How to Use Internal Links to Make Google’s Spiders Love Your Site
Every time you hear, read, talk, or even think about SEO, linkbuilding is going to be a huge part of that. And most of the conversation around linkbuilding revolves around the ever-elusive external links – which we’ll be sure to post on in the near future. However, that’s not what we’re going to talk about today.
Today I’m here to let you know all about an often overlooked but extremely important aspect of SEO that I just mentioned in my last post, about the value of blogs – internal links and site organization.
Look at the picture above and imagine each of those letters is a page on your site, and the lines are paths – created by internal links (which simply means links that refer to pages within the same domain – AKA your site) – that Google’s spider (or Googlebot) can travel along.
Remember, if you want a page on your site to give you any value at all when it comes to SEO, it must be 100% discoverable by Google.
Googlebot does not use the search bar on your site or fill out forms – and, truth be told, a good number of your potential customers won’t bother to do those things either.
That is why every page on your site (except for pages like payment confirmations, which obviously have to come after the submission of a form and won’t have an impact on your SEO anyway) should be linked internally to at least one other page – and preferably more, if you want Google’s spiders to be sure they’ve indexed all your pages and your site visitors to stick around longer than a few minutes.
Wherever possible, you also want your pages to have a hierarchical structure. This obviously won’t work with blogs, where every post is equal in value to every other post, but it should work for the rest of your site – with the HOME page at the top, a few big CATEGORIES under that, and possibly SUBCATEGORIES under that.
Of course, internal links between CATEGORIES and other CATEGORIES (or SUBCATEGORIES and other SUBCATEGORIES) can only help – but make sure your site is arranged in a basic hierarchical structure first!
When thinking about the benefits of a hierarchical site organization and a plethora of internal links, you might also wonder about the benefit of including a sitemap. I’m here to tell you it’s absolutely worth it.
Like internal links and a hierarchical structure, inserting a site map is simple, free, and not time consuming. It’s something you most likely won’t need to hire an SEO marketer for, and even though it doesn’t have the biggest impact in the world when it comes to SEO, it has a big one – and if you’re not set up right in the first place, other SEO strategies likely won’t help you much.
Don’t own a site like the one in the picture – if you’ve come so far already that you’re ready for customers to see your site, you’ve worked too hard to throw it away over something as simple as good organization.