Of course, you want customers to be able to find your webshop easily. To rank high on your important keywords, you optimize the website. You optimize things like the title tags and meta descriptions. The design is beautiful and entices visitors to convert. But then you’re not there yet. You also need to do link building. Externally, but certainly also internally. Read here what internal link building is and how to apply it to your website.
The importance of internal link building
You may already know that link building is an important part of SEO. When people talk about link building, they often talk about external link building. External link building is getting links from other websites. You want these websites to be relevant and have a lot of link value yourself. This is a time-consuming process and very difficult to do.
The opposite of this is internal link building. Where you bring link value from other websites to your website with external link building, internal link building spreads this link value across the website. By linking to important pages in strategic places on your website, you increase the chance that they will rank higher. You also want every page to be reached within three clicks. If a page takes more than three clicks from the home page, that page will get little link value. The chance that that page will rank is small.
This is a shame because these pages could generate extra traffic. Especially when it comes to a large number of pages that lie deep in the website. That is why it is important not only to look at your external link building but certainly also at the internal link building.
6 techniques for internal link building
You now know what internal link building is and why it is important for your rankings. But how do you apply that to your website? Here I give you six ways to improve the internal link building of your webshop.
The most important is the menu bar. Just like with regular websites, like a webshop you want to mention your most important pages in this. You often see that webshops have an extensive menu that expands when you hover over it with your mouse. A good example of this is Bol. You will see all categories (Computer and Electronics), subcategories (Telephony), and sub-subcategories (Smartphones). This is very good for internal link building.
It is important that you do not lose sight of user-friendliness. Thanks to the clear layout of Bol, everything is easy to find, despite a large number of links. Keep this in mind when you’re putting together your menu. Read additional tips here to make your menu user-friendly.
The footer is also a commonly used method to improve internal link building. The footer is the bottom part of the website. Here you will often find links to the contact page, terms, and conditions, etc. You can also place links here to the most important pages. Zalando does this very well. At the bottom of every page, they link to brand-related pages and categories.
In general, placing two links on the same page has no added value for SEO. Therefore, place links in your footer to pages that are not included in your menu. Read the article on footer SEO if you want more tips to optimize your footer.
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Every website must have an HTML sitemap, including webshops. Ideally, you should place links to all other pages in the HTML sitemap. This is not always possible because as a webshop you sometimes have thousands of pages. In this case, you can include the categories and subcategories in the HTML sitemap. Read here other techniques to create a suitable HTML sitemap.
4. Related Products
Post related products on product pages. This not only leads to more sales but also improves internal link building. Especially if the related products come from a different category, that is good for internal link building. It ensures that the link value is better to spread over the different categories.
5. Brand Pages
Each product falls within a category and a subcategory but is often also from a certain brand. Therefore, create pages specific to each brand. Make sure a product links to its brand page. The brand page then links to all products of that brand. Like the related products, this helps spread link value across multiple categories. You can also optimize these pages for brand-related searches.
The breadcrumbs are the links to parent categories. It not only improves user-friendliness but also internal link building. Almost all webshops have a breadcrumb trail, just like many regular websites. We also apply this on the Stramark website. Scroll up and under the title, you will find it. These links help to spread the link value across the website.
Internal link building is an important part of SEO. In contrast to external link building, you have everything under control here. You can apply it yourself to your website. With the above techniques, you significantly improve internal link building and therefore also your rankings in Google.
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