For an SEO marketer, not understanding the difference between internal and external links is like not knowing the difference between cats and dogs.
This may sound a bit crazy. But just the same, it’s an important difference to understand, and your marketing friends may poke fun at you if you’re wrong.
In this article, we will clarify the difference between internal and external links. Next, we’ll explore the purpose of each and how they contribute to your broader marketing efforts.
External Vs Internal Links
Here is a definition that clarifies the difference between internal and external links:
- Internal links point to web pages within a website domain.
- External links point to web pages on a separate website domain.
Both are important parts of building an effective website and SEO marketing strategy.
Why Internal Links Are Important
Internal links serve a few main purposes. Specifically, they:
Provide structure for your site. User experience is critical to an effective website and the use of internal links provides a framework for visitors to find what they are looking for.
Help search engines understand your site. Search engines are always trying to better understand and rank sites so that they provide the best experience for users. By using internal links effectively, you will help search engine spiders better understand the structure of your site.
Increase ‘stickiness’ (gross!) and conversions. By linking to other useful content on your site, you increase the chances that your visitors will stick around. Plus, this is a great opportunity to take your visitors to the next logical step in your buyers’ journey.
Why External Links Are Important
External links are important because they help your website gain more domain authority. Search engines want to understand trusted sites so they can show their customers the best results.
To do this, they consider how many links your site has and what is the authority of the sites that link to your site. The more links you have and the higher the quality of those links, the better your site will rank.
“How can I get more high-quality external links to my site?” We hear you ask.
Create brilliant content that people want to share and link to.
Make it easy to share your content so people can link to it on social media.
Write guest content for other sites that link to your site.
If you’re still hungry for tips, check out our complete guide to getting more authoritative links.
Link Building Only Gets You So Far
Internal and external links are essential pieces of building an effective website and marketing strategy.
However, this is only part of the big puzzle that is SEO marketing. For example, to help your site rank high in search results, you also need a site that is fast and mobile friendly. And honestly, this is just the beginning.
So if you want a complete guide to a winning SEO strategy that builds your business, download our guide below.