Having a good internal link structure is essential to get SEO results. But what does interlinking mean, why is it important and, above all, how to analyse it according to best practices? Let’s look briefly at the essential points.
What does internal linking mean?
By internal links we mean the links that from a domain point to different pages of the domain itself. In other words, they are the links that a user finds within the site in order to be able to continue navigation.
Why is that important?
Let’s think it the other way around: if there were no link within the site, the pages of the site would be completely inaccessible to the crawler. Not only are they essential to a correct indexing by the engine, as well as indispensable for the user’s navigation, but it is through them that the hierarchy of the various sections of the site is built. This is because thanks to the internal structure of the links the ranking, or the “link juice”, is redistributed from one page to another of the site.
What are the best practices?
Obviously it’s difficult to enclose such a complex topic in a few lines, but we can still indicate some best practices to follow:
- Distribution: Make sure that the pages you consider most important receive enough internal links. In other words, the structure of internal links must respect the hierarchy among the pages you have designed, or restructured, for the site.
- Anchor text: The anchor text you choose for internal links must on the one hand respect the topics and keywords you want to give more importance to, and on the other hand must always be useful for the user – therefore descriptive.
- Moderation and control: there are many plugins or automated ways to insert links when you need a specific anchor. Don’t abuse these methods because they may disperse the link juice too much, and be too manipulated and not useful to the user.
How to check internal links
- Google Search Console: it’s the easiest and quickest method, which can give you an overview of the current internal linking status. Just go to internal linking search traffic.
- Gephi: Gephi is a free software that allows the creation of all kinds of graphs. By combining the data taken from Screaming Frog, you can get a view of the link structure. For more information, follow the Altavilla guide.
- Fusion Tables: data visualisation tool offered by Google. The result is similar to Gephi, but the process is more intuitive. On Moz you can find a guide on how to use it to check interlinking, from a few years ago but absolutely valid.