What if we put a little intelligence in the internal links?
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What if we put a little intelligence in the internal links?

Recently, we responded to one of our clients who wanted, in his brief, to “put as many internal links as possible” on his web pages. Judicious? Clever ? Maybe… Ambitious and excessive? Certainly… Because, of course, internal networking is important, but aiming for “a maximum of internal links” is not necessarily a good strategy. What if we put a little intelligence in the internal links?

Why are internal links important for your site?

Internal linking is how the pages of your website relate to each other. Thus, it is a question of creating a logical internal structure in order to make Google understand which are the most important pages of your site. Because obviously, if you know it for having attended the development of this same site, how can Google do to have an idea? Thus, if the structure of your internal links is good, a first analysis will be enough for Google to define a list of pages sorted by order of importance.

The second reason why internal links on your site are important is that they help highlight priority pages on your site and reduce the power of less important pages.

What are the characteristics of a good internal linking structure?

To properly structure a website and to create a good link between the different pages, certain rules must be respected, including in particular:

  • The most important pages should have the most links pointing to them
  • If the structure of links that make up your site is logical, the internal links point to the same page with different anchor texts. By linking different anchor texts, you provide information that Google needs to respond to user queries.

How to plan an internal linking structure?

There are several techniques for planning an internal linking structure. At the house of Tremplin Numérique, we are very fond of mindmaps and design all our projects from this type of tool. The process we use is as follows (presented in a simplified way):

  1. We carry out a search and identify the keywords related to the website and the field of activity of the company to which it corresponds;
  2. We sort and group these keywords in order of importance and divide the elements logically, on separate pages;
  3. We sort the pages in order of importance and determine the number of links on each of them;
  4. We define how the pages relate to each other and draw a schematic map;
  5. We choose and write the anchor texts;
  6. We create the content, the links and put it all online.

Like the blood vessels of the human body, the structure of internal links is essential to give Google an idea of ​​how your site is built and above all, to find your way around in order to best respond to requests from Internet users.

Who says "internal links" says...

Going back to our client's brief, mentioned at the beginning of this article, even if the idea of ​​creating “maximum internal links” makes sense for our client, the reality is somewhat different. A good internal link is indeed linked to the following elements:

  • Creating meaningful, high-quality content
  • The use of anchor texts that relate to the main content topic of internal links
  • Deep links, which do not only refer to the home page or the contact form…
  • Natural links for the reader, which appear coherently in the reader's journey on your site
  • Relevant links, which logically link the content of one page to another. If, for example, you talk about swimming pool enclosures on a page and you refer the reader to a page related to guinea pig cages, also for sale on your site, it makes no sense… Before to link two pages together, it is important to ask the question of the reason for the internal link. Is it really necessary for the user? Does it allow him to go further in his understanding and in his journey?
  • Reasonable number of links. Just like keyword stuffing, overusing links doesn't do any good...

Once the technique of internal links has been mastered, building your website, optimizing it and navigating it becomes easier: for your developer, for search engines and for Internet users. Take the seed!

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