Once they’re in the tunnel, they should stay there.
Internal links and the user funnel have an intense history.
As user behaviour changes, site owners need to become increasingly aware of the best organic ways to maintain conversions on their websites.
You can’t have conversions without a powerful SEO strategy these days.
Here with Team WILO, we want to make that process easier, so check out what we do, and learn more about SEO and internal linking along the way.
The SEO and Conversion Impact of Internal Links
Internal links are often viewed through the lens of search engine optimisation (SEO), and rightly so.
They are pivotal in determining how search engines perceive and rank your website.
When search engine bots crawl your website, they follow these links to index your content efficiently.
However, looking beyond SEO and considering how internal links can impact conversions is essential.
What is a User Funnel?
The user funnel is a framework that represents the stages a visitor goes through on their journey from initial awareness to conversion.
The magic happens when internal links are strategically placed to guide visitors through it.
It typically consists of three key stages:
- At the top of the funnel, visitors are becoming aware of their needs or challenges.
- This is the stage where they might land on a blog post or informative content.
- Internal links can guide them to other relevant articles that provide deeper insights.
- In the middle of the funnel, visitors are considering their options.
- They might explore product or service pages, compare features, and look for solutions.
- Links can direct them to product descriptions, case studies, or pricing pages.
- At the bottom of the funnel, visitors are ready to take action.
- They can purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or request a quote.
- This is where strategic call-to-action (CTA) links come into play, guiding visitors to take that desired action.
We will look further into this below.
Creating a Seamless User Funnel
Awareness Stage: Guiding Discovery
At the awareness stage, your goal is to provide valuable information that helps visitors discover your brand and its expertise.
This is where the magic of internal links begins.
They serve as the gateway to a wealth of knowledge and insights related to your visitors’ initial interest.
By interlinking related content, you’re achieving several crucial objectives:
- Visitor Engagement: Internal links keep visitors engaged. Instead of bouncing off after one article, they continue their journey, extending their time on your site.
- Demonstrating Expertise: As you provide a range of information, you subtly demonstrate your expertise in the field. Visitors begin to trust your brand as a valuable source of knowledge.
- Introducing Website Depth: Internal links introduce visitors to the breadth of what your website offers. They realise there’s a treasure trove of content waiting to be explored.
Consideration Stage: Navigating the Options
As visitors move deeper into their journey, they enter the consideration stage.
Here, they’re delving into their research, exploring various options, and seeking solutions to their specific problems.
This is where internal links play a crucial role in guiding them towards conversion.
By providing easy access to pages, you’re simplifying their decision-making process.
Visitors can explore, compare, and gain confidence in making a choice.
The result? Increased chances of a conversion.
Conversion Stage: Prompting Action
The conversion stage is the moment visitors are primed to take action.
This is the culmination of the journey you’ve been guiding them towards.
Here, internal links are instrumental, but the emphasis shifts to call-to-action (CTA) links.
A CTA link is strategically placed within content to prompt visitors to take specific actions.
It’s the bridge between consideration and conversion.
These links are compelling, persuasive, and designed to get visitors to make a purchase, sign up, request a demo, or take any desired action.
A direct and persuasive link can lead to conversions, especially when visitors are at their most motivated.
It caters to their need for action and turns their curiosity into a commitment.
The Benefits of Conversions for Your Website
Conversions are the lifeblood of any website.
They represent the ultimate goal, the desired outcome of all your efforts.
Whether it’s making a sale, generating leads, or achieving any other specific action, conversions are the tangible results of a well-structured and effective online presence.
Let’s explore the multitude of benefits that conversions bring to your website:
1. Increased Revenue and Sales
- The most immediate and obvious benefit of conversions is the increase in revenue.
- For e-commerce websites, this means higher sales and profits.
- For service-oriented websites, it can mean securing new clients or subscribers.
- Every conversion represents a step closer to financial success.
2. Enhanced Return on Investment (ROI)
When visitors take action on your website, you’re not only gaining revenue but also reaping the rewards of your investments, whether it’s in advertising, content creation, or website optimisation.
A higher conversion rate means a better return on your initial investments.
3. Improved Brand Loyalty
Conversions often come from engaged and satisfied visitors.
When users make a purchase or sign up for a service, it’s a testament to the value they perceive in your brand.
This fosters brand loyalty, which can result in repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.
4. Valuable Data and Insights
Conversions provide a wealth of data and insights.
You can analyse user behaviour, preferences, and demographics to refine your marketing strategies and tailor your offerings.
Understanding what motivates conversions empowers you to make informed decisions.
5. Increased Marketing Efficiency
Effective conversion strategies reduce the need for aggressive marketing.
With a solid user funnel in place, you can focus on the most relevant leads, ensuring that your marketing efforts are efficient and cost-effective.
6. Competitive Advantage
A website with a high conversion rate stands out in a competitive digital landscape.
It signals trustworthiness, efficiency, and a customer-centric approach, all of which can give you an edge over competitors.
7. Building a Strong Customer Base
Conversions aren’t just about a one-time purchase.
They’re about building a customer base.
The more conversions you achieve, the larger your customer community becomes, providing a stable foundation for future growth.
8. Engaged and Informed Visitors
Conversions often require visitors to engage with your content and information.
This engagement process informs users and helps them make informed decisions, leading to a more satisfied and confident customer base.
9. Positive Impact on SEO
Search engines take into account user behaviour when ranking websites.
High-converting websites with engaged users tend to rank better in search results.
This creates a virtuous cycle of visibility, traffic, and conversions.
10. Validation of Your Strategies
Every conversion is a validation of your website’s design, content, and marketing strategies.
It’s proof that your approach is resonating with your target audience and that you’re on the right track.
Examples of Effective Internal Linking
To illustrate the power of internal links, let’s examine a few real-world examples of websites that effectively use them to guide visitors to conversions:
The e-commerce giant is a prime example of using internal links to drive conversions.
When a visitor lands on a product listing, they’re presented with a wealth of related items, customer reviews, and “Frequently Bought Together” suggestions.
These internal links guide users seamlessly towards making a purchase.
The marketing software provider is adept at interlinking relevant content.
When a visitor reads a blog post about inbound marketing, they’ll often find internal links directing them to HubSpot’s marketing automation tools, case studies, or free trial sign-ups.
This travel platform uses internal links strategically to guide users from hotel reviews and travel guides to booking options.
Visitors can seamlessly transition from researching their next destination to booking accommodation, tours, and flights.
Tools and Techniques for Internal Link Optimisation
Optimising internal links involves a combination of strategies, techniques, and tools.
Here’s how you can ensure your internal linking strategy is on point:
- Conduct SEO Audits: Regularly review your site’s SEO to identify broken links, orphaned pages, or opportunities for improvement.
- Link Relevancy: Ensure that the links you insert are contextually relevant to the content. An irrelevant link can confuse visitors and disrupt their journey through the funnel.
- Utilise CTA Links: Strategically place CTA links within your content to prompt visitors to take action. Experiment with different anchor text and messaging to find what resonates best with your audience.
- Balance SEO with User Experience: While it’s essential to consider SEO, it’s equally important to maintain a smooth and enjoyable user experience. Overloading your content with links can be overwhelming, so strike a balance.
As you navigate internal linking, remember that it’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy.
Tailor your internal links to your specific audience and continually monitor their performance.
By providing visitors with a seamless and valuable journey, you’ll find yourself not only optimising your website for search engines but also converting curious visitors into loyal customers.