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@martinhayman #BrightonSEO
HOW TO
KICK ASS
AT INTERNAL
LINKING
Slides will be available here - http://bit.ly/kick-ass-internal-linking
THE TOOLS
WHY IS INTERNAL LINKING IMPORTANT?
They give context
to users and search engines
They can help UX
and conversion rate
They can affect
how often
pages get crawled
They can signal the
importance of individual pages
They help with the flow
of PageRank
GOOGLE SAID
“The number of internal links pointing to a page is
a signal to search engines about the relative
importance of that page. If an important page does
not appear in this list, or if a less important
page has a relatively large number of internal
links, you should consider reviewing your internal
link structure.”
JOHN SAID!
KEY ELEMENTS AND CONSIDERATIONS
Issues
Broken internal links
Internal redirects
ORPHANED PAGES
CRAWL DEPTH
ANCHOR TEXT
THINK ABOUT LINK PLACEMENT
(FIRST CLICK RULE)
CONTEXTUAL VS TEMPLATE
Relax and don’t worry
too much about this
ALREADY IN MAIN NAV
THE RESULTS
25% uplift across level two and level three
category pages
“This result doesn’t necessarily imply that you should now go and just
add tons of links on all of your pages.
We believe part of the success we saw in this test was that the
internal linking we added improved the information architecture
of the website by creating clearer crawl paths for both Google and
users.”
OUTLINKS
ANOMALIES
High Incoming, Low Outgoing
Low Incoming, High Outgoing
High Incoming, Low Outgoing
Low Incoming, High Outgoing
PASSING POWER
ADDING INTERNAL LINKS
BUT FIRST…
SITE:
@martinhayman #BrightonSEO
"You can also use this [Google site: operator] to see which
specific page Google likes on your site for a specific keyword or
keyphrase by conducting the search: site:yourdomain.com
keyword *It's not 100% accurate, I've actually seen some crazy
variances. The only way to be sure is to check in Google Search
Console"
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/200-unsolicited-seo-tips-mark-williams-cook/
GOOGLE CUSTOM SEARCH ENGINES
(CSE)
SCRAPEBOX
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/scraper/mbigbapnjcgaffohmbkdlecaccepngjd?hl=en
WHEN USING SITE:
What terms to use?
What anchor variations to use for links?
REMINDERS & TIPS
LOOK FOR ISSUES
CHECK CRAWL DEPTH
CHECK ANCHOR TEXT
…AND IMPROVE
CHECK CONTEXTUAL VS TEMPLATE
CHECK YOUR OUTLINKS AND LOOK FOR
ANOMALIES
LINK FROM POWERFUL PAGES
ADDING NEW CONTENT?...
Every time you add new content, look for
internal pages to link TO
AND look for old content to link FROM
USE BREADCRUMBS (AND BREADCRUMBLIST
SCHEMA)
LOOK FOR NEW INTERNAL LINKING
OPPORTUNITIES
NO OBVIOUS OPPORTUNITIES?
You Might Also Like:
Featured Articles
Related Reading
Related Articles
Related Stories
Related Searches
And remember, there are plenty
of ways to add internal links
https://ahrefs.com/blog/content-hub/
https://www.drift.com/learn/chatbot/
https://www.drift.com/learn/chatbot/benefits/
Slides will be available here - http://bit.ly/kick-ass-internal-linking
THANKS!
Martin Hayman
martinhayman
martinchayman
https://www.twylu.com/
https://wildsprout.digital/
https://www.facebook.com/grou
ps/theecommerceproject/
martin@wildsprout.digital

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How to Kick Ass at Internal Linking

Editor's Notes

  1. I’m Martin Hayman Thanks for joining me Let’s talk about internal linking shall we? [Warrior]
  2. We have a lot of slides to get through today But don't worry
  3. What we’re going to run through today… Touch briefly on the Why? Some of the key elements to think about with Internal Linking How to! (and the tools we can use)….. Speaking of the tools…
  4. Tools we'll make use of today
  5. Not going to teach you to suck eggs. I think everyone knows how important IL is. Today I want to focus more on the HOW. But as a quick recap, WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
  6. Through anchor text, relevance, where they’re linked from…
  7. Often overlooked
  8. Important + valued pages are going to be crawled more often right? So this is important to bear in mind.
  9. And this is a big one. Can help prioritise and tell search engines what pages are more important
  10. And can determine which pages will benefit from link equity provided by backlinks.
  11. Speaking of PageRank… yes it is still a thing. And it's still an important signal So… why else are Internal Links important?...
  12. Google have previously said this… This just highlights that internal links are clearly front of mind and an important signal.
  13. Our friend John said
  14. This was just one of John’s Tweets on the subject This was about anchor text… another important signal.
  15. So… we know the why… let’s look at the Key Elements and Considerations...
  16. I think everyone knows how to run even just a basic audit on a site… so I won’t spend too long on this But the main things to look for here…
  17. A sure-fire way to lower the perceived quality of your site is to... send search engines to loads of broken links. Find and fix these.
  18. Sitebulb
  19. Screaming Frog
  20. Twylu
  21. Users and search engines arrive at the right page, yes. But is it optimal… no. Really simple to fix so there should never be a reason to have loads of these. Internal links should always point directly to the end destination.
  22. Sitebulb
  23. Screaming Frog
  24. Twylu
  25. Another common issue… These are page that are live but not linked to anywhere on the site. The most common reason ... XML sitemap but not linked to on the site. So, should they have internal links to them on the site?? Or should they just be removed from the XML sitemap?? Something to check.
  26. My favourite tool for checking these is Sitebulb Visualised really well and easy to get to the root of the problem. This example here was an extreme example of orphaned pages being an issue. [Avis before – Orphaned]
  27. Another example with a lot of orphaned URLs, many of which are redirecting. [Budget – Mess]
  28. Probably all heard of the Rule of 3 clicks… No necessarily a hard and fast rule. May be reasons why pages would be deeper for good reason. But as general rule, it’s good to keep important pages within 3 clicks.
  29. Again we can check with Sitebulb Just through their URL explorer
  30. Or through their visualisations. This was a fairly normal example. [Better – OJ]
  31. This was a site with some important pages too deep in the site structure and also some orphaned pages. [Avis after – Still deep and some orphaned]
  32. [IYDHG] – Shopify site Mostly caused by canonical issue with Shopify (...more). There is a hack for this… can get all of the product links pointing to the correct canonical version. I will be doing a live next week where I’ll show you how to do this. Follow me.
  33. [IYDHG] – After Shopify canonical hack Still not perfect but much better and it’s gone from about 4,000 internal URLs to about 1,000 (and this isn’t even a big site).
  34. Last example Had loads of pagination issues like... Really deep pagination but not many products per page The blog only had a few posts per page and only let you click through one page at a time. I’ve even seen a couple of sites recently where there’s NO PAGINATION on the main blog feed... so crawling relies on related searches or contextual links… Loads to look at when it comes to crawl depth.
  35. Can also check with Screaming Frog
  36. And Twylu Note: Twylu - Very much and internal linking focused tool... so only looks at crawl depth within content, not in header and footer So it’s a bit different to a general audit and is quite specific to internal linking.
  37. Obviously a really important element. Often different views about anchor text... Some say - keep it consistent. Some say always vary it. I’ve actually seen both methods work well... but I like to go mostly for consistency and then add in some variations… especially based on opportunities and low hanging fruit (chat more about later)
  38. Sitebulb
  39. Frog
  40. Twylu Filter top left looks at Good, Poor and Review Good - target terms Poor - things like Read more, click here, etc. Review - Basically everything else, so they're worth checking
  41. When placing anchors... Think about First Click rule Example – Read more first
  42. This is an example from Crunch... Back to our first click rule… Does Google only look at that main nav link anchor and ignore the contextual one? … I don’t think so. A few years ago, our friend John from Google... confirmed that Google evaluates links in the main content vs footer differently. So what I would say about this is…
  43. Don’t worry about it If something is important and deserves to be in the main nav, put it there. If you’re optimising your internal links contextually, just do it as if the main nav link wasn’t there And don’t overthink it.
  44. Great example from Emily Potter @ Search Pilot She asked this on Twitter. Internal Linking test... Linking from top level cats to lower level cats Had 2 groups of pages... Pages links are placed on, and the pages being linked to. And they wanted to test the impact on the LINKING pages as well as the pages being LINKED TO
  45. And they wanted to test these internal links DESPITE THEM ALREADY BEING IN THE MAIN NAV And that’s why I wanted to show this example... Good example of how main nav and content links are treated differently
  46. They wanted to test… Level 2 category pages that were being linked from Level 3 category pages being linked to And the level 2 and 3 category pages combined.
  47. 25% uplift to organic traffic across level two and level three category pages  But what was interesting was… It wasn't just the sub-categories contributing to uplift It was ALSO the linking pages Which is pretty awesome!
  48. Emily made a good point here when she said...
  49. No hard and fast rules or set limits but make it natural for users Make it useful Don’t cram 100 links into a 1000 word post just to add more internal links. More likely to overwhelm users. Theories around the loss of PageRank… No conclusive evidence but something to think about Not a huge issue unless talking about anomalies? Talk about in a moment.
  50. …And again, you can check this on Sitebulb…
  51. Screaming Frog
  52. And Twylu
  53. Speaking of Anlomalies... Shout out to Kevin Indig for this one. He's spoken about this before And I think he refers to these as ‘Outliers’ But it’s basically UNUSUAL or perhaps UNOPTIMAL use of incoming and outgoing links
  54. High Incoming, Low Outgoing... And if they’re being linked to that much, they’re potentially strong pages So is only linking out to 1 or 2 pages a wasted opportunity?
  55. Low Incoming, High Outgoing... If you have loads of pages with only 1 or 2 incoming links but they’re linking out loads… Should they be linking out that much? Or more importantly… why are they only linked to once or twice? Are they low quality, or is this another wasted opportunity?
  56. You can do this by exporting data from your crawler And putting in Excel or Sheets. You'll then have to filter by incoming links and outgoing links. You’ll also have to gauge where to set those filters by looking at the highs, lows and averages. Then make a call on what you feel is too low, or too high, for either of those columns. This one is an example of High Incoming, Low Outgoing
  57. And this is an example of Low Incoming, High Outgoing
  58. And this is something that has been built into Twylu So if you go to the Low Incoming/High Outgoing or High Incoming/Low Outgoing sections, ...it’s all been worked out for you and you’ll have a list to analyse Which ever tool or method you use... It’s then a case of going through and seeing if this is a genuine concern or not. So, for example, why do these pages have a lot of outgoing links but only 1 incoming link? Is that ok? Should they be linked to more?
  59. Passing Power or Link Equity or PageRank The idea here is to find pages with strong backlink profiles (or even build linkable assets and turn them into pages with strong backlink profiles) And then pass some of that power on via internal links.
  60. Ahrefs – looking at UR or I tend to look at Referring Domains
  61. Can also find these in Twylu It’s then a case of sifting through the URLs to look for suitable, relevant pages. And RELAVANCE IS KEY HERE. Don’t be linking from irrelevant pages just because they’re strong… because you’re not going to see the same benefits.
  62. The good stuff As well as linking from powerful pages (limited tactic) where else can we link from?
  63. And a few key things to think about here… We want to think about the quantity and quality of the links we need… And well as relevance (remember, really important)
  64. But first… it’s a good idea to get your house in order So, if you haven’t already… Get an audit done… sort site out Sort any dup content Fix broken links Sort int redirects Look for unnecessary overuse (or even incorrect use) of canonicals Look for orphaned pages And so on We don’t want these things skewing our work when looking for new opportunities. Sorting will put you in much better place.
  65. We want to look for RELEVANT opportunities So the first thing we can try is a search using site: operator Sure everyone knows this but site: …
  66. Here’s an example. Now, a word of warning here… this isn’t perfect…
  67. Page 10 Labrador only mentioned in main nav
  68. I can try to can around this using the intext: operator But again, I’m seeing the same results. And in that 3rd result for example…
  69. I’m only seeing Labrador in the main nav.
  70. Quick shout out to Mark Williams-Cook (Hey Mark)
  71. Taken a snippet from one of [read] So, it’s not perfect but it does tend to give you relevant results at the top… So it’s a good starting point.
  72. Side tip… if you’re doing a lot of these types of searches, then it may be worth setting up a CSE Own search engine Based on just particular website or multiple websites.
  73. Yes you see ads, because … well…. It’s Google. But you then see relevant results from only the site (or sites) of your choice. So I put Amazon in here but I could have put multiple sites too.
  74. Pretty useful tool once you get your head around it. And we can pop our site search in here too. And the good thing about this method is we can search for MULTIPLE KEYWORDS at once As opposed to doing one site: search at a time. So it will scrape Google's search results and get them all at once.
  75. Another pretty cool option is to use the Scraper Chrome extension. Recommend setting Google to show you 100 search results.
  76. Once you have that extension installed, you can… Run your search Right click on one of the top results and Scrape Similar
  77. Then a case of putting that data in Excel or Sheets And using text to columns to sort the data
  78. Once you have that data… You can run the list of URLs through something like Screaming Frog ...and use the Custom Search to find mentions of YOUR TARGET URL Any that are picked up as already being on the page… you can then ignore those as potential opportunities ...and everything else is an opportunity.
  79. And you can now also do a custom search with Sitebulb as of recently too
  80. Now, when using site: command we also need to think about… What terms to use? What anchor variations to use for links? This is where Google Search Console comes in
  81. Can also go to Performance section and look at pages Find the page you want top optimise Click on that And then click over to queries…
  82. You can then see the search terms driving that page clicks. These could be anchor text opportunities. Tip here is to… Look for low hanging fruit. You could potentially help those rankings by using those as anchors.
  83. Now, Twylu has taken all of the above and given you this in what’s known as the Optimize page for every URL. Example from a leading car hire brand You can see that the top queries from GSC are being displayed And the ‘View Opportunities’ button will find mentions of the top Search Console terms from around the site and display them as opportunities. If there are terms missing from there… Or if it’s a new page with no Search Console data yet… Then you’ll see in the top right, there also the opportunity to manually add terms. (Primary and Secondary)
  84. And just scrolling down a little, you’ll see that the anchors we saw earlier are just under all this. So, let’s click on that ‘View Opportunities’ button… and we get this…
  85. So we now see those terms And how many times those are mentioned throughout the site And on how many pages. If we expand that top one out…
  86. We can now see that term on each of those pages ...as well as the contextual relevance around it. You can't see yet as this screenshot as this is from the beta version ...but there's an Add Task button on the right hand side of those... and you can then also add those opportunities as tasks And assign to you or someone else
  87. Close with some reminders and tips And a few examples too
  88. And fix them obviously
  89. Especially for important pages.
  90. Check existing and look for variation opportunities But make sure target term used most of the time
  91. Try to avoid wasted anchors like Click here Read more See here And so on
  92. And don’t just rely on your main nav for internal linking
  93. But make sure they’re relevant!!!
  94. And every time you’re adding new content… Look for internal pages to link TO And look for old content to link FROM
  95. Don’t forget to use breadcrumbs! Again, seems like an obvious one But this is just a reminder that they can really help with internal linking and site architecture.
  96. There’s probably a huge amount of opportunities to improve internal linking ...and add more links to your site.
  97. And if not obvious opportunities but relevant pages… One obvious answer might be… well, add some. Create new content, update older content etc. Other options…
  98. And remember, there’s more than one way to skin a cat (that is such a weird saying) Let’s look at a few examples.
  99. Wayfair Making use of related searches at the bottom of the page.
  100. Argos
  101. Amazon
  102. And then we have a couple of examples from news publications BBC
  103. Guardian
  104. Pink line – hub page (never above page 4) Yellow lines – individual stories related to the World Cup
  105. Drift
  106. Silo everything in a neat URL structure under /chatbot/ And use chatbot related anchor text… more often than not… Chatbot or Chatbots There are loads more examples in that article by Joshua Have a read.
  107. Don’t forget
  108. Link to Twylu … mention launching on Monday with a lifetime deal but to limited number of people so sign up to find out more Hasta Pronto