The Importance of Internal Linking for Technical SEO.
In the context of technical SEO, internal linking is a critical aspect that must be properly implemented to achieve optimal rankings. It can help search engine spiders crawl your entire website and understands what each page is about. It can also help users find their way around your site more easily and provide them with a better user experience.
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When Googlebot crawls your homepage, it will often follow links to connect relevant content. This helps it get a clear sense of your site’s hierarchy and structure.
The hierarchy of your pages is also reinforced by a strong internal link structure. This can be achieved by placing internal links in prominent areas like the header and footer. It can also be accomplished by using a breadcrumb structured data navigation.
Ideally, all important high-level/category pages should point to your homepage, so both users and search engines can find their way around the rest of the website.
However, you should not rely solely on this internal link strategy to rank your pages well. This is because many pages on your website may not be important or have sufficient authority to earn an authoritative link from a high-ranking page. Rather, you should use your top pages to boost the rankings of less authoritative but important pages by interlinking them together.
Another great internal linking strategy is to create topic clusters. This is an effective and strategic method of organizing relevant content on your website by creating primary, pillar content in the center that then links to all related or relevant pages. This model of interlinking can distribute link equity evenly between relevant pages and offer a good search experience to users.
This approach can be especially beneficial for eCommerce sites, where there are often many product and category pages with no direct connection to the e-commerce homepage. By creating a semantic cluster of hub pages that all point to the homepage, this structure can limit the number of clicks that it takes to reach a specific product or category on your site, which is known as click depth.
It can also be helpful to have a consistent strategy in place for updating older pieces of content with relevant contextual links that point to newer articles on your site. This can be done by reviewing your previous content on a regular basis to see which pieces might have missed the opportunity to insert internal links.
You should then add links that point to these pages, so they can continue to earn valuable internal backlinks over time.
If you are able to add to these internal links on a frequent basis, this will make them more likely to be indexed and rank well in the future. This is because the links are giving Google a signal that these pages are important and worth ranking for.
It’s also important to make sure that you don’t overdo the number of links on any single page, as this can confuse the Google bots and create a poor user experience. Google recommends a maximum of a few thousand internal links on any single page, but this is a variable that will vary depending on the site and the size and complexity of the content.