Internal linking is a vital aspect of both search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience (UX). By creating a well-structured internal linking system, you can guide users through your website and make it easy for them to find the content they’re looking for. Moreover, internal linking helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your website, enabling them to crawl and index your pages more effectively.

From an SEO perspective, internal linking can distribute link equity (also known as “link juice”) throughout your site, ensuring that your most important pages receive the attention they deserve. This can boost the visibility of your content in search engine results and drive more organic traffic to your website.

In this blog, we’ll explore how to audit and improve your internal linking strategy in six steps:

  1. Identify your goals and KPIs
  2. Audit your current internal linking structure
  3. Optimize your anchor text
  4. Create a logical hierarchy and navigation
  5. Link to your most important pages
  6. Monitor and maintain your internal linking strategy

Step 1: Identify your goals and KPIs

Before auditing and optimizing your internal linking structure, it is important to set goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for your website. Establishing what you are trying to achieve with your internal linking strategy, as well as how to measure success, is essential.

Common goals and KPIs for internal linking include:

  • Increasing organic traffic and conversions
  • Reducing bounce rate and improving dwell time
  • Enhancing topical relevance and authority
  • Distributing link equity and ranking higher for target keywords
  • Facilitating crawling and indexing

Step 2: Audit your current internal linking structure

The next step is to audit your current internal linking structure and identify any issues or opportunities for improvement. You can use various tools and methods to analyze your internal links, such as:

  • Google Search Console² to find broken links, crawl errors, and orphan pages
  • Screaming Frog¹ to generate reports on anchor text, link depth, and follow/nofollow status
  • Ahrefs³ to visualize your internal linking structure and identify the most linked and least linked pages on your website

Some of the common issues that you may encounter during the audit are:

  • Broken links that lead to 404 errors or redirect loops
  • Too many or too few internal links per page
  • Overuse of exact match anchor text or generic terms
  • Poor link placement or relevance
  • Inconsistent or confusing site structure or navigation

Step 3: Optimize your anchor text

Anchor text is the clickable text that links to another page on your website, serving as a signal for both users and search engines. To optimize your anchor text, use descriptive and natural keywords that match the content of the linked page. Vary your anchor text, and avoid over-optimizing or stuffing keywords that could harm your rankings or user experience. Additionally, you should stay away from generic or vague terms, such as “click here” or “learn more”.

For example, instead of using “click here” as the anchor text for a link to a blog post about internal linking best practices, you could use something like “internal linking best practices” or “how to optimize your internal links”.

Step 4: Create a logical hierarchy and navigation

Your internal linking structure should be organized in a logical hierarchy and navigation that helps users and search engines understand the architecture and content of your website. This should include a clear and consistent structure, such as:

  • Home page
  • Category pages
  • Subcategory pages
  • Product pages

Additionally, breadcrumbs, menus, sitemaps, and footer links should be used to guide users and search engines through your website.

For example, if you have an e-commerce website that sells shoes, you could have a structure like this:

Home > Shoes > Men’s Shoes > Sneakers > Nike Air Max

Each level of the hierarchy should be linked with relevant anchor text, such as “Shoes”, “Men’s Shoes”, “Sneakers”, etc.

Step 5: Link to your most important pages

One of the main benefits of internal linking is that it can help you distribute link equity throughout your website. Link equity is the value that a link passes from one page to another, influencing its authority and ranking potential.

To make the most of this benefit, you should link to your most important pages frequently and prominently from other pages on your website. These pages are usually the ones that have high conversion rates, target high-value keywords, or provide valuable information for users.

For example, if you have a landing page that offers a free ebook on SEO tips in exchange for an email address, you could link to it from relevant blog posts or category pages with anchor text like “download our free ebook on SEO tips” or “learn more about SEO tips”.

Step 6: Monitor and maintain your internal linking strategy

Even after you start implementing your new internal linking strategy, it’s important to check for problems routinely. Be sure to run regular audits using tools like Google Search Console², Screaming Frog¹, or Ahrefs³ and check for issues such as broken links, overuse of exact match anchor text, or poor link placement.

This is the best way to keep tabs on your site health and make improvements as needed.


Internal linking is a powerful technique that can improve both your SEO performance and user experience. By following these six steps, you can audit and optimize your internal linking strategy effectively:

  1. Identify your goals and KPIs
  2. Audit your current internal linking structure
  3. Optimize your anchor text
  4. Create a logical hierarchy and navigation
  5. Link to your most important pages
  6. Monitor and maintain your internal linking strategy

By doing so, you can enhance the visibility, authority, relevance, and usability of your website.

(1) How to Perform an Internal Linking Audit and Improve Your Website’s ….
(2) How to Audit and Optimize Internal Linking for SEO – LinkedIn.
(3) Internal Links: Ultimate Guide + Strategies – Semrush Blog.

Krishnaprasath Krishnamoorthy

Meet Krishnaprasath Krishnamoorthy, an SEO specialist with a passion for helping businesses improve their online visibility and reach.  From Technical, on-page, off-page, and Local SEO optimization to link building and beyond, I have expertise in all areas of SEO and I’m dedicated to providing actionable advice and results-driven strategies to help businesses achieve their goals. WhatsApp or call me on +94 775 696 867