Internal linking isn’t something you do just for the sake of it. There should be far more to it than that.
Like anything you do to your site, the success levels can easily be measured, and with internal linking, there are figures that you definitely should not ignore.
Understanding Internal Linking Impact
From an SEO perspective, internal links assist search engines in discovering new content, understanding the relationships between pages, and determining the importance of various pages.
The impact of effective internal linking can be pretty significant:
Improved User Experience:
Well-structured internal links make finding relevant content easier, so bounce rates are reduced and engagement increases.
Users are more likely to spend time on your site if it works with them, making site navigation seamless.
Internal links distribute link quality (ranking power) throughout your website.
By linking from high-authority pages to others, you can boost the visibility of less authoritative pages and help improve their rankings.
Indexation and Crawling:
Search engine crawlers follow internal links to navigate your site.
So, proper internal linking makes sure all important pages are discovered and indexed by search engines.
They help tropical relevance between related pages.
This can signal to search engines that your content is comprehensive and covers a range of related topics.
Metrics to Track and Analyse
To measure the impact, you need to monitor specific metrics that give you insight into user behaviour, search engine crawlers, and the overall health of your website’s internal link structure.
Here are some key metrics to consider:
- Pageviews and Time on Page: This can show how well your links guide users to relevant information.
- Bounce Rate: A high bounce rate could tell you that users aren’t finding what they want, so leave the site.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): This measures the percentage of users who click on a link compared to the percentage that actually viewed it. It helps assess your CTAs.
- Link Clicks: Obviously, the number of clicks on internal links.
- Page Authority and Rankings: By monitoring these changes over time, you can see how internal links affect your site’s SEO.
- Broken Links: Check for broken links as much as you can. These can lead to bad UX and limit search engine crawlers.
- Conversion rate: If your goal is to drive conversions, keeping an eye on this metric can be really helpful.
Best Practices for Effective Internal Linking
Use Descriptive Anchor Text:
Anchor text should always be relevant.
Give users and search engines an idea of the linked page’s content.
Balance Link Distribution:
Place links evenly across relevant pages, making sure no page is isolated from the rest of the site.
Prioritise User Intent:
Link to pages that align with user needs and provide additional value.
Implement Site Maps:
Utilise HTML and XML sitemaps to help crawlers discover and index your content.
Internal linking is important, yes, but try not to link too much. It can appear spammy to anyone who sees the site.
When doing maintenance sweeps of your site, look out for your internal links: Are they broken, are there enough? Etc.
It can be easy to forget them within your content but by taking a little bit of your time, your site could become an example of great internal linking.