[Case Study] Adding Internal Links to 500+ Blog Posts

For a site to grow, creating internal links is almost as important as creating external backlinks. If you create a page and do not link to any other pages on the site, search engines look at it as an orphan page and it’s a serious SEO problem.

I worked on a site that had 500+ articles and none of them were internally linked to other articles. It was very difficult to open each and every post and try to add internal links wherever possible.

But after a lot of struggle, I came up with a plan that definitely makes the process of adding internal links to hundreds of blog posts a lot easier. Let’s take a look how I did it:

Step 1 – Identified possible categories/niches

First, I identified all the main niches/categories that the site was covering (it was a digital marketing blog). The identified niches were:

  • Email marketing
  • Blogging
  • Content marketing
  • SEO
  • Affiliate marketing
  • SaaS, and
  • Copywriting

Step 2 – Categorized all posts into identified categories

I created a Google Sheets spreadsheet and put all these main niches/categories as columns, went through the titles of all the articles one by one, and put them into the respective categories.

Internal Linking - Google Sheet 1
Just for demo — you can make a copy of the Google Sheet if you want!

Step 3 – Identified the pillar pages

I checked the word counts of all the articles by using a URL word count checker tool — just put the URL and it says how many words are on the webpage.

And under each category, I marked the articles of 2500+ words as green in the Google Sheet, as shown in the screenshot above.

Step 4 – Identified cluster pages to the respective pillar pages

Then, I created another Google Sheets document (see the below screenshot) and put all the green marked cells as column heads.

There were around 40 green marked cells, which means 40 articles were of 2500+ words. I started putting all the shorter articles under those longer ones wherever felt more relevant.

Internal Linking - Google Sheet 2
Just for demo — you can make a copy of the Google Sheet if you want!

After that, I was able to form clusters — column headers were like pillar pages (longer articles) and the rows were like cluster pages (shorter/supportive articles) to the respective pillars.

Step 5 – Started adding internal links

Now, added internal links from cluster pages to the respective pillar pages and vice versa. And, then interlinked different pillar pages too (wherever relevant). Much like:

  • Pillar page ↔ Cluster pages
  • Cluster page → Cluster page (if relevant)
  • Pillar page → Pillar page (if relevant)

But the diagram below will definitely make the interlinking process easier to understand. I used the same internal linking strategy for an ed-tech client that I have mentioned in this case study.

Internal Linking Strategy
Click on the image to enlarge or download a high-quality PDF version!

Yes, after finishing the whole process, I started thinking that the first step where I categorized every article into 7 niches was unnecessary. But… maybe that made the process less messy.

And before you recommend LinkWhisper or any other such solutions, this wasn’t a WordPress site.

That’s it.

👉 Related: [Case Study] 120 Articles → 45,000 Monthly Traffic

Would you have done it any better? Kindly let me know in the comments.

Also, share the case study with your SEO friends who you think might be interested in reading it.

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