Why you need to focus on internal linking to boost SEO

Publishers are increasingly realising the untapped value held by content archives. In a race against competitors, they’re turning to editorial archive software to unlock this potential, get the most out of old content and drive new traffic to their site in less time.

News organisations publish an impressive amount of quality content every day. But these valuable, evergreen articles that could enrich future pieces with their continual relevance are being “lost” in the depths of archives – the process by which to resurface them time-consuming and cumbersome.  

What if this rich content could work even harder for publishers?

Fortunately, it can. With little effort on the journalist’s part, journalism AI tools can help to increase rankings, boost traffic and improve user metrics without the time consuming and cost of creating brand new content. 

Unlocking the potential of newsroom archives

It’s an exciting prospect for newsrooms worldwide. Illuminating the darkest corners of content backlogs, artificial intelligence (AI) is enabling journalists to leverage existing knowledge to enrich new articles, as POLIS’ Collab team two at the JournalismAI festival last month explained. 

“In a survey sent out to newsrooms to identify what would be of most interest to journalists, one ‘winner’ was how to automatically suggest related articles with archive-focused tools,” says Kristoffer Hecquet, Head of Development at Altinget, in a thought-provoking session he gave at the festival on editorial archive software. 

Above: Can AI help us put the power of our archives in the hands of our journalists?

“If you want to do research or interlinking you can use AI tools to get to know what has been written on this topic before and how you should relate your article to earlier content,” says Kristoffer. Reuters and Culture Trip are among the first publishers to take advantage of the possibilities and solutions this has opened up. For example, the ability to:

  • Reuse evergreen content
  • Inspire fresh content
  • Interlink to related content

In this article, we will focus on the latter use. We will guide you through the SEO and traffic-driving benefits of internal linking, the best editorial archive software to help you do this with speed and accuracy as you write and how you can wring new value from old content with a few simple steps.

What is internal linking?

Yes, it may seem basic, but knowing the difference between internal and external links is an important place to start. Internal links are hyperlinks that point to another page on your website, while external links point to a different website. Simple, right?

For example, a news site running a story on a music festival should include links within the piece that point to other relevant stories on this topic, such as a hero article on the music festival and any previous pieces covering the event. 

This offers up further relevant content for your readers to digest, driving page views and time spent on your site. Links from these other articles should, in turn, be added to point back to your most recent piece too an easy step to forget.


Navigational links sit on your homepage, menu or footer that guide readers to different parts of your website. These functional links help visitors move around your site with ease.

Contextual links sit within the body copy of a page (your article, for instance). They add context to the link and have more SEO weight than links within the navigation bar or the website footer. This means they are key to focus on getting right!

3 key benefits of tapping into editorial archives

We’ve already covered some of the benefits of tapping into editorial archives. But now, let’s take a deeper look at the value of internal linking specifically.

According to Google, links and quality content are two of the three most important ranking factors for SEO. A good internal linking strategy will drive authority to important pages and increase the time users spend on your website. 

Get this right, and there’s a big opportunity to:

1. Boost search engine rankings

As readers move around your site from article to article it’s a clear indicator to search engines of the quality of your content. It’s also a signal to search engines to crawl for new content that spins off of articles that already exist.

2. Improve reader experience

Linking back to relevant content will guide visitors to more high-value content, boosting usability and User Experience (UX). This can reduce bounce rates by encouraging them to stay on your site a little longer. While things move quickly in the online world, some older content can still be very relevant and useful for readers.

Internal links pass authority from one page to another and help Google to crawl your content and ultimately drive traffic to your site. Adding links makes it easier for search engines to discover all the pages on your site, which means that your website will show up more often in search results.

Digging up previously written content that relates to a working article is a highly time-consuming and frustrating process for journalists. 

This is especially true if you work for a publisher with deep archives that require a lot of scrolling power and multiple Google searches for past stories. Not only does this “hoover up” quality writing time, but think of all the great links you could be missing! 

Luckily, technology available today can make contextual linking quick and easy so you won’t have to worry about missing a related article again.

Embrace the power of journalism tools

Journalism tools can dive deep into a publisher’s archives to retrieve related content in a matter of seconds with the help of artificial intelligence.

For example, our Editorial Research Assistant enables quick, one-click access to relevant stories in your archive, allowing you to embed related links with ease as you write – saving valuable time and energy. Our editorial archive software is designed to make internal linking effortless. 


As a journalist, you can access your website’s archived content via our Google Chrome Extension. LOYAL matches relevant content from your archive to the article you’re writing, with further filtering by date range.

If you work for a publisher, you can filter by all websites within your group, or filter by brand. This gives you fast internal and external linking opportunities to valuable content as you write. Additional archive document matching, search, sentiment analysis, named entity recognition, and filtering is also available via our LOYAL web application.

In order to best influence a positive engagement response with internal links, it’s crucial that they are relevant. If you are working on a news article, it is good practice to link to relevant stories and the category pages associated with the piece.

One option is to place hyperlinks into words or phrases that point to relevant topics and articles elsewhere. Embedding ‘read more’ links within articles is another effective way to direct readers to relevant content that is likely to be of interest.

Where they appear on the page is also crucial to click-throughs. The higher up the page the better, as this is the area that will have the most eyes focused. You’ll be aware that, as with print articles, the most valuable information is front-loaded. Therefore, it makes sense to position some links here to attract more attention. 

 Keep UX in mind at all times and try to refrain from embedding too many links in close proximity.


Use the target keyword of the page you’re linking to in the anchor text. When the link text includes the target keyphrase, it helps indicate the relevance of the page to Google.

In short, remember to:

  • Keep links relevant
  • Aim for more internal links at the beginning of your article
  • Use descriptive, key-word rich anchor text to describe each link
  • Keep links spread out

How many internal links should you use per article?

Five is a good number to aim for. Although, this can vary depending on the length of your article. It’s not uncommon for some websites to become a little trigger happy with internal linking. The more links the better, right? Wrong.

Too many internal links, and your content runs the risk of appearing spam-like – not just for visitors, but for Google too. Users will spend less time on your page if they get a whiff of spam and, as for Google, you could end up losing rankings in SERPs.

5 things to be aware of when internal-linking

Journalists know all-too-well that working in a fast-paced environment means fine details can often get overlooked. To avoid that, here are some common pitfalls associated with internal linking to keep an eye out for.

 Double-check the pages you are linking to. The articles they contain may have been written by a colleague, or one of your own could have been updated by an editor, so you may be unaware of any changes to their publication status or edit history.


Try using a broken link checker like Screaming Frog or take a look at Google Analytics for error codes. This will help you identify broken links that need re-linking.

Remember that your internal links must make sense to users and search engines. Ensure they are relevant to your current piece, adding value to the UX.

We’ve covered the spam risk of placing too many links, but it’s just as important to ensure you’re not missing opportunities by under-linking. Try and aim for five internal links per article.

4. Don’t over-optimise your anchor text

With every internal linking strategy, it’s important not to over-optimise your anchor text. Using the same anchor for different pages is another error to avoid.

To get the most value out of your editorial archives, it’s important to revisit articles and update links on a regular basis. Make sure you link old content to new and new content to old.

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll soon see your pieces ranking higher, attracting more readers and boosting dwell times. Luckily, with the help of editorial archive software, you’ll never have to miss a great internal linking opportunity again.