- First things first, what’s internal linking?
- Why are internal links important for SEO? What are they good for?
- How much impact do internal links have on your SEO and rankings?
- Where do you add/edit internal links on Shopify?
- How should you optimize your internal linking?
- What’s the bottom line on internal linking?
First things first, what’s internal linking?
Internal linking is a link on your site that points to another page. SEOs and marketers call this an ‘internal link,’ because the link is pointing to a page on your website, not an external site.
When it comes to internal linking, your goal is to include links FROM relevant pages on your site TO your collection pages, with relevant clickable text (the anchor text in the link).
Internal Linking Example
Here’s a great example of internal links on an e-commerce store pointing from a blog post to relevant products and collections (via Lake Champlain Chocolate’s guide to a DIY Chocolate Dessert Charcuterie Board).
They’ve included these links near the start of their article, pointing to relevant product and collection pages. Lake Champlain is doing internal linking excellently!
Why are internal links important for SEO? What are they good for?
Internal links are a great way to point people (and Google) from one page on your site to another. Internal links are simple text links on your site with a portion of the text (the ‘anchor text’) set to a keyword — likely your main keyword for that collection.
Here’s an example link to my Shopify Collection SEO Digital Garden
- That’s an internal link since it points to a page on this site (Double Your Ecommerce)
- The text ‘Shopify Collection SEO Digital Garden’ is the anchor text. It has my main keyword (Collection SEO) in the link.
- Google looks at internal links and the linking anchor text as factors in understanding and ranking the page I’m linking to.
Why does Google like internal links? Because they’re a vote of confidence for the page you’re linking to. Google sees those links and thinks,
Hey, if the page they’re linking to is important enough for them to link to, I should go check it out.
How much impact do internal links have on your SEO and rankings?
These have a lot of impact on your SEO! Internal links make it easier for visitors (and Google’s robots) to discover pages on your site. They also act like a vote of confidence in your page, helping Google understand if your content is trustworthy and relevant.
Including more internal links throughout your site and pointing to SEO priority collections, pages, and products will do a lot of good for your SEO.
Where do you add/edit internal links on Shopify?
You can add internal links anywhere on your site where you have text content and can insert a link. The most impactful areas to add internal links pointing to collections are your:
- Homepage. Google sees your homepage as the entryway to your site, and linking text on the homepage content to specific collections is an excellent way to make sure Google sees those collections and their products.
- Blog posts. Google likes seeing new content published on your site, and blogs are a great way to do that. If you include ~2-5 internal links to collections in each blog post, those internal links will help Google find + crawl your collections, which will help your SEO.
- Product pages. You can link from one product page to a related or parent collection page.
- Collection descriptions. Including internal links in your collection descriptions pointing to related collections (e.g., Women’s Hats → Women’s Visors) is a great way to add more internal links across your site.
How should you optimize your internal linking?
To optimize your internal linking, use your primary and secondary keywords as the anchor text.
That means if you have a product with a primary keyword like ‘Handmade Carbon Kitchen Knife,’ you’d use the text ‘Handmade Carbon Kitchen Knife’ when you link to that product.
When building internal links, you can use primary or secondary keywords as the linking text (anchor text). I also like to use the product title or sometimes the SEO title as the anchor text for these internal links.
How should you find opportunities to build internal links?
Aside from adding internal links to your new content, including your:
- New blog posts
- New collection descriptions
I like to find opportunities across my existing site content and blog posts. You can:
- Search in Google
- Find keyword phrases in your existing content (i.e., blogs, products, collections)
- Link that text and keywords to your new products and collections
Here’s how to do that. You can do that with an advanced Google search:
“main keyword” + site:yoursite.com.
Let’s break that down:
“Main Keyword”is the keyword you’re searching for. This keyword could be the primary or secondary keyword you identified or a head (short) keyword you’re searching for. The quotes around the “Main Keyword” tell Google to look for exact matches for that phase.
site:yoursite.comis a particular search operator. That tells Google only to search the site you specify. When you do this, you’ll want to specify your site, not the example site I’ve included below.
So, let’s say you’re LakeChamplainChocolates.com, and you want to search for “Vegan Chocolates.”
You’d search for
“vegan chocolate” site:lakechamplainchocolates.com/ and that’d show you all the pages on your site relevant to that keyword.
This screenshot shows what that search looks like (and here’s a link to the search results):
You can get more advanced with this as well
- Specify “intext:” before your main keyword, and you’ll only find opportunities with the main keyword in the text of the page content.
intext:"vegan chocolate" site:lakechamplainchocolates.com/– search results
- Specify “inurl:” and a keyword to find pages with a keyword in the URL.
- I like to use that to scope my search to just blog or product pages on a site
intext:"vegan chocolate" site:lakechamplainchocolates.com inurl:blog– search results
What’s the bottom line on internal linking?
Internal linking is worth your time and will help your collection SEO. Add internal links pointing to collection pages in:
- New content you create
- Existing content across your site
Use the main keyword, secondary keyword, or product title for the anchor text of your internal links — or use whatever text makes sense. The presence of the link helps just as much as the optimized anchor text in the link.
For your SEO priority collections, you should aim to build links from the following pages pointing to the collections:
- Blog post content
- Homepage content
- Relevant collection content
Now that you’ve finished reading this chapter on collection SEO, you can:
Or you can jump to one of these reader-favorite chapters:
- Collection SEO Digital Garden Index 🌱
- Collection SEO TL;DR Best Practices Summary 🌟
- Collection Descriptions and SEO (plus examples of Shopify collection descriptions) 💎