same domain. Their purpose is to keep people on your website longer. Internal links also increase website authority, which improves rankings.
As a general rule, the best way to create a strong internal linking strategy is by creating lots of good content. This way, you can link your higher authority pages to other pages on your site for improved rankings. Always use links that are natural to the reader and relevant to the content on the page. Aim for three to four links on each page, depending on your content’s length.
2. External links
External links, or outbound links, are links that bring you to another domain. The purpose of external links is to provide users with more content related to the topic they are reading about. Other sites may do a better job of fleshing out a topic, and you can direct readers to this content for a better experience.
Even though external links take people away from your website, they are still important as they create connections and offer readers more value. Always choose relevant links, pick reputable sources and use anchor text. We also recommend having the link open in a different tab so that people don’t automatically leave your site.
Also known as inbound links, backlinks are links from one website to a page on another website. If someone links to your website, you have a backlink from them. Arguably, backlinks have the greatest impact on a website’s SEO. Backlinks represent a ‘vote of confidence’ from one website to another, which is why they are more heavily weighted.
Improving your backlink strategy is definitely harder because they’re not in your control like internal and external links are. To earn high quality backlinks, you’ll need to write shareable content, write guest posts, listen for brand mentions, partner with influencers and more. Here’s a great article from SEMrush that discusses ways to get more backlinks.
If you’re not sure where you sit with your linking strategy, contact WSI Star Web Solutions. We can perform a link audit that will analyze the links on your site, as well as the links pointing to your site, to find potential problems and opportunities.