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Internal Links Boost Page Performance

Internal links are an important part of your overall content marketing strategy.

Just think about it: Visitors pick your website because they believe in your authority over the other websites on SERPs. Internal links give you, the content marketer or website owner, the ability to further promote your own content in a natural and relevant way.

So, what are internal links?

Internal links are links that point to another page on the same website. These differ from external links, which point to a page on an entirely different website.

When used appropriately, internal links can even boost your page – and overall website – performance.

In this post, we’ll explain why internal link optimization is so important. We’ll share our data on the topic – more specifically, how internal links boost page performance. This will include a breakdown of why they work. We’ll also show you how to do internal linking so you can get started right away.

Let’s jump in!

Why Internal Link Optimization Is Important
You know what internal links are, and you probably even use them on your website. So why should you be so concerned with internal link optimization?

For one, an optimized internal linking strategy helps users to navigate your website. Internal links will point readers to other related content on your site so they spend more time and go deeper into your site structure or funnel.Internal linking can also help Google to navigate your website.

Have you ever wondered how Google crawl bots navigate millions of websites so efficiently? First, it’s because they don’t crawl every page on a website, but just those that seem to be more important. Second, they use your site’s structure to know how to navigate.

Your internal links will provide an insight into your site structure, which Google uses to navigate more of your pages in less time. This leads to a higher percentage of your web pages appearing on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

One final reason to consider optimizing your internal link strategy is page authority.

Perhaps you have heard of domain authority. There is something called page authority (sometimes referred to as PageRank), too. Just like domains can “share” their authority with other domains, pages on your website can lend their authority to other internal pages. This authority is important to external factors, like SEO.

What Our Data Tells Us About Internal Link Optimization
In our efforts to determine if top-linked blog posts correspond with top-performing organic URLs, we used the SEO website crawler Screaming Frog and SERP ranking platform Semrush. Looking at US-based SERPs in English only, we analyzed three websites in the fintech space: Wise, Remitly, and MoneyGram.

To give you an idea of where these websites stand, here’s a breakdown of the average number of unique inlinks for the top 10 organic blog posts:The first website we crawled was Wise (formerly TransferWise), an international financial technology company that enables individuals and businesses to send money to others all around the world.

On Wise, we see the top traffic-driving blogs are those associated with topics that are well covered and linked throughout Wise’s blog. In particular, those comparing money transfer platforms like Cash App, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Zelle.

In our first example, we’re looking at blog posts that focused on Cash App. There are 17 blog posts covering Cash App with an average of 8 internal links. The top Cash App piece (i.e., highest traffic) is the blog post titled “What bank does Cash App use for Plaid?” It has 10 unique inlinks from other Cash App blog posts on Wise.

For our second example, let’s look at blog posts pertaining to PayPal. There are 67 blog posts covering PayPal with an average of 12 internal links. The top PayPal piece (i.e., highest traffic) is the blog post titled “How to Connect PayPal to Cash App – Step by Step Guide.” It has only 3 unique inlinks coming from other PayPal blogs on Wise.

Do you notice something interesting here?

The top two clusters, one being Cash App and the other being PayPal, are connected! For our second cluster of PayPal articles, the blog with the highest traffic is a blog post that also fits into the Cash App cluster. That’s not a mistake!

Wise understands that to rank for these competitor terms, it must find strength in numbers. It does so by connecting the clusters together with at least one or two cross-topic blog

posts.2. Remitly: Internal Links Mixed With Topic Depth
The next website on our list is Remitly, another online financial service that offers international money transfer services.

On this website, we similarly found a strong correlation between top traffic-driving blogs and those associated with well-covered and linked topics. For Remitly, that just so happens to pertain to currencies and checks.

In our first example, our cluster is “currencies.” There are 17 blog posts covering the topic with an average of 14 inlinks. The top currency piece, “Meet the Quetzal: Guatemala Currency Facts for Visitors and Expats,” has an astounding 64 unique links from other related blog posts on Remitly.

Our second topic cluster is “checks.” Remitly has 9 blog posts covering topics associated with checks, also with an average of 14 inlinks. The top piece of this cluster, “Your Complete Guide for How to Endorse a Check,” has 14 unique links from other related blog posts on Remitly.

One thing to note about Remitly is if they have a blog post on the topic, they’re linking to it. You may be thinking that’s a no-brainer. Sure, you can do that, but your content can quickly look littered with links.

However, it works for Remitly because its articles are on the longer side, (1,000+ words) and they link amply to outside sources, too.
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