Content Strategy

Validate internal links between subtopic keyword content and pillar pages

Last updated: January 14, 2019

Applies to:

Marketing Hub
Professional, Enterprise
Legacy Marketing Hub Basic
HubSpot CMS

The SEO tool helps you keep track of and validate internal links between your content on a particular topic.

Internal links are important for SEO. Search engines use crawlers to become familiar with different websites, and internal links help lead a crawler from one page in your cluster to your pillar page.

This helps the search engine better recognize your website's authority on the topic. Going forwards, your website is likelier to be returned for a query on that topic because search engines have an understanding of your site's authority for the broader topic related to the query. Adding internal links between your subtopics and your pillar page help search engines come to this understanding of the structure and topical authority of your website. Learn more about content strategy.

Validate internal links

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Marketing > Planning and Strategy > SEO.
  • Click the name of a topic.
  • In the Topical Coverage tab, you'll see a visual representation of your topical coverage:
    • If a subtopic keyword is connected to the topic with a green line, the attached content includes an internal link to your pillar page.
    • If a subtopic keyword is connected to the topic with a gray line, there is no attached content.
    • If a subtopic keyword is connected to the topic with a red line, the attached content does not include an internal link to your pillar page.

To add an internal link to your pillar page in your subtopic content:

  • Click the Content Performance tab.
  • In the Subtopic content section, identify unlinked subtopic content with the warningicdo Not Linked label in the Link to pillar page column.
  • Click the name of the subtopic content to access the content's performance page.

  • In the upper right, click Edit.
  • In the blog post or page editor, add a hyperlink to your pillar page.
  • Click Update to take your changes live.
  • Return to the Content Performance tab in the content strategy tool. Hover over the subtopic keyword content and click Edit.
  • In the right pane, click Check for link. If an internal link is found, the red alert box will disappear and the subtopic content will be labeled as Linked in the Link to pillar page column.

Internal links are not validating

If you have added internal links in your subtopic content to your pillar content, but your internal links still aren't detected, there are a few possible reasons: 

  • Check to make sure that your subtopic content has been published. The tool can't detect internal links in a draft page or blog post.
  • The internal link must be on the subtopic content linking back to the pillar page. You can link from your pillar page to your subtopic content, but the tool is only looking for internal link(s) on your subtopic content for validation.
  • It can take up to four hours for the crawler to complete the crawl once you click to check for links.
<a href=“”>our home page</a> 

Please note: CTAs are JavaScript snippets that redirect to your destination URL. Since the link to the destination is not in the HTML of the page body, Google’s crawlers won't detect a CTA as an internal link. 

  • The anchor tag in the page source must match the pillar page URL format in the SEO tool.
    • If the link in the subtopic content is hardcoded as http, but your pillar page is on SSL, you will need to make the link https
    • Relative links will be detected without issue. Either the absolute URL (e.g., or the relative URL (e.g., /my-subtopic-page) will work.
    • If your link does not have a scheme (http or https is not included in the URL, e.g., ://, the link will not be detected. 
  • The attached subtopic content should not be a file.
    • Image files (PNG, JPEG) and PDF files are not composed of HTML like a webpage. The subtopic content needs to be a blog post or live page to be crawled. Search engines parse the HTML of a webpage and pick up on <a> tags to identify internal links.
  • There needs to be a HubSpot tracking code on the subtopic content, which can only be added to HTML pages.