The Do’s and Don’ts of Internal and External Linking

Are you struggling to understand the importance of proper linking? In this article, we’ll explore the do’s and don’ts of internal and external linking. You’ll learn how to effectively use internal links within your website, as well as identify high-quality external links. We’ll also discuss common mistakes to avoid and pitfalls to watch out for. By finding the right balance between internal and external links, you can enhance your SEO success. So let’s dive in!

The Importance of Proper Linking

Proper linking is crucial for ensuring that your website’s content is easily accessible and user-friendly. When it comes to creating an effective online presence, you need to pay close attention to how you link both internally and externally.

Internal linking refers to the practice of connecting pages within your own website. This not only helps users navigate through different sections of your site but also assists search engines in understanding the structure and hierarchy of your content. By strategically placing internal links, you can guide visitors to related articles or relevant product pages, providing them with a seamless browsing experience.

External linking, on the other hand, involves connecting your web pages with external sources or websites. This serves multiple purposes such as building credibility by referencing reputable sources and improving search engine optimisation (SEO) by demonstrating that your content is well-researched and supported by authoritative references. Additionally, external links can drive traffic back to your website when other sites reference or share your content.

When implementing proper linking techniques, it’s important to consider a few key factors. First and foremost, ensure that all links are working correctly and directing users to the intended destination. Broken or outdated links can frustrate visitors and harm your website’s credibility. Secondly, use descriptive anchor text that accurately reflects the content of the linked page. This helps both users and search engines understand what they can expect when clicking on a link.

Understanding Internal Linking

Internal Linking

You should prioritise understanding how internal linking works to improve your website’s user experience and SEO rankings. Internal linking refers to the practice of linking different pages within your own website. It plays a crucial role in helping users navigate through your site and find relevant information easily. By strategically placing internal links throughout your content, you can guide users from one page to another, keeping them engaged and encouraging them to explore more.

One important aspect of internal linking is the use of anchor text. Anchor text is the clickable text that appears as a hyperlink. When creating internal links, it’s important to choose descriptive anchor text that accurately reflects the content of the linked page. This not only helps search engines understand what the linked page is about but also provides users with clear expectations about where they will be directed.

Another key benefit of internal linking is its impact on search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines consider internal links as indicators of a website’s structure and hierarchy. By establishing a logical link structure, you can help search engines understand which pages are most important on your site, improving their crawlability and indexing.

In addition to improving user experience and SEO rankings, internal linking also helps distribute authority throughout your website. When one page links to another, it passes some authority or “link juice” from one page to another. This can help boost the visibility and ranking potential of less prominent pages on your site.

To effectively implement internal linking on your website, start by conducting an audit of your existing links and identifying opportunities for improvement. Ensure that each link serves a purpose and adds value for users. By mastering the art of internal linking, you can enhance both user experience and SEO performance on your website.

Best Practices for Internal Linking

When implementing internal linking on your website, it’s crucial to consider the relevancy and context of the linked pages. Internal links play a vital role in enhancing user experience and improving SEO. To make the most out of your internal linking strategy, here are some best practices you should follow.

Firstly, ensure that the anchor text used for your internal links accurately describes the content of the linked page. This helps both search engines and users understand what they can expect when they click on the link. Avoid using vague or generic anchor texts like “click here” or “read more.”

Secondly, prioritise linking to relevant and authoritative pages within your own website. By doing so, you establish a logical flow for users as they navigate through different sections of your site. Additionally, linking to reputable sources adds credibility to your content.

Another important practice is to keep your internal links natural and avoid excessive interlinking. Overloading your pages with too many internal links can confuse both search engines and users, leading to a poor user experience. Instead, focus on strategically placing relevant internal links where they add value.

Furthermore, regularly audit and update your internal links as needed. Pages may be updated or removed over time, resulting in broken links if not properly managed. Broken links negatively impact user experience and can harm SEO efforts.

Lastly, remember that external linking also plays a significant role in improving SEO rankings. When appropriate, consider including external links that provide additional information or resources for readers.

Common Mistakes to Avoid With Internal Linking

One common mistake to avoid with internal links is using irrelevant or non-descriptive anchor text, as it can confuse both users and search engines. When you create an internal link on your website, it’s crucial to choose anchor text that accurately describes the content of the page you are linking to. For example, if you have a blog post about “The Best Ways to Train Your Dog,” using anchor text like “Click here” or “Read more” is not helpful. Instead, use descriptive anchor text such as “Dog training tips” or “Learn how to train your dog effectively.” This way, users will know what they can expect when they click on the link.

Using irrelevant or non-descriptive anchor text can also negatively impact your website’s SEO. Search engines rely on anchor text to understand the context and relevance of a linked page. If your anchor text doesn’t provide any relevant information, search engines may struggle to determine the topic of the linked page, which can result in lower rankings in search results.

Another mistake to avoid is overusing internal links within your content. While internal linking is important for navigation and improving user experience, excessive linking can make your content appear spammy and overwhelm readers. Focus on including only relevant and necessary internal links that genuinely enhance the reader’s understanding and provide additional valuable resources.

Lastly, be mindful of broken or incorrect internal links. Regularly check your website for any broken links and fix them promptly. Broken links not only frustrate users but also signal poor quality and reliability to search engines.

Exploring External Linking

To enhance the credibility and authority of your website, it’s important to strategically incorporate relevant external links into your content. External links can provide valuable information to your readers and show that you have done thorough research on the topic at hand. However, there are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to using external links effectively.

Firstly, do make sure that the external links you choose are reputable and reliable sources. Linking to well-established websites or authoritative articles can boost the trustworthiness of your content. This not only helps your readers gain more knowledge but also improves your own credibility as a source of information.

Secondly, don’t overdo it with external linking. While incorporating external links is beneficial, too many outbound links can distract readers from your own content and make it seem like you’re just redirecting them elsewhere. Be selective with the number of external links you include and ensure they add value to your content rather than overwhelming it.

Additionally, do use anchor text when inserting external links. Anchor text is the visible words or phrases that hyperlinks display when clicked on. Incorporating relevant anchor text helps search engines understand what topics are being linked to and can improve SEO rankings for both internal and external linking.

Lastly, don’t forget about accessibility. Ensure that all external links open in new tabs or windows so that users aren’t taken away from your website completely when clicking on them. This way, they can easily return to finish reading your content after exploring the linked source.

Guidelines for External Linking

Make sure you choose reputable and reliable sources for your external links to enhance the credibility of your website. When it comes to external linking, there are a few guidelines you should follow to ensure that your website is trustworthy and valuable to your audience.

Firstly, always verify the authenticity of the sources you are linking to. You want to make sure that the information provided by these external websites is accurate and up-to-date. Check for any references or citations within their content, as this indicates that they have done thorough research and can be trusted.

Additionally, consider the reputation of the website or organisation you are linking to. Look for well-known and respected websites in your industry or niche. This not only adds credibility to your own site but also provides a high-quality user experience for your readers.

Furthermore, avoid excessive external linking. While it’s important to provide additional resources and references for your audience, too many external links can be overwhelming and distracting. Be selective in choosing which sources are most relevant and valuable to include on your website.

Lastly, regularly review and update your external links. Websites can change over time, so it’s essential to periodically check if any linked pages have been moved or deleted. Broken links can negatively impact user experience and harm the credibility of your site.

When identifying high-quality external links, it’s important to consider the credibility and reputation of the websites or organisations you are linking to. You want to ensure that the information you provide to your readers is reliable and trustworthy. To do this, there are a few things you can look out for.

Firstly, check if the website or organisation has a good reputation in its field. Are they known for providing accurate and well-researched information? Do they have any awards or recognition from reputable sources? This can give you an idea of their credibility.

Secondly, take a look at the content on the website itself. Is it well-written, organised, and up-to-date? High-quality websites will often have professional designs, clear navigation menus, and regular updates. If a site seems outdated or poorly maintained, it may not be a reliable source.

Additionally, consider who runs the website. Is it affiliated with any reputable organisations? Does it have experts in the field contributing to its content? Websites that are associated with universities, government agencies, or recognised experts tend to be more trustworthy.

Finally, check if other reputable websites link back to the site in question. This can indicate that others in your industry also find value in their content.

Pitfalls to Watch Out for in External Linking

Now that you know how to identify high-quality external links, it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls you should watch out for in external linking. While linking to other websites can greatly benefit your own site’s SEO and credibility, it’s vital to navigate this practice with caution.

One common mistake is relying too heavily on low-quality or spammy sites for external links. These websites may have a negative impact on your own site’s reputation and rankings. It’s essential to thoroughly research and vet the websites you link to, ensuring they are trustworthy and relevant.

Another pitfall is over-optimised anchor text in your external links. While it’s important to include relevant keywords in your anchor text, using them excessively or unnaturally can lead to penalties from search engines. Strive for a balance between keyword optimisation and maintaining a natural flow of language.

Additionally, be cautious when engaging in excessive reciprocal linking or link exchanges with other sites. This practice used to be popular but is now considered outdated and potentially harmful. Instead, focus on building organic backlinks through valuable content creation and establishing relationships with authoritative websites in your industry.

Lastly, avoid using paid or sponsored links without proper disclosure. Transparency is key when it comes to advertising or sponsored content, so ensure that any paid links are clearly identified as such.

Finding the right balance between internal and external links is crucial for optimising your website’s SEO. When it comes to linking, you want to make sure that you have a healthy mix of both types of links. Internal links are those that connect different pages within your own website, while external links are those that point to other websites.

Having a good balance between internal and external links can have several benefits for your website. Firstly, it helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your site. By having well-placed internal links, you can guide search engine bots through your content and help them discover important pages on your site.

On the other hand, external links are like endorsements from other websites. When reputable sites link back to yours, it adds credibility and authority to your content in the eyes of search engines. This can positively impact your ranking in search results.

However, it’s important not to overdo it with either type of link. Too many internal links can make your content appear spammy or confusing to users. On the flip side, excessive external linking may lead search engines to perceive your site as low-quality or manipulative.

To strike the right balance, focus on creating high-quality content that naturally incorporates both types of links where relevant and helpful. Remember that user experience should always be at the forefront – prioritise providing value rather than solely focusing on SEO tactics.

Linking Strategies for SEO Success

To achieve SEO success, you should focus on creating high-quality content that incorporates a variety of relevant and helpful links. Linking is an essential aspect of search engine optimisation, as it helps search engines understand the context and relevance of your content. When it comes to internal linking, make sure to link to other pages within your website that are related to the topic you’re discussing. This not only helps users navigate through your site but also improves the overall user experience. Additionally, internal links help spread link equity throughout your website, which can boost your rankings in search results.

On the other hand, external linking involves linking to reputable sources outside of your website. By including these external links in your content, you show search engines that you’ve done thorough research and are providing valuable information to users. However, be cautious when using external links and avoid overdoing it. Too many outbound links can dilute the authority of your own page.

Another important strategy for SEO success is incorporating both dofollow and nofollow links in your content. Dofollow links pass on link equity from one page to another, helping improve its visibility in search results. Nofollow links, on the other hand, tell search engines not to follow those specific links or pass on any link equity.


In conclusion, when it comes to internal and external linking, there are certain do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind. Proper linking is crucial for improving your website’s SEO and user experience. Remember to follow best practices for internal linking, such as using relevant anchor text and avoiding excessive links on a single page. When it comes to external linking, focus on high-quality sources and avoid spammy or low-quality websites. Finding the right balance between internal and external links will help boost your website’s credibility and improve its overall performance in search engine rankings.

Learn more about Top Click

Top Click is one of South Africa’s leading full-service digital marketing agencies. Our custom-built, cutting-edge solutions are targeted to help you attract customers, convert leads and grow your business. From SEO and Google Ads to social media marketing, our measurable marketing campaigns deliver results – and ensure that, in a cluttered online marketplace, you rise above the rest.

Our Digital Marketing Services:

Google Search Ads


Google Display Ads

Google Analytics

Google Shopping

Google My Business

Google Ads Audits

Google Street View

Youtube Advertising

App Marketing

Link Building

Social Media Marketing

Tiktok Advertising


Digital Pr

Seo Audits

Digital Marketing Outsourcing

White Label Advertising

Graphic Design