SEO will always be one of your top priorities in an online business, whether e-commerce or anything else. And no effort is enough for SEO to keep pace with the latest trends and market. SEO demands relentless efforts and regular monitoring to stay in the game.
Well! When we talk about SEO, what comes to mind first?
The answer for most digital marketers is building a solid link profile.
And one more common thing among them is to primarily think about backlinking only. Most are only interested in getting links to their web content from other websites.
The reason being Google’s algorithm gives significant weightage to backlink profiles while ranking your website.
This is where most digital marketers ignore internal link-building. But the fact is that internal links SEO also plays almost an equally important role in your website’s ranking.
Especially if you are an e-commerce website, a proper interlinking structure between your navigation page, product page, and contact us page plays a crucial role.
In this article, we will discuss internal linking SEO best practices you should follow and the SEO internal linking strategies you must avoid as an e-commerce website.
What is Internal Linking?
When you link one page of your website with another relevant page of your site, they are called internal links. The internal links can be words, texts, or images.
As the users click on these internal links, it takes them to another page of your website that satisfies their queries.
Internal links are essential as they help searchers to find the required information on your website and guide them to your other relevant pages to provide additional information.
Internal links SEO also helps you spread link juice from higher authority pages of your website to lower authority pages.
Website internal linking also describes the structure of your website and the hierarchy of your web pages to the crawlers. That makes it easier for search engines to find your website and rank it higher.
Why is Internal Linking Essential for E-Commerce Websites?
As an e-commerce company, you must know why an internal linking strategy can play a vital role in your sales and growth.
Following are the four key reasons that you need to know,
- Generally, e-commerce websites offer a chain of products. As a result, they contain large numbers of pages. Those may be product pages, informational pages, or category pages. A proper SEO internal linking strategy helps searchers easily navigate these pages and find the required product or information.
- E-commerce websites face tremendous competition in this digital era of shopping. They often also offer similar or the same products as their competitors. Hence, it is of utmost importance to implement a solid SEO internal linking strategy to enhance the SEO of your website. Internal links SEO helps increase the visibility of your website in search engines.
- Website internal linking can guide the crawlers to discover all the web pages of your site. That can significantly increase the discoverability of your e-commerce website. That, in turn, can generate more organic traffic and conversions.
- You can plan your internal linking strategy to promote discounts and sales, positive customer reviews, or a brand-new product on your e-commerce site. That will help you draw more customer attention and sales.
The First Step of Internal Linking For E-Commerce Websites
An internal linking strategy yields the best outcome only when your website has a solid SEO foundation.
So, planning and implementing internal linking SEO best practices are not sufficient to generate satisfying results.
Then what else do you need?
The first step you need to take before planning your internal linking strategy is a thorough SEO audit of your e-commerce website.
Performing an SEO audit can be daunting without choosing a reliable tool.
RankWatch site auditor offers you the best site audit feature.
Just follow the step-by-step guide mentioned below to audit your website,
- Log in to your RankWatch account and go to the dashboard.
- Click on the ‘Site Auditor’ tab and enter the domain of your website.
- Click the ‘submit’ button.
- The site auditor summary dashboard will instantly generate a detailed crawled report showing the HTTP status code distribution chart and total site score.
- The HTTP status code distribution chart includes all the essential crawling stats like 200 pages, 301 redirects, failed URLs, and many more.
- The issues found in the site score chart are distributed in three categories; high, medium, and low depending on their type of criticality. That helps you to decide which issues need to be addressed immediately.
- Scrolling down further will serve you the page depth of all your web pages.
- The tool also provides you with a page response time distribution chart showing the speed of all your URLs. You can easily identify the slow URLs and can start working on them to reduce the bounce rate.
- If you scroll down you will get the entire list of your non-indexable pages. This is crucial information and you need to re-work on these pages without delay.
All of these data will help you understand the current SEO foundation of your e-commerce site. You need to re-work the areas that need improvement. Planning your internal links and SEO after that will be beneficial.
However, if you want to take a quick audit of a particular web page, and don’t have time for a complete site audit, then RankWatch’s seo web page analyzer tool can help you with that.
Do Backlinks Play a Vital Role Too?
You can never enhance your SEO without having a solid backlinking profile. It is one of the most important aspects of SEO to date.
Let a few bloggers or digital marketers keep saying backlinking has lost priority. The fact is Google’s algorithm considers a backlink profile as one of the essential ranking parameters
Hence, it is crucial to analyze your backlink profile at regular intervals. It is equally important to check your competitor’s backlink profile. That will provide you with an idea about their backlinking strategy.
Accuracy is essential when you analyze one of the most critical parameters of your SEO. Hence, it is essential to choose the correct tool for analyzing backlinks.
RankWatch backlink checker tool makes link analysis smooth as butter.
Here are the steps you need to follow to analyze your backlinks.
- Log in to your RankWatch account and visit the dashboard.
- Click on ‘Backlink Analyzer’ and enter the domain name of your website.
- Click on the ‘Search’ Button.
- You will get the summary report in a blink of an eye. That includes the total number of active and deleted backlinks, citation score, trust score, and a date-wise link acquisition trend graph.
It would help if you cultivated the reasons behind your deleted backlinks. You need to resolve the issues, if any, at your end.
Further, you need to contact those websites and negotiate to get those links back.
By following the above steps, you can easily discover any competitor’s link profile. You only need to enter the competitor’s domain name while performing the analysis.
As mentioned earlier, it is of equal importance to analyze your competitors’ backlinking strategy and ranking trends.
The same tool will help you in doing that. Let’s see how.
- Log in to your RankWatch account and go to the dashboard.
- Add your competitor as a new project.
- Click on the ‘Competitors’ tab.
- The tool will show its ranking trend
- Scrolling down further will help you find other ranking metrics of your competitor like ranking keywords, ranking URLs, average rank, snippets, and many more.
These data will help you detect the sources of your competitors’ backlinks. You can exploit them to enhance your backlink profile further.
However, when you plan an internal linking strategy for your e-commerce website, you need to remember a few basic Dos and Don’ts.
We will discuss them in the following section.
Do’s of Internal Linking For E-Commerce Websites
Following are a few key points you should follow during internal link building,
Maintain Linking Hierarchy
When you interlink one of your web pages to another, you should interlink from a higher authority page to a lower authority page.
Why? That’s because it will pass link juice to your lower authority pages. That, in turn, will help them rank higher.
Maintain Linking Priority
The pages that can convert visitors to buyers are of the most priority for an e-commerce site. In e-commerce sites, product pages have the most priority.
Once visitors like your products, they add them to their shopping carts. So, the shopping cart is the next page on priority.
Your contact information page and FAQs come after that.
You must ensure that all these important pages should be easily visible on your home page. The users should be, at most, a single click away from these pages.
Including the interlinks of your most important pages in the navigation bar is considered one of the interlinking best practices.
Use Rich Anchor Texts
Using anchor texts is a must while building internal links. Anchor text is the word or phrase that contains the interlink.
Ideally, an anchor text should give the visitor an idea of what to expect after clicking on the link.
It is essential to use keywords or long-tail keywords for the phrase to make rich anchor text.
However, you should remember that the anchor texts must look natural.
You must ensure that search engine spiders can crawl all your website’s interlinking pages for a higher SERP ranking.
Google crawlers prioritize the mobile version of your website over the desktop version while ranking. Hence, it is a must to have a mobile-friendly design for your website.
You can check the mobile-friendliness of your website by using the RankWatch mobile friendly checker tool.
It is essential to design an internal linking structure smartly. You must ensure that interlinking a web page is meaningful to the user. You must also choose the anchor text accordingly.
For example, if your blog content discusses the latest smartphone model, then interlinking a webpage offering compatible back covers for that smartphone model makes sense. “Compatible back covers” can be the anchor text in that case.
Don’ts of Internal Linking For E-Commerce Websites
It is equally important to remember the following practices you should avoid while planning the internal linking strategy of your e-commerce website.
The Navigation Bar Should not be the Only Option
You should remember that your priority pages should also be interlinked with your blog content. That will help users to find your services or products easily.
Providing those internal links in the navigation bar is essential for your website’s internal linking, but that should not be the only option.
Do not Overuse Anchor Texts
Though using anchor text is essential for internal links, overusing anchor texts can do more harm than good.
If you overuse keywords to hit all of them, there are also chances of overusing keywords on anchor texts.
Repeated use of internal links for the exact keywords and anchor texts inside the same blog content can signal Google crawlers to consider it spammy content.
Do not Overlink
Though there is no upper limit on using the number of links on a web page, avoiding overlinking comes under internal linking SEO best practices.
The internal links should be so inserted that the flow of content remains natural, and the amount should be moderate.
Readers can find your content annoying if you insert tons of interlinks. Moreover, crawlers may also flag your content as spammy.
Do not Overuse Generic Anchors
Avoid overusing generic anchor texts like “Read here” or “Click here.” That not only makes your content dull but also readers do not get any idea about what to expect on the other end after clicking the internal links.
Never Link to 404 Pages
Nothing can be more irritating for a reader than landing on a nonexistent page after clicking an internal link.
Before interlinking a web page, make sure the spelling of your URL is correct, and the web page exists. Otherwise, it will create a poor user experience and hamper your rankings.
Building a solid link profile is still one of the most important aspects of SEO. Backlinks are like winning coins for your website’s SEO. However, internal link building is equally important in ranking your website higher in the search results.
Customers’ inclination towards online shopping has created tremendous competition among e-commerce websites. Moreover, the similarity between their products makes it even more competitive.
Hence, planning the right internal linking strategy becomes essential for e-commerce websites.
Implementing a bold internal linking structure can attract users and help them to find your products quickly. It also increases your website’s visibility and, in turn, generates more conversions.
Checking your backlink profile and spying on your competitor’s backlink strategy is crucial to stay ahead of the competition. Using the right tool for that is even more important. RankWatch can be your one-stop solution for this.