Structural Internal Links for Better SEO

Understanding Structural Links

Hey everyone! Today I want to talk to you about structural links. First, let’s talk about what these are. Essentially, a structural link is one that can be found on every page of your website, or maybe a large number of pages, or maybe just a specific subset. These are great for navigation, they’re great for crawling, distributing link equity, showing the relationships between pages, and also helping users understand where they are within the larger structure of your website.

Five SEO-Boosting Structural Links

Today, I’m going to show you five examples of structural links that can be great for SEO. Let’s get into it.

1. Main Navigation Links

The first example of a structural link that is really powerful for SEO are main navigation links. This example from Shopify shows the pages that they’ve chosen to prioritize and give an SEO boost to. The first example is the solutions drop-down. It’s no mystery why these pages made it in—it’s because they’re so closely tied to conversion.

2. Informational Pages

The next part I wanted to highlight is more of the informational pages on the site. We’ve got the blog homepage here, then we’ve got some specific blog posts and blog categories under popular topics, and then they’ve stretched that inclusivity to show essential tools as well.

3. Breadcrumbs

The next example of a structural link I wanted to highlight are breadcrumbs. We’re all very familiar with these, but it’s worth pointing out they can be great on e-commerce sites, blogs, and in a lot of other instances as well. These hit all the right SEO notes—great for navigation, crawling, distributing link equity, and showing the relationship between pages.

Dealing with Long Breadcrumbs

Now, some site owners think, “What if my breadcrumb trail gets too long?” This can particularly be a problem on mobile, as it can push valuable content further below the fold. Wayfair has enacted a solution of a horizontal scroll.

4. Category Links

Our next example of a structural link is a category link. Here we are on Target’s Christmas page, the overarching category. Then you can see subcategory links are included on the page, such as Christmas decorations, Advent calendars, Christmas trees, etc. These are very similar to breadcrumb links, fantastic for navigation, helping Google crawl and discover pages more regularly, and distribute link equity.

5. Sidebar Links

Our fourth example is sidebar links. So on this page from Blue Nile, I’m within their Educational Library, and I’m on the engagement ring guide. You can see right here that this guide is part of a larger set of pages meant to educate people.

Sidebar’s Role in Education

I’m under the ring education section, which is also linked here, and then you’ve got sibling pages down below, as well as other categories like metal education, jewelry education, gemstone education. Wherever you are within this set of pages, you’re going to see these sidebar links.

6. Related Links

And the final example—related links. So here on the Rasmussen blog, we’re reading an article about early childhood education degrees. If I scroll down to the bottom, I can see the classic related links. These are a great way to encourage further navigation on your site and hit all those notes I mentioned before.

Conclusion

So those are five examples of structural internal links that can boost your SEO. I hope you found that useful. If you did, be sure to give me a like and a follow, and I’ll see you in the next video.