Internal linking is a critical SEO factor that can make or break the overall success of your website and its relationship with Google. If you fail to link internally with any real rhyme or reason, you’ll never reach your true potential.
But it’s not just about pleasing the search engine gods; in fact, first and foremost you should be creating an intuitive internal linking structure so as to provide your users with as positive an on-page experience as possible.
In this article we’ll highlight some common internal linking mistakes and how you can keep your site structure nice and clean.
- Not creating any: some people don’t even bother to create internal links, period. This is a very amateur mistake and will make it very difficult for you to rank well or outperform your competitors. If you haven’t got any internal links on your website, you best get to work!
- Having orphaned pages: orphaned pages are web pages that are not linked to from any other internal pages. This is also bad for SEO because Google will struggle to crawl, identify, and index any orphaned pages that are not connected. It also signals to Google that those pages are clearly of no real relevance or importance as they have no internal links pointing at them. Everything you produce should in some way be connected to the other pages on your website.
- Having too many links on a page: on the contrary, there is such a thing as having too many links in your content, headers, and footers. Don’t go overboard. Only link with intention, not for the sake of it.
- Linking to pages with no contextual relevance: and finally another issue with internal linking is linking to pages that have little to no contextual relevance. If you are creating a hyperlink that will take somebody away from a web page and to another, it has to add something to their experience. Are you linking to a blog post that will offer a more in-depth analysis of a subject briefly touched upon? Will it take them to the relevant products or services? Again, link with intention.
- Contextual relevance is always important when creating links of any kind. For example, as this article is about internal linking (a critical SEO factor), linking to SEO services in Singapore or indeed a blog post about the benefits of digital marketing, then they would be contextually relevant.
- On the other hand, if I were to add a link to a blog post about bathroom renovations or international arbitration, there would be no contextual relevance whatsoever.
How can you keep your site structure ‘nice and clean’?
When creating an internal linking structure for your website you should make a plan. If it helps, think of your website taxonomy like a tree branching out and hierarchize your pages and the content within.
That way, when linking internally, each link should follow a hierarchical pattern, keeping the links relevant and then taking the user on a logical journey of discovery through your website – hopefully leading to a positive conclusion (spending money with you!).