Including links to other articles or pages on your website improves your authority and keeps your reader on your website longer.
Since both visitors and search engines use the links on your website to jump from page to page, a purposeful internal linking system will help make navigating your website (especially for relevant content) easier.
You probably already do a lot of internal linking (like your navigation menus, footer menus, blog archive pages, etc.), so for the purposes of this article we’re going to talk about contextual linking.
What is contextual linking?
Contextual linking is creating links within the content of your pages or posts that link to other, relevant, pages or posts on your website.
For example, the article you are reading right now is on our blog, where we write a lot of tutorial articles just like this one.
See how I linked the words ‘our blog’ to our blog page? Contextually it makes sense, and it’s right here within the body of the post— making it a perfect example of an internal, contextual link! Now visitors can click through to see what other articles we’ve written!
Why should I use contextual links?
There are a few good reasons to include internal, contextual links within your blog posts.
First, it helps point users to other articles that they may be interested in— keeping them on your page longer.
Second, it helps Google understand how different pages on your website relate to each other— and even which pages have more importance.
If your ‘Services’ page is linked to many times from lots of different pages within your website, that will tell the search engine that your ‘Services’ page must be important.
How to find contextual link opportunities
I’ve found the easiest way to add contextual links to my posts is during the editing and publishing process— not while I’m writing. Anywhere you’ve already expanded on a subject, have a service or product that you reference, or where it makes perfect sense, you can add a internal link.
Some SEO tools, like Yoast SEO, provide internal linking suggestions. It’s a handy feature, but will still require some manual work as their suggestions are not always perfect.
What you want to avoid is creating irrelevant internal links by linking to things that don’t fit in the conversation just because you want to link to it. Irrelevant links don’t help the user, and will only confuse the Google bots.