The ultimate internal linking guide for SMEs and SEOs
It’s no secret that content is still king when optimising websites and pages for search engines. Every content marketer knows this all too well and that high-quality content is essential to drive visitors in today’s online world. However, relying on content alone is not enough. Using internal links is also necessary to support your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to drive traffic to your pages.
Internal linking is arguably the quickest win in SEO. Back in 2019, we were conducting a lot of time-consuming internal link audits for our clients (crawling websites, downloading link profiles, and then cross-referencing the data), so we came up with the idea of making the internal link auditing process more efficient, which lead to Twylu being born. Unfortunately, internal links are among the most neglected techniques in link building and SEO in general. Everyone is so quick to depend on tactics that help build external links, that they quickly underestimate the importance of optimising internally.
In light of this, Twylu has released its 'ultimate internal linking guide'. A few of the main inclusions cover what internal links are, the importance of internal links, the process of optimising internal links, and other reminders and tips to consider in your internal linking strategy:
Importance of internal links
- Give context to users and search engines
- Can help UX and conversion rate
- Can affect how often pages get crawled
- Signal importance of individual pages
- Can help with the flow of PageRank
- Audit (broken internal links, internal redirects, orphaned pages, duplicate content, canonicals, etc.)
- Crawl depth
- ‘Rule of 3 clicks’ (theory to make sure that all important pages are discoverable within 3 clicks of homepage)
- Anchor text
- Mixture of consistent (main keyword) VS varied
- Link placement – think about ‘first click’ rule (Google only notices first anchor text on pages with same internal links)
- 'Read more', 'click here' = poor anchor texts
- Contextual vs template
- Don’t worry about main navigation links for the ‘first click’ rule
- Internal linking should improve the information architecture of the website by creating clearer crawl paths for both Google and users
- Keep the number of link natural for users, and useful
- High incoming, low outgoing
- Low incoming, high outgoing
- Passing power
- Also referred to as link equity / page rank
- Relevance is key
- New link opportunities
- Adding internal links from powerful pages (where relevant) is just one tactic
- Gather data from GSC and your uploaded link profile to reveal opportunities (e.g. keyword present but not currently linking)
- Remember to consider quantity, quality, and relevance
- Every time you all new content, look for:
- Internal pages to link TO
- Old content to link FROM
- Use breadcrumbs (and breadcrumblist schema) to help with internal linking and site architecture
- Regularly look for new opportunities
- Alternative if little opportunities arise include 'You might also like', 'featured articles', 'related searches' style
Although it may sound overwhelming at first, internal linking with the right structure isn’t complicated. You only need to follow a logical, hierarchical website structure that has internal links that follow the same format as well. This is just the basics. From there, you can link strategically from your strong pages to those that require a little help in terms of optimisation.
Having a robust internal linking strategy will help you rank your content higher on search engines, and not just with Google. The strategy doesn’t have to be overly complex since internal linking means that you are in full control of each step in the process. By leveraging the right plan, tools, and data, you will be able to launch a new internal linking strategy that can lead to huge results.
Twylu uses a combination of Google Search Console and additional keyword information to provide opportunities in a flash, turning hidden issues with your website’s internal link structure into opportunities for improvement. Twylu will crawl your website, gather data from GSC and your uploaded link profile before cross-referencing it all into a single location. Also, Twylu isn’t limited by the CMS that you have chosen for your business. We have built Twylu to enable any business on any platform to audit and improve their internal link structure.
Twylu is free with 500 URLs, however you can purchase a plan to access advanced features, you can also try for free here.