SEO & Paid Media

SEO 101: What are external and internal links?

7 min read


In this blog, we explain how internal and external links can help a business improve its website's structure, build authority and help visitors find what they are looking for. 

In order to have a strong search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy for your website, you need to use external and internal links.

Done properly, external and internal links can help build the credibility and authority of your website, as well as improve its overall structure.

If you're here because you want to learn more about external and internal linking, you're in the right place. Today, I'm going to talk about how external and internal linking can do wonders for your website. 

So what are the benefits of external linking?

External links are hyperlinks from your website to websites other than your own.

Here's what they can do:

1) Make your site a more valuable and authoritative resource

To back up the points you make (and further establish your expertise and credibility) linking out to other reputable sources is a great idea.

In fact, by directing readers to information that can help them understand a topic or make an informed decision, you provide great value.

For example, if we were writing about why you should blog, we would link to HubSpot. HubSpot has a well-established blog and it attracts a tremendous amount of traffic due to routine blogging.

Another example would be to use quotes, statistics and information from other articles (and linking to them) to support the points you make. This shows your readers that your thoughts and ideas are backed up by others in the industry.

As your website grows, other websites will begin linking back to yours because of the quality and depth of its information.

2) Bring links back in by linking out

Linking out indicates to other businesses that you are willing to build links and share content online. Building links with other relevant websites is a great way to increase the visibility of your website and create new relationships.

Of course, you can earn links by creating high-quality content that other websites refer to – but you can increase the number of links you earn by working with other experts. 

For example, if we created an article on SEO advice and wanted to support our points, we would link it to Moz

By linking to Moz, we can not only validate our points and provide readers with a valuable resource for further reading, but Moz will also be familiar with us and will hopefully use us as a resource if they create content around Inbound Marketing.

So, why should you link content internally?

Internal links are links that go from one page on your website to another page on your website.

Here's what they can do:

1) Make your site easy to navigate

For instance, let’s say you have a blog on buyer personas and within it, you talk about ‘content strategy’. The reader wants to learn more about content strategy and you have a blog on it, but it’s not linked to the buyer persona blog.

The reader then has to go into your blog archives to find the blog on content strategy – something they would not have needed to do if you just linked to it.

Internal linking improves the overall user experience and makes it easy for visitors to find what they are interested in. If your site is easy to navigate and has loads of valuable content, people will be more likely to come back! 

2) Move more website visitors through the buyer journey

Internal linking isn’t just about site navigation. Linking content to other relevant content on your website can help to move website visitors through the buyer journey.

For example, if you have a blog on the best marketing automation platforms and an in-depth comparison guide of those platforms, why not link to the guide in the blog?

If someone is reading about the best marketing automation platforms, would it not be fair to say they want to know the pros and cons of each?

You should do this for all your content assets. If you talk about several different things in your content and have supporting content for those things, link to them!

3) Search engines will understand your website

As well as making it easier for visitors to navigate your website, internal linking will make it easier for search engines to understand the relationships between pages.

Google’s crawlers will readily index pages that are easy to find and understand – but what about pages deeper in your website?

As your website grows, some of your older pages can become disconnected from the rest of your website as you focus on linking to new content assets.

Furthermore, by using internal links you can signal to Google (and other search engines) which pages are important and have more value than others.

4) Spread link equity

One of the best things about internal linking is its ability to spread link equity.

When you build backlinks to specific pages on your website, you highlight to search engines that those pages are important. What this means is that when one page does well, so do those linked to it.

Ideally, you want to have other pages pointing to your most important pages (i.e. service or product pages) to maximise value.

If you want to optimise your website for search engines and users, having an external and internal SEO linking strategy is key.

Remember: there is nothing wrong with linking out to other reputable websites; especially if it serves to help your readers. Just make it easy for them to find what they are looking for! 

If you want to find out more about SEO best practices and how to optimise your website in 2019, check out this blog

You can also take your content and SEO strategy to the next level by using topic clusters - download our eBook below and find out how. 

Book a free SEO audit

Your website is your most valuable sales and marketing tool, so it needs to be as optimised as it can be. Uncover opportunities to boost your rankings with a free SEO audit.

Latest Insights

Sales & CRM

91 min read

The true cost of HubSpot: Exploring HubSpot's Total Cost of Ownership

This guide takes a look at the total cost of ownership (TCO) of HubSpot as well as the TCO of Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub and Content Hub.

Read more

Sales & CRM

20 min read

HubSpot HIPAA compliance: everything you need to know

Explore HubSpot's HIPAA compliance. We cover the basics of HIPAA, challenges HubSpot faced, and HubSpot's new tools to meet compliance requirements.

Read more

Marketing & Growth

21 min read

Enhancing your marketing processes with HubSpot AI

Learn how you can integrate HubSpot’s AI assistants into your marketing processes to optimise your efforts and supercharge efficiency. 

Read more

Sales & CRM

17 min read

How to plan for a successful HubSpot Implementation

Key aspects of planning and managing HubSpot implementation. We'll guide you through every step to ensure a successful HubSpot implementation.

Read more

Marketing & Growth

10 min read

Why it might be time to consolidate marketing agencies

Learn why & when to consolidate your marketing efforts with an agency specialising in strategy, creative solutions & technical expertise.

Read more

Technical & Integrations

5 min read

HubSpot’s cookie consent banner update: What you need to know

HubSpot is updating its cookie consent banner to version 2 on July 5, 2024. Here’s what you need to know about the update & how to prepare for it.

Read more

Sales & CRM

27 min read

HubSpot user adoption: a comprehensive guide to boosting CRM adoption

Explore strategies, best practices, and tools to drive user adoption in HubSpot, ensuring a smooth transition and maximising user engagement.

Read more

Sales & CRM

37 min read

HubSpot security and compliance: best practices and automated tools

Explore how to leverage HubSpot’s security tools and resources to mitigate risks and ensure Security and Compliance in HubSpot.

Read more


3 min read

Huble named #1 in HubSpot Consultancy Proficiency and Marketing Strategy Agency on G2

We are proud to have been recognised as the leading solutions provider in the Best HubSpot Consulting Services category of the G2 Spring reports 2024. 

Read more

Marketing & Growth

22 min read

Everything you need to know about HubSpot Content Hub

Learn all about HubSpot's Content Hub, including the key benefits and pricing, what's changing and how Marketers can utilise the platform.

Read more