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Internal Link Strategy

May 1, 2020
May 1, 2020 Danielle Ganon

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Internal links aid in the accessibility of your site both by a user and a search engine.

That is an incredibly important reason to have good internal links within your site. We can’t have people miss the content that you worked hard creating, right?

A good internal linking strategy ensures that every nook and cranny of your site is reachable.

When done correctly, there should not be any orphan pages. Orphan pages are pages that do not have any links pointing to it. Because of this, link equity, or the ranking power of a page, can’t be passed on.

Here are some internal linking strategies that we use:

Page Depth

Page depth is the number of clicks it takes to get to the destination URL from the homepage. The farther or deeper a page is from the homepage, it sends a message to Google that it is not important. This is because page depth establishes a hierarchy within a site.

In addition, the farther it is from the homepage, the harder it is for bots to crawl the page.

From a user experience standpoint, the harder it is for a site visitor to find a page, the higher the chances it will increase your bounce rate through user frustration.

If you have a primary page that you want to get indexed, we recommend having a page depth of 3 or 4. The homepage has a page depth of one. Anything that is accessible from the homepage has a page depth of 2. Then, so on.

This is much easier to implement at the beginning of the development of your website. However, it is still valuable to look at the structure of an existing website and make some changes that can positively impact it.

Interestingly, according to John Mueller from Google, click depth matters more than URL structure.

Site Hierarchy

Anchor texts

When it comes to links in general, it’s best to use a descriptive anchor text rather than the generic “click here” because Google takes into account the keywords used in the anchor to understand what the URL in the link is about.

The more context you give Google, the better.

With that, do not use the same anchor text for links going to different URLs. According to SEMRush, it makes it hard for Google to know which URL is supposed to rank for the keywords within the anchor text. It creates a competition that we want to avoid.

not descriptive anchor text for a link

This is an example of a nondescriptive anchor text for a link.

descriptive anchor text for a link

This is an example of a descriptive anchor text which tells Google what the destination URL topic is about.

 

Broken Links

Users will have a negative experience if they click on a link on your website, and it takes them to a page that no longer exists. These broken links can both be internal and external.

Not only is encountering broken links frustrating but visitors who leave your site will also increase your bounce rate, alerting Google that your content is irrelevant. That’s something we want to avoid.

We use Broken Link Check to run an audit. Afterward, we fix any broken links by either updating them or removing the link altogether.

 

Breadcrumbs

Besides telling a visitor on your site where they are, breadcrumbs or a breadcrumb trail inform Google where a visitor is in the site hierarchy. It uses structured data to accomplish this.

However, there are different kinds of breadcrumb types:

Hierarchy-based

Like what we mentioned above, this kind shows the structure of a site hierarchy.

This is an example of a hierarchy-based breadcrumb trail.

Attribute-based

This is common for an e-commerce site where the breadcrumb trail shows the attributes a user has selected.

attribute based breadcrumb exampleThis is an example of an attribute-based breadcrumb trail.

History-based

This breadcrumb trail details the path a user has taken to get to their current page.

Google has a resource on how to add a breadcrumb trail to your site. You can also achieve this using the Yoast SEO plugin. This is Yoast SEO’s breadcrumb tutorial.

 

Conclusion

Now that you are equipped with more information on internal links, feel free to implement these suggestions! Need help with Technical SEO? Learn more about our Technical SEO services today.

Markitors is a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO. We help small businesses rank higher on Google to get more traffic to their websites and increase revenue. Explore what’s in our SEO toolbox: audits and keyword researchdigital PRtechnical SEO, and local SEO.

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Danielle Ganon

Danielle Ganon

Danielle Ganon is a Technical SEO Manager at Markitors, a digital marketing company in Scottsdale, Arizona that connects small businesses with customers...and has a good time doing it. She enjoys her free time by drinking unsweetened iced tea while reading movie scripts, binge-watching her favorite tv shows, and sewing clothes.