When it comes to ensuring that your site is in tip-top shape, one of the cornerstones of technical SEO is optimizing your site’s internal linking. Internal links connect your content and give search engines an understanding of the structure of your website.
Internal links allow users to navigate your website, spread link equity between different pages, and allow search engines like Google to help discover new content on your website. Because internal links are so important for SEO, it’s crucial to be proactive with your internal linking strategy and ensure all pages are crawlable and don’t exhibit any crawl errors.
Here are 3 factors to consider when it comes to auditing your site’s internal linking strategy:
1. Fixing internal link errors
Finding broken and redirected internal pages is the first step in an internal linking audit. These pages waste ‘link equity’ and result in a poor user experience. You can do this using Screaming Frog or a Google Chrome plugin:
To resolve these issues, you can either replace the broken links with live links or remove the links altogether.
2. Top navigation & footer links
Make your essential content more authoritative by internally linking to it from the homepage, either in the top navigation or in the footer. Do this with the posts and pages that are most important to your brand.
3. Contextual links
When it comes to content on your site, you should add contextual links where possible to show users and search engines that those pages are topically related. You’ll also want to ensure that all contextual internal links use keyword-rich anchor text that describes what the link is about.
You can find anchor text manually or by using Screaming Frog:
Why is this important for your business?
By thinking strategically about your internal linking strategy and auditing your internal links for issues, you are establishing your site’s hierarchy, thus setting yourself up for SEO success.
Being proactive rather than reactive with technical SEO tactics can have a huge impact on organic traffic, rankings, and performance. Internal links make up the foundation of your website, and you should take care to evaluate and improve internal linking strategy on a regular basis.
Perfect Search is a full-service SEO agency with a team that has 15+ years of expertise. Technical SEO projects, such as internal linking audits, are baked into our project roadmaps for all clients to ensure that our clients are guiding their users and search engines to their most important pages.