en
English Español Deutsch Français Italiano Português (Brasil) Русский 中文 日本語
Submit post
Go to Blog

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking

Ross Tavendale

Modified Transcript

Welcome to another Weekly Wisdom. This week, we are going to be looking at a dummy's guide to internal link building. Without further ado, let's get started. We have all been on the SEMrush internal linking tool . It gives you a ton of really interesting stuff. In particular, looking at things like their internal link distribution I find really, really interesting because it is showing me where I am linking to in terms of strongest pages on the site all the way down to the weakest ones.

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking. Image 0

The Type A Media site, between me and you, is not well optimized at all. In fact, for an SEO agency, it is a little bit embarrassing. So, let's work out how we can run some internal linking protocols for the Type A Media website to get us in a good place. Someone has done a great job on telling us all the links that are actually passing the most internal page rank, but what if I want to start optimizing? It is not going to tell me where to actually link. Let's have a think here. This is the site. On the site, I want to see all the pages that are strongest when it comes to the term agency, let's say.

What I like to do here is I like to do a site command. Stick in the website URL and then put in the keyword we are targeting. For us, we call ourselves SEO consultants, so let's bring up all the pages, here we go, that is termed as SEO consultant pages.

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking. Image 1

The reason why this is important is that I have just said to Google "Hey, can you show me everything on this website that is the most powerful and the most relevant related to the keyword consultants?" Technically, if I go on all of these pages, I should be internally linking from this page here to the page that I want to rank for SEO consultants. If there is not an internal link on these pages, linking to my cornerstone consultant's page, I should probably add one in.

There are a couple of ways you can do that. You can, of course, click into them, have a look and see if there are any links to the consultant page? Oh gosh, no, I don't think there is. Go back and maybe take a note of it somewhere. That is all very slow. Here are keywords everywhere; look at that. 

More on this How to Improve Keyword Rankings with Internal Linking Post Blake Smart The Most Common Internal Link Building Mistakes: A SEMrush Study Post Elena Terenteva What we wanna do is work out on these pages programmatically if they already internally link up to the page we care about. How do we do that programmatically? I am going to introduce something that the old school guys will know about, something called scrape box. Don't panic. I know you are all thinking that is a black cat tool. Stay away. Stay away. It is a black cat tool if you are using it to push out, but if you are using it to pull information in, all it is is a web scraper.

What I want to do is I want to get a big list of all the keywords that I want to rank for, and I want to do a site command on them so I can see the top 10, sometimes top 20 results and see if I have got any internal links pointing to the correct pages.

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking. Image 2

First and foremost, I am going to drop in my queries here and here. So this is block type for a reason. You are going to need the proxies to do this because we are pinging Google quite a bit. We are going to start harvesting. I am going to delay it for five seconds because I don't want to hit them too hard. I am going to hit start. All right, what we can now see here is that for this keyword, site command typeamedia.net consultant, we have pulled nine results and for the agency keyword, we have pulled 10. Great. Now, I actually want to see what those are.

The great thing about scrape box is it actually saves it for you in your harvester sessions. What it does is it puts the keyword right next to the URL.

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking. Image 3

Here is the output from that scrape we have just done there. Now what we want to do is go back to Google Drive, and we are going to get this into a usable format. Let's just paste it in there. This is fine, but I want to get these into columns. I want to see my keywords and the page because I am then going to want to be scraping these pages to see if it is internally linking to my cornerstone page. First and foremost what we want to do is get the data in split text columns. That splits this here. Let me get rid of it. Now, we have got the keyword right next to the URL:

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking. Image 4

Data, split text to columns. It is not detecting it automatically, so I want to put the pipe sign in there. Excellent. We have now got keywords here, and the URLs that Google thinks are the most important and relevant to the keyword for this website. Great. Let's just name this keyword. This will be the URL. Now, we need to decide on the landing page.

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking. Image 5

People call these cornerstone pages typically, so for the term consultant, what do I want the main landing page to be? What page do I want to rank for the term consultant?

The dirty little secret of Type A Media is our site is actually rubbish. But, let's just use some of our case studies as an example. Let's use the UNILAD one; this is not an actual thing we want to rank, but let's just pretend for the sake of this tutorial that we want this page to rank for the term consultant, so we want to build a bunch of internal links into it.

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking. Image 6

For the other one, let's get an e-commerce example. Let's see, for the Pooky guys, we pull this in here. All right, so this is the keyword we want to rank; this is the page we want to rank for it. We need to check if these are linking to our cornerstone page. 

You might be asking that is going to take me a while if I am not going to do this programmatically. That is where we get the one and only Screaming Frog. What you want to do is go up to the mode, make sure it is list mode. Enter configuration, and we are going to go into custom because we want to search for our landing pages. Here is one I have done earlier. What you want to do is put in your two URLs that you are trying to build internal links to; hit okay. And then, we are going to paste in all of those things we got from Google. What it is done there is just crawled all of these URLs here.

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking. Image 7

If we click onto custom, it has found so far a custom search for the UNILAD SU case study. We can see here that there is one instance where it is linking to this page. We can mass out the case studies page by linking up to this page here. On the second one, the same thing again. We can also mass this URL. What I want to do is export this. Just imagine that you are going to have hundreds and hundreds of these if you are doing multiple keywords and it is for an e-commerce site or something like that.

Sadly, we need to use the Type A Media site for this tutorial because it is obviously the only data that we can make public. All right so, let's go back onto our sheet. You will see I have got a tab called Screaming Frog data and all I am doing is I am dumping that straight in there, and it is showing me this is the case studies page. Now what we want to do is we want to find the link to see if anything is linking into our landing page. We have got our Streaming Frog data here; this is the page that contains an internal link from one of these guys, so all I want to do is actually find the best URL inside this list.

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking. Image 8

Obviously, I can just eyeball it and see it is there, but I am assuming you have done this across a couple hundred URLs, not just two. How do we find it? Really simply, we get a little index match. Here is the index we are looking in. What do we want to match? I want to match this URL, and I want to match it to something in this column. I want the exact match. If you find it, I want you to return the first column. If you don't find anything, I want you to tell me that it needs a link.

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Advanced Internal Linking. Image 9

We can see that the PPC consultant job does not contain a link to this year, so that is great. If we pull it down, everything should need a link, apart from this one here. Now what I can do is I can give this to one of my team, or I can log in myself and not be super lazy and go to all these pages because I know that they do not link to this, but when I do a site command with the keyword, Google tells me that I should indeed be linking to it. That is the dummy's guide to internal link building. Done.

Get your internal linking report now!

Run a project for your website in SEMrush Site Audit

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

Ross first business was selling potpourri door to door in a mining village in the west of Scotland. Quickly learning the value of proper market research and understanding the audience he started working for big box agencies where he cut his teeth working on clients like Boots, Etihad and TripAdvisor. He now runs an independent agency Type A Media with his team delivering SEO services and world-class memes to SMEs and FTSE 250 businesses.
Share this post
or

Comments

2000
Michael Hutton
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Fantastic article and video Ross. I had never heard of ScrapeBox before so just purchased myself a licence to give this a go. I only work on Mac's, so I have purchased a licence for the Mac version but there appears to be no way of getting the harvester sessions, so I just get a list of all URLs and cannot see what search term triggered them. Do you know if this procedure is possible on the Mac version? At the moment, I am having to run each query separately which is defeating the object a bit. Cheers.
Deepak Mathur
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Internal linking is one of the important factor of SEO, you've written a nice to the point post, worth to read and share.
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Thanks for the great tips! I think internal linking too often gets overlooked when it comes to link building, so these tips are awesome.
Tristam Jarman
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Nice tutorial Ross. Agree with some of the comments on here, whereby internal linking gets missed a lot. This is a simple straight forward and logical way to get started with internal linking on your website! Great job as always…
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Nice Tutorial. Would you mind sharing the Gdrive sheet, coz I am getting bit lost in the steps after pasting the screming frog data.

All help is highly appreciated
Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

Nishant Mehta
Sure thing Nishant. Here is the accompanying sheet.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1AHHyUriaSl20p9rIxZ1u0Ul1ag8x-06BSNO34LbhQQg

You will need to download scrapebox and screaming frog. The latter is cross platform but the former requires a windows machine.
Deepak Mathur
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Ross Tavendale
I've noted this link as well.
Malhar Barai
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

That was quite a good one Ross and nice work with excel commands too :)
Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

Malhar Barai
Thanks Malhar. I appreciate the comment. When I was told about index match vs vlookup I was an instant convert. When I see people use vlookup my excel snobbery massively kicks in. 😂
David Sayce
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Internal link structure is so often missed out, another great tutorial from Ross!
Simple and straight forward and a reminder to check my own websites!
Did you update the website after this?
Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

David Sayce
Hey David, have you ever heard the phrase "the cobblers children run barefoot"? That's kind of what's happening on the Type A Media site at the moment 😬

I really need to get my finger out and get it to 100% technical health but I'm a lazy SOB. Duplicate titles, no content, no internal links, 404s everywhere. It's a full on sh*tshow. Maybe I'll get my finger out this weekend and fix it 😂
David Sayce
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Ross Tavendale
haha I know the feeling!... I know a few SEOs if you need a hand ;o)
Jonathan Björkskog
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Nice Ross! If we do not have too many urls, we can sometimes skip the screaming-frog part, and just use spreadsheet formulas (IMPORTXML above all) to check if the landing page url can be found in the source of the url in url column too :)
But with hundreds of rows it's more safe with the spider :)
Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

Jonathan Björkskog
Hey Jonathan - how you doing bro?

Great call on importxml. Even if it's a massive site you could technically use AppScript with BigQuery to pull in all out and dump it into sheets. I need to brush up on my importxml - x path has never been my strong point. Hopefully see you at an event soon.
columnist
Love the shoutout to your mom! Honestly, cool video, Ross.
Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

Kevin Indig
Thanks Kevin. Your Chei Rank article was a great inspiration to the thinking behind the implementation of our internal linking.
columnist
Ross Tavendale
Thanks, mate! Love how you bring "blackhat tools" to the table. Very creative.
Sheldon Campbell
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Thanks for another amazing session, Ross! Some great time-savers there.
Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

Sheldon Campbell
Thanks Doc. Appreciate you taking the time to comment :-)
Peter Nikolow
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

This is one fantastic article how internal links actually works.
Most of people still underestimate their power and trying to "fix" sites with other - on-page SEO, external links or something other.

Many people thinks for this like black magic or alchemy. But actually this is written in "Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide" from Google here:
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en
"Use links wisely
Write good link text
Link text is the visible text inside a link. This text tells users and Google something about the page you're linking to. Links on your page may be internal—pointing to other pages on your site—or external—leading to content on other sites. In either of these cases, the better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you're linking to is about.

With appropriate anchor text, users and search engines can easily understand what the linked pages contain."

So yes, internal links works and they are strong signal.
Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

Peter Nikolow
Thanks Peter, I appreciate the comment. Excellent contribution with the official guidelines from Google. I always thing before you start building links offsite, you should start by getting your house in order and start redirecting link power to the correct place.
Tony Wright
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Great overview! Loved the use of the SEMrush tool
Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

Tony Wright
Cheers Tony. Appreciate the kudos :-)
Andy Drinkwater
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Ahh Internal Links - I love these things! Fantastic post Ross. They really don't get used enough and there is so much that you can get from them. Many don't realise that they power the sitelinks when you do a brand search or that Google really does use them for additional signals. The more awareness that can be raised about them, the better :)
Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

Andy Drinkwater
Thanks Andy. I totally agree - we rank a big audit for a publisher and it gave a 30% uplift - really significant organic changes.

I know you're too much of a gentlemen to self promote, so for anyone reading these comments, I highly recommend Andy's in depth guide to internal linking: https://www.iqseo.org/building-internal-links-for-seo-wins/

Also, Kevin Indig's research around Chei Rank is a great read: https://www.kevin-indig.com/internal-link-optimization-with-tipr/
Andy Drinkwater
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Ross Tavendale
Thanks Ross - and ignore Craig trying to wind everyone up - He's a master!
Nikola Roza
Expert

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

Ross Tavendale
Thanks for the resource Ross. I love internal linking but didn't know about Andy's guide.
So I'll go indulge myself by reading:)
Peter Mead
Master

A veteran community member.

Some really neat tricks here @rtavs. And I was waiting to see how you were going to start a few links blasts when you pulled out the old scrapte box. Haha
Ross Tavendale
Superstar

Knows everything… well, almost.

Peter Mead
Haha the good old days are far behind me now Peter but I still use Scrapebox daily for scraping and pulling things in from Big G. Do you remember how many links you used to be able to get stick from a 100k blast. 6% was my best :-D

Send feedback

Your feedback must contain at least 3 words (10 characters).

We will only use this email to respond to you on your feedback. Privacy Policy

Thank you for your feedback!

Community Ranking System

Our SEMrush community rank reflects the level of your professional recognition in our community. We value quality contributions, so highly ranked members will get valuable incentives. Take part in discussions, write posts and speak on webinars, be friendly and helpful, and you will eventually get to the top of the ladder.

  • Newcomer
    Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.
  • Enthusiast
    Occasionally takes part in conversations.
  • Helper
    An experienced member who is always happy to help.
  • Master
    A veteran community member.
  • Pro
    Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.
  • Expert
    Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.
  • Guru
    A bearer of digital marketing wisdom.
  • Superstar
    Knows everything… well, almost.
  • Legend
    Getting here is not easy at all!