Basic Internal Link Strategy
Links are an incredibly important part of SEO. External links come from other websites and point to your site, while internal links are the links you place on your site to other pages on your site. Your navigation menu and links to other website pages in body content are common internal link types you will use on your site.
Internal links not only help users navigate to relevant pages and content, but they also help search engines crawl your content. Internal links pass link equity or PageRank to the pages you link to. Think of a link like a vote for the content of that page. Your telling a search engine that this page is important. In this way, internal links can help with SEO for individual pages on your website.
Here's another way to think about internal links and PageRank. Every page on your site is connected like a tree's root system, and each link passes SEO life to the pages that it connects. Your homepage has the most of this SEO life to pass, and from there you can use internal links to spread nutrients across your site, and ideally, direct SEO to the most valuable pages (do you want Google to think your contact page or a page with your best selling product is the most important?).
Now that think about each internal link like a vote for your page, you can begin applying internal link SEO to site architecture. The structure of your website should help both visitors and search engines navigate to your most important pages and the pages that are most relevant to them.
Starting with your site navigation, think about breaking out your most important pages into a main navigation, and then related pages underneath them into sub page navigation links.
When you think about navigation and site architecture the best strategy for SEO is "user first." What structure will make the most sense for a visitor to find your products, or your about page, or the most important sections within those pages? Logical structure for internal navigation will reflect in internal link metrics from search engines following links through those pages just like a human visitor.
Internal Content Links
Creating internal content links is a bit more strategic than navigation internal links. Look at pages and content that you think is valuable for reference (product pages or your most popular blog posts are perfect for this), then link to these pages with a text link your content. You can mix it up with image links and button links along with the text links.
Your homepage is one of the best places to place internal content links. Your homepage is usually the most powerful page on your site for SEO, so it carries the most link equity (passes the most SEO "life" to other pages). Creating a text link on your homepage to a product page is a powerful way to send PageRank to that page and help it rank. It's also useful for visitors because you're helping direct them to a product page that they may be interested instead of waiting for them to find it by navigating around your site.
For example, Element Clay Studio added product category links to the homepage.
The links on Micro Tiles, Luxe Wall Tiles etc. are all crawlable and point to important internal product pages on the site. This is a perfect example of using internal links to help users find products, and show search engines that these pages are important.
Creating links for blog posts is also a good idea to direct visitors to more relevant content and help search engines find your blog post.
A strong navigation menu is important for both search engines and visitors, while internal content links will help your audience find relevant pages at the perfect time and create strong SEO signals for Google.