Steps to work on the internal linking of a website
1. Define good and bad urls.
The first thing we have to define is this point: among all the URLs on our website, which are the ones we want to be indexed, which we will call good URLs. In a second block we will place the URLs that we do not intend to index, which we will call bad. This may vary by project. In almost all projects you may not be interested in indexing urls with pagination, filters or the legal page, for example. However, there are times when you'll want to index author URLs or tags, and other times you won't. In any case, identifying these two groups will be a fundamental exercise.
Once we have these two lists ready, we need to hammer home the following: as much as possible, all good URLs should have at least one internal link. And bad URLs, the fewer the better.
2. Identify good URLs that have authority issues.
Next, we'll need to identify those URLs that are good, but Google doesn't consider them that way. We may in the most extreme cases identify them because they are not indexed, but even if they are indexed they may have 0 inbound links and 0 traffic, which ends up being basically the same as not being indexed.
What could be the reason for having a URL with authority issues? This is usually because they will be orphaned. In other words, they do not have any internal or external links that point to them. There is no doubt that the first thing you need to check is that they are in the sitemap, but this may not be enough. It will have to be in the code, and possibly in the body, of a content of our page with a thematic relationship.
How do we detect orphaned urls? There are many SEO software that with a simple crawl can offer us a list of orphaned websites. Whatever you use, you have to configure it correctly because with a normal crawl of the whole web you may not detect it. You must cross-crawl with a well-configured sitemap or log record, so that the spider identifies good URLs and their relationships to each other.
Another common reason we might encounter would be to have good URLs not indexed to have a non-index. This is probably due to a bug, because a good URL shouldn't have a non-index, it's nonsense. Either you remove the non-index, or you put it on the list of bad URLs if it should be considered that way.
3. Prioritize the URLs that we are most interested in positioning
Within the URLs defined as good, we have to make levels according to business interest and positioning. While all good urls should have at least 1 link, priority urls, several. These links will be even more powerful if the source URL is authoritative, and relevant.
4. Define the main menu links
In any aspect of internal linking the priority should always be usability. In other words: think about each area of the web, which links will be useful for the user to click. They will usually be links with a thematic and/or hierarchical relationship. In its application to the menu, we are often asked which links we should insert in this section.
There is no single formula to define the linked menu, because it will depend on the sector, size of the web, target user, etc. You have to keep in mind that any link you put in the main menu will be one of the URLs with more internal links and more transferred authority, because this page can be accessed from anywhere on the web, through the menu. A link in the menu (or in the footer) is not a single link, but each new URL that is generated on this site, will be a new internal link to this URL from the menu.
A common problem is linking everything from the main menu. You have to think that a link in the menu applies to all urls of the site, and therefore grants and dilutes authority. You have to think of the menu as a good distributor for the user, as pure navigation, and at the same time as a distributor of authority for Google. Then all those URLs that we have defined as SEO priorities should be linked from the menu. If at a hierarchical and semantic level it is OK for us to put them in the menu, great, while in cases where it is not possible, as you will have seen on many websites, they can be linked from the footer, because they are also side wide links. In some cases it is possible that for usability there will have to be an element that is 0 priority or bad at the SEO level (for example corporate pages).
5. Define links from home
There is a video that has been around for some time by the great Luisma Villanueva in which she defended that e-commerce people should not put up product lists. That content generated a lot of controversy, and in fact it is something that still does not generate consensus in the sector. But it makes sense to bring it up and we'll see why.
We must understand that internal links must be proportional to the size of the web. And understand the home page function: it is usually the most visited page by crawlers and users. Therefore, everything we put will have a high probability of receiving a click, being tracked by Google in less than 24 hours, and consequently it will be important and we will be able to position it better (excluding sitewide links in menu and footer).
So what links should I put on the man's body? How many? The number of links should not be excessive, and always proportional to the size of our site. Remember: the more links you put on a page, the less authority we distribute. And the higher up that link is, the more authority we're transferring. In the end a man will be like the entrance to a business, in which we will have a window (slides or initial banners), main corridors (categories, brands...) and expansion of information (products, posts...). The most common thing is that we use the links on the main page to link to our main content categories and/or brands, because these in turn will link to their products and this way it will be achieved that these contents are available at a shallow depth. Once we have already inserted the links we want on the main page and the menu, we must crawl with Screaming Frog or the tool we like best, to see that these decisions do not imply too much depth to relevant content at the SEO level .