In this week’s video, I talk about one of the most often-overlooked elements of SEO – optimizing internal links. The way that you link to pages in your own site shows Google which pages you think are the most important, and most sites have an incredibly messy internal link structure. Watch this week’s episode to learn how to optimize your internal linking structure – and why it’s so important for your SEO efforts.
Welcome back to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays. This week, I’m talking about one of the most often overlooked elements of optimizing a website: Internal links
The last several videos have been related to the Digital Dealer conference, so I want to get back to Local SEO tips. I’ve done several videos about link building before, but I haven’t yet talked about the importance of internal links.
The way you link to pages within your own site is incredibly important to both SEO and the usability of your site. If you have pages that exist but no links point to them, then no humans will ever see them, and Google won’t be able to find them. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you have too many links on a page, it becomes confusing and convoluted. People won’t know how to navigate through your site, and Google won’t know how to assess your site structure.
On the human side, your internal links need to make sense. If you think about a potential customer and how they’d use your site, the links in your menu and on your pages should help them easily navigate your site and find the answers to their questions quickly.
For Google, the way you link to pages within your site help Google understand what you think is important. Think of Google like a child – it’s incredibly curious, but doesn’t really understand much about you. You need to hold Google’s hand and guide it through your site, so it better comprehends what you’re about.
If you were to graph out the structure of your internal links, it should look like a pyramid. Your home page is at the top, with links to your most important primary product or service pages, which then all link to pages that are more detailed, when then link to pages even more detailed.
In this example, let’s say this is a car dealership’s website. A potential customer would potentially be looking at buying a car, servicing their car, or buying parts for their car. Once you click to look at the new cars, you’d then have the option to look at certain models, taking you down to the next level. When you click to look at individual vehicles, you’d be at the next level.
Your internal links should make sense, and should guide the user on the path that matches their needs or intent. Once someone starts down the new car path, the links should all relate to that path. It wouldn’t make sense to link to service or parts pages once someone is further down the new car path.
Most businesses and marketers make three common mistakes. Number one: They include too many links on a page. Number two: they don’t think about their internal linking strategy at all. Number three: they never optimize their internal links.
So instead of a pyramid, if you graph the internal link structure of most sites, it looks something like this instead. It’s pretty easy to see how that makes it tough for people to find what they’re looking for… And it’s really obvious how Google won’t really be able to understand what’s going on with your site.
So go check out your site and analyze your internal linking structure. Clean up your links and be strategic, and potential customers – and Google – will love you for it.
That’s all the time we’ve got for today, so you know what that means.
Put your hand on the screen right here:
We totally just high-fived ‘cause you learned something awesome.
Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays.