Internal links are rudimentary, and an essential on-page strategy. Part of that, is also knowing what the current state of affairs is — to make the necessary tweaks and adjustments, and potentially, glean insights into how your competitors are internally linked.
Welcome to Ahrefs Internal Backlinks
How the Ahrefs Internal Backlinks Report Looks Like and What Do All of the Terms and Filters Mean
Keeping this image in mind, let’s explore the different settings, controls, and filters.
- First things first: The report that’s generated is depended on what you put in your site explorer. In my example, I am using the domain. But you can also use it on a subdomain, subfolder, or URL level.
- Group Similar: By default, that’s the option that would be selected, and therefore, your number would be reflected based on that selection. For example, you can see that I have 417 groups of similar links. But, what does it mean exactly? To demonstrate, I am going to use one more screen capture below, for something that is based on a URL level.
- All Internal Backlinks: Switching to “All” will ungroup similar links, and show you the total count of internal links.
- Link Type: Here, you can filter your internal links report by the type of link such as dofollow, nofollow, redirects, etc.
- Platform: This filter detects what kind of platform you’re getting internal links from. Say, for example, your website has a Wiki or a message board. Given the right circumstances, Ahrefs can figure that out for you! This can be immensely helpful in charting out patterns of internal links from online interactions.
- Language: As the name suggests, you can filter by language.
- Traffic: With this filter, you can narrow down your results based on a specific traffic threshold. Note that this is based on the referring page traffic.
- Word or phrase filter and any target: These two combinations can allow you to either include or exclude a word or a phrase, while checking them against URLs of referring pages, their titles, and on the other side, URL of backlinks, anchor texts or even surrounding texts!
Hopefully, you now know how to navigate and configure the tool. With that, let’s explore some of the uses cases that come to the top of my mind.
Use Case 1: Tracking Important Anchor Texts (and Whatever Other Idea You Can Derive From It)
If you need to keep track of essential anchor texts as it relates to internal links, using the word or phrase filter can immensely prove to be useful. On the contrary, if you want to exclude a few to look at a much more refined and truer data, you can disregard your brand name as an anchor text.
Not only that, let’s say that you and your competitor are on similar levels in terms of everything you could do externally (all things being equal), for your URL to rank for the target keyword, and yet you’re baffled at how they always beat you in the SERPS. Perhaps, an avenue you might not have considered is internal links. Maybe, just maybe, they have a stronger internal linking game than you? Only one way to find out! Compare anchor texts for your site and theirs.
Use Case 2: International SEO
If you’re a multilingual website, and different languages are important to you, the “language filter” can come in handy. Utilize this filter to gauge how your existing efforts are while also seeing if your competitor is doing anything different or unique?
Use Case 3: Sponsored Opportunities
Albeit for internal links, getting an idea of how many sponsored links your competitor has can open up the doors for ideas on using your organizational influence and partnerships to make additional ROI through sponsored content opportunities.
It’s a less likely scenario for internal links, but you never know what kind of gem you might end up finding, or a creative way your competition is doing something like this.
Use Case 4: In-body Internal Links
For the link type filter, there is an option for “content,” — which essentially translates to links from the body of pages or blog posts. While not a big revelation in itself, but it tells you if your competitor is being precise, deliberate, and thoughtful of internally linking to their relevant pages, directly within the body. It indicates the seriousness of their SEO investment.
Use Case 5: If You’re Linking to Important Pages From High Traffic Pages
Saved the best for the last.
High traffic pages are compelling! Not only they bring users, but they can serve as quick avenues for driving these said users to deeper pages, running experiments and getting quick results, and usually, can attract more natural backlinks.
If you aren’t internally linking to your significant pages from URLs that get a lot of hits, it’s a wasted opportunity. I mean, surely, getting them to your site is step 1. But then what? You always have to think ahead!
You May Also Want to Check Out:
- Types of Anchor Texts and SEO
- Multiple Dynamic IPs, Locations, and Devices: A Comprehensive Guide to Excluding Internal Traffic From All in Google Analytics
- How to Create a Simple and an Effective Table of Contents in WordPress (Without a Plugin)
- Understanding the Core Fundamental Relationships Between Links and SEO
- All Other Topics and Posts
If it wasn’t obvious, take note that you can use multiple filters in combination. So, the possibilities of how you use this tool are endless. Typically, I mostly leverage it for anchor texts, but I know I can do a better job of this useful functionality provided by Ahrefs.