In Yoast SEO you’ll find a text link counter, counting the number of internal text links in and to your post. It sounds really simple, but it’s extremely useful and actionable. These counters can be a huge help in improving the structure of your site. Here, I’ll explain why and how to use our new text link counter.
What does the text link counter do?
The text link counter counts the internal text links in your posts. It consists of two counters: The first counter counts the number of links in your post and the second counter counts the number of links to your post.
Why should I use Yoast’s text link counter?
The structure of a site is a crucial aspect of SEO. After all, Google follows links. The result of Google following links is that the internal linking structure of your site determines how Google crawls your site. Posts and pages that are linked to more often, are crawled more frequently than post and pages with few (internal) links. Same goes for visitors: pages and posts that have many links referring to them, get more visitors. If you forget to link to a specific blog post, nobody (Google included) will find it.
A well-crafted internal linking structure is therefore crucial for SEO. That’s why you’ll find some nice features in Yoast SEO Premium that’ll help you to keep your site’s structure up to scratch: the internal linking functionality and the cornerstone content checks.
The text link counter, available for everyone in the free version of Yoast SEO, is another great feature that’ll help you to improve your site’s structure.
Where do I find the text link counter?
You can find the Yoast SEO text link counter in your post overview. In this overview, you’ll see two additional columns. The first column shows the first counter – internal links in your post – and the second one shows the second counter – internal links to your post:
Look a bit closer:
This functionality is very actionable. If you want to improve your site structure and your SEO, the text link counter will help you do that.
What can I do with it?
Find and resolve: ‘Orphaned articles’
Some articles don’t get any links from other posts; we often refer to them as ‘orphaned articles.’ These pages are hard to find, both by Google as well as the user. With the help of our text link counter, these articles are easy to detect. Just click on the “orphaned articles” link on top of your post overview.
You’ll see the articles that get no links at all from other posts. Go through the list: Is it a page you don’t find useful anymore? Just delete and redirect it to another relevant page. If you do think it’s still a valid page on your site, figure out which other posts could link to it.
Our internal linking tool (only for Yoast SEO premium) could help you to figure out which posts are linking candidates. Go to those similar post and insert links from these posts to your ‘orphaned’ post. That strategy could very well result in a small boost in your rankings.
The next step is to go through those posts or pages with few links. If you want to check which articles don’t receive many links, you can sort the articles by the number of links in the second link counter column. Start checking the posts with the least links and decide what to do with each post, following the same method as above.
Improve site structure by adding links
The other counter – the first column – counts the number of text links to other posts and pages on your website. You’ll want your post to link to other posts and pages with similar content, as it helps your readers to figure out other posts to read. If you link to similar content, the time people spend on your website will go up.
To find blog posts with few links to other posts, order the posts by the number of links. The posts with the fewest links will appear on top of your list. Adding links is incredibly easy with our internal linking tool. In our internal linking tool, we’ll suggest which post to link to based on similar content. You can add the suggestions, and you’re ready to go to the next blog post with few links.
Improve those cornerstone articles
An excellent way to use the text link counter is to use it for the cornerstone content articles. These are your most important articles. You’ll need to have your other posts linking to these particular relevant posts.
To check whether you’re linking sufficiently to these cornerstones, you should select your cornerstone articles in your post overview. You can indicate which posts are your cornerstones in the Yoast SEO meta box (just beneath the snippet preview). If one of your cornerstones has few links, you’ll have work to do! Our internal linking tool will help you to figure out which articles to start linking to.
Use Yoast’s text link counter!
The text link counter is a beneficial tool to improve your site’s structure actively. It’ll show you which posts need linking. If you combine this text link counter with our internal linking tool and the cornerstone content check, you’ll be able to bring your site’s structure to the next level. That will instantly increase the time people spend on your page and eventually will result in higher rankings in Google.
Read more: Site structure: the ultimate guide »