What is the best way to implement internal linking for SEO?

“Internal links are one of the most powerful levers you can push to grow your organic traffic.” – Kevin Indig.

Internal links are links from one page to another page on your website.

Internal links help:

👉 People discover content that supports or adds to what they’re currently reading.

👉 Search engines to crawl your website.

👉 Distribute PageRank across your website.

This last concept, PageRank, is crucial to optimizing your internal linking.

PageRank is a metric which assesses the quality of a page based on the relevance and authority of the links pointing to it.

Internal Linking Best Practices

When creating an internal linking campaign for a website, it is important to understand best practices for implementing internal links for Search Engine Optimization.

  1. Internal links are links from one page on your website to another page on your website.
  2. Internal links help search engines to better understand the topic of the page being linked to and inform which keyword it may be relevant for.
  3. Internal link anchor text should be highly descriptive for this reason with a focus on keywords.

How To Audit Your Internal Links

You will need all the pages on your website and the links coming to and from those pages.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider will give you exactly this:

👉 Add your website into Screaming Frog. Go to Internal > HTML and click “Export” to get a list of your pages and their internal links.

👉 Add your website into Ahrefs or SEMRush to get backlinks and referring domains for all your pages.

Now, you can understand the flow of PageRank throughout your website, so you can channel it towards your most profitable pages.

You can add these sheets into my template below to combine the data into one sheet for your internal link audit.

PS – To get backlink data on Ahrefs, go to Best By Links under Pages. With SEMRush, go to Backlink Analytics > Indexed Pages.

How To Discover Internal Linking Opportunities (The Why)

“Build internal links from the most LINKED TO and read pages, but ensure it’s natural and relevant. Does it help the user, if yes, internally link.” – Carrie Rose

The final step is to analyze this data to discover opportunities.

Our goal is to find:

👉 Pages with a lot of internal links that don’t link out much.

👉 Pages with few incoming links that link out a lot.

👉 Pages with backlinks that don’t link out much.

We can discover these pages by organizing our sheet!

Organize the “Delta” column by largest to smallest to find pages with internal links that don’t link out much. Organize it by smallest to largest to find pages with few incoming links.

Organize by highest referring domains to discover pages with a lot of incoming external links that you can build rank-pushing links on.

How To Implement Internal Links (The How)

The last step is to add and remove links to create a flow of link equity going through the website to conversion pages.

👉Add internal links on pages with a lot of internal links that don’t link out a lot.

👉Add internal links to pages with few incoming links to improve the flow of link equity.

👉Add internal links on pages with a lot of incoming links for a strong boost in rankings.

👉Add internal links to pages with a lot of referring domain for a strong boost in rankings.

Watch the video below to see this in action on three different sites using this (TIPR) method developed by Kevin Indig.

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An SEO strategy is a detailed plan that shows what is being optimized when, why and how. – Kevin Indig.

✅ Market Research (The Why)

You need a comprehensive understanding of the industry and how customers search.

Discover the words your audience uses when they are searching for your product or service. When you know these search terms you have the ability to research your industry and discover competitor’s who will show you what’s working.

Start with Google Keyword Planner. Add the words you know that are relevant to your industry, and this will pull a list of keyword ideas with their search volume.

Once you pinpoint the primary keywords with high search volume, use them to find competitor’s. You can use SEO tools to discover what keywords they are ranking for, as well as how they are structuring their website.

👉 Understand the business goals and purpose of SEO in the organization.
👉 Use SEMRush or AHREFS to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for and their top pages.
👉 Crawl websites with Screaming Frog SEO Spider to see how they are structured and discover SEO technical issues.

✅ Choose Your Tactics (The How)

You have an understanding of the industry and the websites in your industry. Now, you need to create measurable campaigns that are focused on what’s working in your industry.

Choose your tactics carefully:

👉 Technical SEO
👉 Content Marketing
👉 Link Building
👉 Content Optimization
👉 Local SEO

Are your customers searching and reading informational content in your industry and at volume?  

Are there opportunities for link building campaigns, such as guest posting, broken link building, infographics, or interactive tools?

Are your landing pages not optimized for the keywords you discovered?

✅ Create Your Roadmap (The When)

Once you have pinpointed the opportunities available to you, it’s time to create a roadmap.

SEO Roadmap = Objectives / Time (Kevin Indig).

This is normally done over a year period segmented into quarters. and months. You need to define your goals and projected traffic for the year, the quarter, and the month. These are rough estimates, but having these projections will keep you on track and notice when your strategy is not going as planned and needs to be revised.

Rather than explain what an SEO roadmap looks like, I’d rather you see for yourself. Here is a template and example:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/139Ym51hBzMF4lzcyEVN-FwfSi1xGqagvS_rPHDDUUwg/edit?usp=sharing

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Do you use search operators to inform your #seostrategy?

You can think of Google search operators as magic words that extend the capabilities of Google search.

I will be going through my favorite search queries and their use cases as well as a free #template at the end📝

✅ Technical SEO

Here are the most useful searches to discover technical SEO problems with your website.

site:yourwebsite.com will show you all the pages of your website that are indexed on Google.

🔍 “site:yourwebsite.com”

This will return all pages on your website that are indexed by Google.

🔍 “site:yourwebsite.com/blog”

This will return all pages on your blog. You can change what’s after the forward slash to see how pages are indexed under any folder of your websAdd a link to any of the sub-folders of your site to see how pages are indexed in that folder.

🔍 “site:yourwebsite.com inurl:tag”

This will return all pages with ‘tag’ in the URL to find tag pages that may be using up crawl budget, low content pages, or duplicates.

🔍 “site:yourwebsite.com intitle:Tagged -inurl:tagged”

This will show you Shopify tagged pages for #ShopifySEO that are using up your crawl budget. You can manually create these as their own category pages when there’s search volume.

🔍’site:yourwebsite.com “yourkeyword”‘

This will show you pages containing a specific keyword in their content that can be used to find internal linking opportunities.

🔍site:yourwebsite.com inurl:http

This will return all unsecure pages that are indexed with Google.

✅ Content Marketing

Search operators are fantastic for content research.

🔍site:yourwebsite.com inurl:http

This will return all unsecure pages that are indexed with Google.

🔍site:yourwebsite.com inurl:http

This will return all unsecure pages that are indexed with Google.

🔍site:yourwebsite.com inurl:http

This will return all unsecure pages that are indexed with Google.

🔍site:yourwebsite.com inurl:http

This will return all unsecure pages that are indexed with Google.

🔍site:yourwebsite.com inurl:http

This will return all unsecure pages that are indexed with Google.

✅ Link Building

There are too many link building search queries to count, but here are my favorite.

🔍yourkeyword inurl:blog

This will return blogs in your industry.

🔍yourkeyword “guest post by” OR “guest post”

This will return pages with the text guest post in your industry.

🔍yourkeyword inurl:links OR inurl:resources

This will return resource pages you can pitch your content to.

🔍yourkeyword “best blog posts” OR “round up”

This will return round up posts you can pitch your content to.

🔍businesstype in [city] “blog” OR “news”
This will return blogs from local companies that don’t get pitched content and guest posts all day long!

There are tons of more search operators and queries that are extremely useful for technical SEO, content marketing, and link building. Our internal spreadsheet is in the first comment.

What are your favorite search operators and search queries?

You can acquire the search operator public sheet below!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qMv1sYkPDXAioeCDZXibl5Lvo4duRoDJhdFMmBWtb6U/edit?usp=sharing

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