Internal Vs. External Links Explained: Optimization Guide 2021

Internal Vs. External Links Explained: Optimization Guide 2021

The trends in the marketing world have been continually evolving at a breakneck speed. With new marketing tactics unfolding by nearly every passing day, businesses strive to make their presence known in the market. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of those techniques that continues to be relevant and compelling to reach the audience and generate leads. It helps businesses to appear on top results of search engines, drive traffic, and broaden their customer base. It comprises different ranking factors, with links being a part of them.

Links, also known as hyperlinks, direct the users from one web page to another. Both these links can be on the same website or different ones. These links can also be an image, word, or phrase that direct the readers to a relevant webpage or a specific part of the current website. Each type of link holds a different value, and you must know how to incorporate them effectively.

How many times have you come across the words internal and external links while building an SEO strategy? Do you often get confused between these two terms? Read on below to fully understand the basic concept of internal and external linking and the benefits they add to your website:


External links are those links that point from one domain to other. In simpler terms, if any website links to your content, or when you insert a link that takes the clicker to another site, it is called external linking.

Now it may seem like external links steal away the traffic from your website. That’s not true; in fact, it builds trust and authority. An external link is an essential factor in off-page SEO. However, it is relevant to note that both on-page and off page SEO are equally crucial for optimizing your website. You can’t just focus your complete attention on one and ignore the other. Doing so will only give subpar results, and you might be unable to outrank your competitors.

The following are some of the advantages of external linking:

  1. Increases Relevancy 

Search engine algorithm takes into account 200 or more elements when deciding a website’s ranking. Among these, link-building is also a determining factor. Therefore, when you acquire links from high-authority websites, it appears as a trustworthy source in search engines’ eyes. Search engines monitor these links, make a connection, decide which industry your site belongs to, and then rank it accordingly.

  1. Shows Credibility

No matter how hard you try to create informative content, you cannot entirely satisfy all people. There always remains a loophole. While you wish to be on the top results, search engines might not consider your site relevant if it lacks in one area. The good news is that you can still provide value to users with your content and positive user experience. By earning quality links from authoritative websites, you can fill in the gap and establish top-notch content that answers all search queries. In turn, you can build a reputation for your website and make it appear as a credible source.

  1. Enables Sharing & Engagement

Link building is an excellent way to engage with social media influencers, bloggers, and famous content creators. When creating a website, you can provide people with opportunities to participate and contribute to your site.

Another way is to mention these influential people on your social media posts. In this way, they will review the tagged post, and if they like your content, they can share the link of your site with their audience.

  1. Encourages Backlinks

If you constantly link with other relevant and high-quality websites in your niche, chances are they would link back to you. Such websites would prefer linking it to your site if your content makes sense and provides value to their readers. In other words, you need to come up with content that is worth linking.


An internal link refers to any link from one page on a website to another webpage on the same site. Internal linking is a great strategy to retain your site visitors on your website. It helps increase the time each visitor statys on your wbsite, thus boosting your overall ranking on the SERPs. However, ensure you are not overdoing internal linking on your site. A maximum of three to four per page might be enough. Below are some key benefits of internal linking:

  1. Easy Navigation

Your site visitors have come to your website deliberately. They are either on the lookout for any information or might want to purchase any product or service. Use an internal link method to keep these visitors engaged by enticing them to click on your link and make the navigation easy. That way, users can land on a more relevant web page within your site and boost your SEO. Easy navigation on your website will increase user experience, which in turn, will increase your site rank on SERPs.

  1. Makes Users Stay on Your website

As mentioned above, the more time users spend on your website, the lower your website’s bounce rate. Bounce rate refers to a metric that analyzes the percentage of users who come to a website and leave without taking much action. Implement an excellent internal link strategy to keep your visitors sticking around your website for a long time and decrease your website’s bounce rate.

  1. Improves SEO

There is an infinite number of web pages on the internet today. How would a search engine index your web page if they can’t even discover it? Search engine crawlers would require a longer time to index your page; if you are not strategically linking on your website. Therefore, internal links are one of the best ways for search engine crawlers to find the other relevant pages on your site and index them. Ensure to build a vital link for the pages on your site that are less likely visited.

  1. Brings Traffic to Old Posts

Remember the first few blogs that you might have written at the start of your career journey? You might even have got a couple of engagements in that post. Do you think it has become obsolete now? Well, no. Add relevant and attractive internal links to your new posts and divert the attention of your web traffic to your old content. That way, you can also rank your older posts rank high on search engines.

Final Words

With new search engine algorithms, new techniques, and intense competition almost every other day, your business needs to step things up. It would only be possible when your site has a proper SEO strategy, and you make external and internal links a part of your plan. Mastering the art of link-building and link management requires time. However, your efforts will surely pay off when your site ranks higher.

Written by Frederick Jace

A passionate Blogger and a Full time Tech writer. SEO and Content Writer Expert since 2015.

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