How SEOcausal turns small changes into big results: internal linking

Internal linking is one of the most impactful ways to improve organic search visibility. Here’s an example of how it works in practice.

One of the lowest-hanging fruit we identified for our global travel client was to link to popular and high revenue driving pages from the top-level navigation, footer and content section on the homepage. 

The idea being that linking to these pages in prime locations will pass on link equity to improve SEO visibility, while also surfacing popular destinations to users more quickly. A win-win all round. 

However, we wanted to put some hard numbers to these changes and really quantify the impact to prove the value of internal linking and win stakeholder buy-in for further investment in SEO implementation. 

I’ve written before about how quantifiable evidence really helps push through organic recommendations. To do this for our client we used our tool SEOcausal

SEOcausal is powered by data science and is incredibly useful because it allows us to have an actual robust and statistical method – based on open research published by Google and Uber. 

Here it is in action.

The challenge

We’ve worked closely with this client for over 4 years now, across 15 of their EMEA markets. With multiple websites to maintain, let alone improve, we have to pick our shots when it comes to recommendations – ensuring everything is scalable, and we achieve the best possible outcome on the bottom line vs the time and effort invested.

With limited IT and development resources combined with a temperamental CMS and looming migration, we had to get creative when it comes to making improvements.  

Importantly, adding relevant links within the CMS across multiple websites and pages is an incredibly time-consuming manual process.

Without definitive proof of the positive impact on the bottom line, it has been near impossible to justify the resource required to implement a robust, automated internal linking approach.

As a result, reliably measuring the impact of any internal linking changes we can make would be critical if we wanted to win stakeholder buy-in for further investment here, across not only budget but also time and resource client-side.

This is why we used SEOcausal. Our tool can tie back incremental traffic and revenue increases to deliver interventions that can help build business cases for further investment. 

What did we test?

We ran an analysis totalling 21k pages across the 3 territories we worked on to determine the best URLs to link to within the top-level navigation, footer and content section on the homepages of several sites.

Adding a new ‘Popular Destinations’ heading for the pages we wanted to link to:



The metrics analysed from the previous 12 months for each page to define the final list included:

We then gave recommendations based on the data to either remove or add the URL to each section. 

For example, we added a total of 44 URLs to the German site in June. This included high revenue-generating summer priority airport pages for car hire Mallorca, Cagliari and Thessaloniki. 

As expected, we saw a correlation between implementation and an improvement to rankings for priority terms:

Above: ranking improvements for a sample of airport keywords

What are the results?

We proved the value of adding internal links. We saw the impact on rankings and an incremental uplift in traffic and revenue, justifying the time and effort required when analysed strategically.

From the improvements we saw to rankings across the UK, DE and FR sites, we were able to forecast monthly incremental uplifts of:

Equating to +58k clicks and €757k revenue annually. A return on investment of over 5,607%. With such positive results for the top 3 markets, we have begun rolling out this project across 6 others.  

What does this tell us?

There isn’t too much surprise here. Internally linking to pages is a sound means to improve visibility.

In this case, it’s likely that the pages linked to received more link equity, helping them to rank better.

However, this time we used SEOcausal; our causal impact model to prove that these relatively small changes have a huge impact on performance – and most importantly, revenue. 

This in turn showcases the impact of implementation and helps to get buy-in from stakeholders.

If you’re interested in the applications of data science or want to know how this approach can help your brand, get in touch with our data team here.

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