How to successfully optimise your internal link structure for SEO
Many people look to optimise their Google search ranking by increasing the number of external links that go to their domain; however, what is often overlooked is the internal link structure of a domain and the effect this can have on SEO. Here are some simple tips to optimise your internal link structure:
The first thing that cannot be ignored in all of this is that you should optimise your link structure so that your site is easy to navigate for the user.
Your website is made for people to visit and this should not be sacrificed at the expense of a high Google rank. It is better that only a few people see your site and use it than it is to have many people see it but not use it. Simply reorganising your links in this way will show Google that your site is structured well, pushing you up the search rankings.
Adding internal links improves the authority of your site. Google writes, “The number of internal links pointing to a page is a signal to search engines about the relative importance of that page.” A high number of internal links shows Google that you have lots of important content that is all relevant to your site as you cross-reference yourself.
If you have a blog, for example, and discuss other topics you have previously written about, linking to them will show Google that you have some authority on the matter and do not need to rely on external evidence and it is already contained on your domain, making it a more relevant result on a search than a page that has an external link.
When you perform a Google search, you are not searching the internet. What you are actually searching is Google’s index of the internet and the search engine wants to give you the most relevant pages. Google’s indexing looks not only at the number of internal links but also the variety of internal links. To optimise this, include many different anchor phrases that link to other pages on your domain. If the same anchor phrase is linking to the same page from multiple places on your domain, you will not feature as highly as you would were you to have different anchor words. Including this variety can improve your ranking in Google’s index.
When looking to improving your internal link structure, you need to ensure that there are no broken links on your site. Broken links give poor user experience and impact SEO. Sites constantly evolve as new content is added and removed. When you remove a page, you will need to make sure that any links going to the old page are either redirected or removed. To save you trawling manually through your site, there are some tools that identify broken links for you such as Google Search Console and the Check My Links Chrome extension. Using tools such as these will allow you to streamline your internal link structure.
Doing these very simple things can improve the search engine ranking of your entire site and, as it is often neglected, it may just be a factor that can give you the edge over your closest competitor in terms of your online presence.