One of the most prominent signals search engines use to rank results is the number of external links from good quality sites that point to your pages.
Every time a site with high domain authority links to one of your pages, your site’s domain score goes up helping you rank higher, which increases your overall traffic.
But something that's often overlooked, especially by beginners, are internal links. These are the links you create between your own pages.
In this article you'll learn why these links are nearly as important as external links, and what the best internal linking tools are so that you can dramatically speed up an often tedious manual process.
Disclosure: Although I receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no additional cost to you that compensation in no way influences my recommendations, which are strictly informed by my years of digital marketing experience working with clients large and small. My aim is to always recommend tools that will offer you the best return on investment.
Having a strong internal linking strategy is critical for SEO, because by interlinking other pages in your blog that add relevance to your current page you're improving your user experience, which search engines appreciate and reward.
But more importantly, your internal links also spread the flow of high domain authority around your site.
How? If you have a number of pages with great external backlinks, by linking those pages to other pages inside your blog you get to spread the "link juice" around and improve your overall search ranking.
In fact, it's estimated by many SEO experts that two internal links are roughly equivalent to one external link of similar authority.
But creating internal links is a tedious manual process, especially if you publish frequently.
Basically, for every new blog post you put out, you’ll have to go through your older posts and place anchor text links pointing to the newer one.
Fortunately, there are great tools out there that automate this process, so that instead of spending hours on end on this task, you end up spending minutes. Below you’ll find the best internal linking tools on the market.
Internal link building plugins are relatively new and therefore not too numerous, but over the last couple of years, Link Whisper has become the leader of the field.
In essence, this plugin crawls your entire website making an index of all existing internal links and then it creates a report showing you the link gaps so you can fill them.
For example, if you have a post with a passage that mentions “SEO best practices” Link Whisper will then point you to any other posts that are related but that are not being linked to.
If you agree with its suggestions, all you have to do then is to click on a check box next to each suggestion and the link will be added to your post automatically.
Another great Link Whisper feature is “orphan” posts, i.e. posts that have no incoming or outgoing internal links. Once you zero in on one of these posts, the plugin will then make suggestions showing you the anchor text to add to other posts in order to create the missing internal links.
Finally, and perhaps my favorite feature: when you finish editing a new post, if you scroll to the bottom of the post editor in WordPress you’ll see Link Whisper's suggestions highlighting the suggested anchor text to use to link to other posts.
If you agree with the suggestions, all you have to do then is to click on a check box and the anchor text will be automatically added to your new post. It’s that easy!
Link Whisper Features that Stand Out for Online Earners
- Great value for your money
- Builds internal links fast, saving you hours of tedious work
- Super intuitive to use (ideal for beginners)
- Allows you to customize anchor links on the fly
- Allows you to easily add links from your latest content to older content and vice versa
Now the Cons...
- It’s missing some features competitors have, like tracking how many people click on each internal link
- No free version
Find Out More About Link Whisper Here.
Best Budget Internal Link Building Tool: Interlinks Manager
This plugin takes a slightly different approach to internal linking.
Instead of making suggestions individually, you define specific keywords inside each post and then the tool automatically adds links to your post from any other post that contains those keywords.
The plugin tracks clicks from visitors to your links so you can assess which ones are effective and which ones are not. You can then use this information to make adjustments to your anchor text or the positioning of your internal links.
Interlinks Manager also provides you with information about the flow of “link juice” on the URLs of your website.
Interlink Manager Features that Stand Out for Online Earners
- A lower price if you’re on a budget
- Provides you with link juice statistics for a given URL
- Automatic internal linking based on keywords
- Tracks clicks to internal links from visitors and it allows you to export this data for further analysis
Now the Cons...
Find Out More About Interlinks Manager Here.
Best Runner-up: Internal Link Juicer (Pro Version)
This plugin takes yet a different approach from the above two. While it’s also keyword-based like Interlinks Manager, they do it in a novel way.
For each post, you have to not only choose the anchor keyword and the internal link associated with it, but also select a "keyword gap" measured in words.
Let me illustrate this feature with an example:
If your blog post talks about how to choose the best web hosting for a site, a keyword you could target as an anchor text in Internal Link Juicer could be “choose hosting.” Now, if you select a keyword gap of 2 words, then any mention of the following keywords will be assigned anchor text links to your post:
- “choose the best hosting”
- “choose your ideal hosting”
- “choose your web hosting”
But “choose hosting” and “choose web hosting” will not result in anchor links because the keyword gap in this case is only 1 word.
In this way, Internal Link Juicer creates varied links with different content instead of a proliferation of exact-keyword links everywhere, which search engines don’t like to see.
Internal Link Juicer Features that Stand Out for Online Earners
- Set custom URL targets in addition to automated internal links
- Exclude part of your text from the creation of internal links (any HTML tag, like H1, H2, etc, plus any shortcode)
- Role-based editing (set up the plugins for specific WordPress user roles, e.g. editors)
- Statistics dashboard that shows the number of links for each post so you can target posts with very few links
- Ability to whitelist and blacklist specific posts, pages, tags and categories (e.g. checkout pages)
- Email support
Now the Cons...
- It can get pricey for more than 1 site
- Not as user friendly as Link Whisper
Find Out More About Link Juicer Here.
Best Free Internal Link Building Tool: Internal Link Juicer (Free Version)
The free version of this plugin is a great choice is you're bootstrapping or if you just want to try it out before fully committing.
With the free version you'll be able to generate internal links as well as with the pro version, but you'll come across a number of limitations:
- First of all, there's no support. You'll have to rely on Google searches for usage questions or troubleshooting
- You won't be able to set custom URL targets for your anchor text links
- You'll only be able to exclude headlines and bold words from automatically creating internal links
- You'll only be able to whitelist and blacklist certain posts and pages, but not categories or tags
- There's no role-based editing, so anyone with access to the WordPress dashboard will be able to create internal links
- The internal link statistics dashboard will only show you stats for the top 10 posts, not for all of them
Find Out More About Link Juicer Here.
What to Do Next
Internal link building is a must-do SEO technique for easily boosting your website traffic.
Now, you can build these types of links the hard way (manually) or you can automate this task and save hours of work (or days if you have a lot of posts).
In the end, the cost of these plugins is very reasonable when you take into consideration the many hours of tedious work they'll be saving you from.