Auditing links

What Is an Internal Link Audit? Getting Started With Auditing Your Site

by | Aug 23, 2023 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

Your website’s links are essential for helping you climb search engine results pages, bring in new traffic, and create new sales. In fact, Google says links are its #2 priority when ranking websites, and 92% of marketers believe backlinks will still be essential over the next five years. How are your links holding up? An internal link audit can help you determine where you need to make changes to improve your SEO rankings.

What Is an Internal Link Audit?

Internal links are all the links on your website that lead to other pages on your site. Audit your site’s internal links by thoroughly examining your interconnected webpages to ensure all of your links are working correctly and providing support for your SEO plan. An audit helps you find broken links, 404 error pages, internal 301 or 302 redirects, and nofollow links. It gives you the information you need to optimize your anchor text, find orphaned pages or pages that don’t have enough internal links, and explore new internal linking opportunities. Auditing and improving your internal links not only helps you climb Google’s SERP but also enhances the user experience.

How Do You Perform an Internal Link Audit?

Evaluating internal links.

There are several tips for auditing internal links.

Use a Crawling Tool on Your Website

Start by running your website through a crawling tool. The tool analyzes the health of your current links and provides you with the data you need to create better internal linking strategies. It provides you with the total number of internal links you have, the total number of outgoing links to internal pages, and whether your pages are indexable or not. Ensure they all are, as pages that can’t be indexed cannot make their way onto search engine results pages.

Look for Broken Links

After running your website through your crawling tool, you should receive a report or have an area that provides you with response codes. You can single out the broken links by searching for 404 messages. Then you can revise the links so they go to the right page or remove them if they are no longer relevant.

Find Redirect Links

If you’ve redesigned your site since you initially created your links, URLs may have changed. Typically, when a user goes to the old link, it will automatically redirect them to the new one. This can be a problem, though, as too many redirects or 301 errors cause your server to bog down and affect how quickly your website loads. Again, check your crawler’s results, looking for redirect 301 and 302 codes. This gives you a list of pages that link to the old URL so you can change them.

Identify New Linking Opportunities

Now that your broken and redirected links are fixed, look for new linking opportunities. Which of your pages are showing up on the second or later page of SERPs? This is likely because they have too few links. Do you have orphan pages that don’t have links pointing toward them? Other fixes to look for include whether you have less important pages that have too many internal links and whether your anchor text gives context to what the linked page is about.

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Revise Your Website Structure as Needed

The right linking structure is essential for ensuring your links are working for you. The best structure is one that looks like a pyramid. The first page is your homepage, which then fans out with links to subpages. It should also include a link to your company’s blog. The subpages can then link to more specific pages beneath. Keep in mind that Google’s bots see all the pages linked on the homepage as the most important ones.

Optimize for Click Depth

Click depth is how many times a user or bot needs to click to find the information they need from your website. It’s important to consider the depth of your informative links for the web crawlers. The easier it is for a crawler to get to a subpage from the homepage, the higher the subpage’s rank is. For example, an About page linked from the homepage is considered more important than a Meet the Staff link you have on the About page. If your Meet the Staff page has links as well, those are considered even less important. Link your most important information directly from your homepage.

Refresh Your Content

Fresh content is essential not only for providing relevant information to your users but also for having high-quality pages for Google’s bots to crawl. As part of your internal link audit, read through old blogs. As you do, remove any irrelevant links, add new links where you can, and update content as needed to keep it fresh. It also helps to create new blog posts and link them to relevant older posts you’ve written. Updating and adding new content to your blog and website on a regular basis ensures you stay at the top of your game when it comes to building links and bringing in business.

How Do You Audit and Improve the PageRank Flow?

Google has used PageRank to determine website rankings for two decades, so it is important to ensure your PageRank flow goes unhindered.

Stop Nofollow From Blocking Your Links

If you have 10 outgoing links but five of them are nofollow, those five nofollow links lower the impact on PageRank. The easiest solution is to avoid overusing nofollow and instead ensure you don’t have too many internal links that point to unimportant content.

Get Rid of Dead Ends

Dead-end pages are a no-go for PageRank flow. This happens if you have a page that doesn’t have any outgoing links to follow. Other common dead ends include noindex pages, broken links to error pages, and redirect loops. Make it a habit to audit links regularly and ensure there are no broken ones.

Revise Anchor Text

Google uses the anchor text in your links to understand what your pages are about. It’s a good idea to use high-ranking keywords as your navigation anchors. Avoid linking from phrases like “click here” that provide no relevance for the crawlers and don’t tell your readers what the page they’re clicking on is about.

Let BKA Content Help You With an Internal Link Audit

If your SEO isn’t performing as well as it could be, an internal link audit can help you get back on track. BKA Content provides a variety of link-building services to help you improve your website and increase your traffic. Learn more about how we can assist you with our white hat link-building services.

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