Internal Linking Techniques and Strategies for Online Stores - Digital Dose

Internal Linking Techniques and Strategies for Online Stores

Having a robust internal linking structure is crucial for on-page SEO methods. When they hear about link development and creation, a lot of SEOs get sucked into the trap of concentrating only on backlinks. However, internal links can be just as significant and are frequently disregarded. Internal links improve website authority and user experience in addition to SEO.

So pay attention if you’re one of those SEO professionals who disregarded internal linking in favor of other optimizations. This essay will not only make you reconsider the value of internal linking, but it will also demonstrate how to do it successfully.

I’ll go over the special characteristics of internal linking in e-commerce in this guide. After that, I’ll provide you access to the data analysis of three e-commerce websites, along with the links they point to and the reasoning behind them, so you can fully comprehend internal linking tactics.

Are you prepared to step up the intentionality of your internal connecting efforts in e-commerce? Then continue reading!

Crucial Information about E-Commerce Brands’ Internal Links

  • Strong internal linking should be a part of on-page SEO tactics, even though backlinks are frequently prioritized over internal links.
  • E-commerce websites pose a distinct problem due to their several URLs. It’s critical to strike a balance between the need to lead clients through the sales funnel and internal linking opportunities.
  • NPD examined internal connection patterns on three e-commerce websites. To move visitors along the sales funnel, Site A, a coffee firm, concentrated on including links to collection pages. The funnel contained blog content as well. Informational pages were given priority on Site B, an Artesian water brand, with a focus on raising consumer awareness and brand recognition. Instead of product pages, this emphasizes informational pages. Using a segregated subfolder structure, Site C, a bicycle retailer, has a large number of internal links, particularly to category pages. This lowers the possibility of 404 errors by giving priority to guiding clients through the conversion funnel through collections.
  • The following are some best practices for internal linking in e-commerce: Using clear and informative anchor text to explain the purpose of internal links. Adding new internal links to outdated pages to transfer authority to more recent versions. Creating links from new pages to older ones to stay relevant. Giving internal links to pages with strong conversion rates is a top priority for strategic improvement.

What Distinguishes E-Commerce Internal Linking?

I want to explain the significance of this information before we go into the data analysis. Every website indeed faces different challenges, and internal linking is one of them. Websites for e-commerce are no exception.

What makes internal connections in e-commerce so special, then?

Many e-commerce websites have hundreds or even thousands of URLs. This means that although there are plenty of options for internal linking, there might not always be a lot of places to link from. Maintaining consumers’ progress along the sales funnel is another issue.

In other words, you want visitors to flow organically from top-to-bottom funnel pages. Avoid taking a chance to obstruct their normal development.

Fortunately, internal links can benefit your site’s users and even direct traffic down the funnel if handled wisely. Strategically positioned internal links aid e-commerce SEO by directing crawlers throughout your website.

The Linking Techniques of Leading E-Commerce Websites: Our Research

It’s time to think about how to overcome the particular challenges associated with internal linking in e-commerce now that you are aware of them. Finding out which tactics are employed by other e-commerce companies is one approach to accomplishing this.

Here’s where NP Digital’s team can be of assistance:

My team has examined the internal linking characteristics of three of Digital Dose’s clients using Google Search Console (GSC). Finding a common theme among all brands and providing answers to two important questions are the goals.

  • Which pages do these brands aim for?
  • Why are those pages being targeted by these brands?

To do an analogous evaluation for your brand, just go into your GSC account and navigate to the “Links” segment. Your most frequently connected pages, both internal and external, are displayed here.

Client A

First up, we have a coffee company based in the United States. Client A has 5,841 internal links in total, according to GSC.
Of the internal links, the top three connected pages account for 15% and are as follows:

  • Landing page for a blog
  • Store Locator Page
  • Create a package page of your own

A substantial portion of collection pages are visible when we go further into the list of internal links. Not unexpected for an e-commerce website, I suppose. After all, to move readers farther down the conversion funnel, we anticipate that the company will provide links to collection and product sites in blog articles.

One may wonder: Why drive traffic to collection sites instead of product pages? It’s accurate to say that a product page comes after a collection page in the funnel. On the other hand, you are fortifying the subdirectory overall by referring to collections rather than product pages. Furthermore, by doing this, you can prevent your consumers from feeling as though you are deciding for them. They might simply quit visiting your website if that occurs.

Categories, sometimes known as collections, are a crucial component of the hierarchy of a website. They define the connections between products and can be used to design specific item relationships for occasions such as holidays and sales.

Additionally, collection pages are typically less erratic than product pages.

Collection sites, on the other hand, tend to be more permanent fixtures, while products could be discontinued or out of stock. You lessen the likelihood that you will eventually need to reroute internal links by referring to categories rather than product pages.

Client A does, of course, occasionally connect to goods, but the overall number of links to product pages is in the hundreds compared to the thousands of links to collection pages.

Apart from the collection pages, Client A has a lot of internal connections pointing to their blog. They might make subject-matter blog entries that allow them to combine lRLs to increase their internal linking profile. They may produce reciprocals in this way, which would function as a kind of “collection roundup.”

Client B

Next is an American water brand based in the United States. With a total of just 1,374 links, Client B has a substantially smaller number than Client A. It is also evident that Client B approaches their internal connection strategy differently.

Client B’s top ten sites are informational; however, Client A mostly linked to their collections subdirectory. Although Client B can sell its products on its website, customer education seems to be the first goal. The first three pages are:

  • About Us FAQ
  • Terms of delivery services
  • Thirty-four percent of Client B’s internal links consist of them.

Interestingly, although Client B’s website does contain a products subfolder, none of the product pages are internally linked. Maybe you’re wondering: doesn’t Client B care about conversions? It doesn’t seem to be the case.

Website conversions probably don’t matter as much to a brand like Client B, whose sales are mostly dependent on its distribution channels. Rather, they educate their clientele and increase brand recognition through their website.


Internal Linking Techniques and Strategies for Online Stores - Digital Dose


Customer C

Finally, but just as importantly, there is an American bicycle retailer. With 7,743,886 internal links, this client has the greatest number of any client in our analysis.

Their shipping information page is the most connected, and two category sites are right behind it. Merely 2 percent of their internal connecting occurrences are comprised of these three combined.

The use of segregated subfolders on this website is an intriguing feature.

By that, what do I mean?

Items in the lower-level categories usually feed into the higher-level category when your category pages have many levels. Using Urban Outfitters as an illustration.

There are 290 products in the subcategory of Casual Dresses. These are incorporated into the wider Women’s category as well as the subcategory of Dresses.

That isn’t the situation with Client C. Products on their website that fall under a subcategory don’t belong in the main category. It follows that every page on their website has its section. The category pages are not relational databases as we usually conceive of category and sub-category sites; rather, they are just containers for these items.

Because Client C doesn’t use the conventional /product/ or /category/ subfolders, it’s also challenging to examine them. To determine the precise ratio of categories to items among links in GSC, we are unable to apply filters. Rather, the subfolders are given extremely specific names and are unrelated to each other once more.

In any case, a lot of these collection or high-level category pages are getting a lot of internal links.

It’s also evident that blog pages receive some internal connections, though it’s difficult to pinpoint the precise quantity. This is because, like product and category pages, each blog article has a unique URL that is located outside of the /blog/ subfolder.

Key Takeaways From Our Research on E-Commerce Linking Techniques

There are several different e-commerce internal connection schemes, as our analysis amply demonstrated.

If there’s one thing to remember from this, it’s that internal linking can show what a brand values most.

A good number of internal connections led to collection subfolders for two of our clients, Client A, and Client C. Based on the design of their website, Client A made this easier to see. But despite the silos around Client C’s collection subfolders, there was still a lot of internal linking activity.

What does this indicate to us?

Specifically, the goal of Clients A and C is to move clients down the conversion funnel. Since there is less chance of 404 problems when using collections, many website owners find that this is better than connecting straight to products.

Client A wants to increase the individual equity of each of their blog entries in addition to increasing traffic to the collection pages. They are creating additional internal links there as a result.

This indicates to us that they want to add additional blog posts to their consumer funnel. This is a wise move because it makes room for chances to link internally and externally.

Contrarily, Client B has no links to product pages and more internal links to informational pages. This could be an indication of their distribution strategy, which emphasizes external sales above e-commerce sales.

With all of that stated, while developing an internal linking strategy for e-commerce, it’s critical to start with your end goals in mind. Does your website focus more on conversions or education? These kinds of details will determine the optimal kinds of internal links.

The Best Methods for E-Commerce Internal Linking

There are general best practices for internal linking in e-commerce that you should adhere to, regardless of your approach. These basic practices are particularly crucial for preventing typical SEO blunders in e-commerce.

Make use of informative anchor text. Using clear anchor language that informs readers exactly what to expect when they click is a recommended practice. This is particularly crucial for establishing off-site links.

Refresh outdated pages with fresh internal linking. Older pages on your website will typically have more link equity. It’s crucial to transfer authority to more recent pages on your website by using those older ones.
From new pages, link to older pages. Pages may become less relevant as they get older.

Connect to pages that convert well. It’s usually a good idea to carefully optimize your returns by linking to high-converting pages when you link inside.
By implementing these tactics, you can quickly improve page performance.

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