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Internal Linking Audit

Internal Linking Audit


What Internal Links Should your Website Use?

There is a mix of internal link types that a website should use, this include:

  1. Contextual links:  Contextual links are those that you share within the content of your web and blog content, for example, linking from a blog post to a key landing page or product.
  2. Navigational links: Navigation links are the link included in your main navigation menu to make it easy for your site users to move from page to page.
  3. Footer links:  Links in the footer section are footer links or boilerplate links that show on each page; this includes, but is not limited to, the contact page, terms pages, and top-level category pages.
  4. Image links:  These are internal links that are provided under any visuals or images included in the content.

Using appropriate internal links can make it easy for site visitors to navigate your site, pass link equity from one page to another and help Google crawl through your site and make sense of your site’s hierarchy. Let’s get started with your internal linking audit today.

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Why do we Need Internal Links?

Internal links are essential because including them in your content can help search engines understand and rank your website better. By providing search engines with links to follow along with descriptive anchor text, you can suggest to Google which pages of your site are meaningful and provide context around what they are about.

If a critical landing page doesn’t have adequate internal links, you may find that it doesn’t rank as highly as competitor pages. An internal linking audit will help find these opportunities for you.

Related Products

As a rule, your XML sitemap should not include any links to URLs that redirect, are canonicalised to other pages, or pages you don’t want to be crawled or indexed.

In a typical XML sitemap setup, only pages with a 200 status and that are indexable should be included.

There may be some exceptions though

In some instances, such as after a migration, you might want to keep old URLs in the XML sitemap. Keeping the redirected URLs in the file can help the new ones get picked up faster. 

It is possible to use a temporary XML sitemap containing URLs you want to be crawled. This works if there are status codes you want to update, URLs being removed, and more. You may also wish to add URLs with a 410 (gone) status code so that they drop out of the index faster. 

What about a standard sitemap?

However, if you’re not going through a migration, and you don’t have any URLs that are being removed etc., please only include the following in your XML sitemap: 

  1. ✅ Indexable URLs.
  2. ✅ Pages with 200 status codes
  3. ✅ HTTPS pages.