I have been meaning to write a post about deep links and the importance of deep linking for a while now, but it is only after working on e-commerce websites optimization that I realized how much people and self proclaimed SEO experts fail to create deep links. Since these are e-commerce websites people think it is hard to optimize them. Well, that is somewhat true, but our main points here are not e-commerce websites, but deep links and the importance of deep linking.
I can understand why people would skip deep linking for e-commerce, it is wrong to skip it, but I can understand. Deep linking is the best part about linking, but before we get to that, do yourself a favor, go to Yahoo site explorer and type in your homepage URL, check the number of external backlinks pointing to your domain. Now open the drop-box and check the number of all external links pointing to your entire site. What is the difference in numbers? If your homepage has 300 backlinks and your entire website has 400 backlinks that is bad, and the sad truth is that most websites have that ratio.
I can tell you that my homepage has about 150 backlinks and my entire site has 2,000+ backlinks, I did that from the start and when I look at my analytics and webmaster tools data what can I see? I see people coming to my internal pages and not bouncing, they find the relevant content they were looking for and they stick around. Why is that so? It is because of the simple fact that we cannot optimize our homepage for every single keyword we target, simple as that.
Yes, our homepage can be a great landing page, it all depends on the website, but we must link to our internal pages and create deep links, let’s see why, besides the already mentioned, and check out the reason why we need to use deep linking to our advantage.
Importance of Deep Linking
Fact Number 1. Deep linking helps us persuade the search engines that we have quality content throughout our site and not just the main page. We all know that link is somewhat equal to a vote, but this is not democracy, some votes weigh more than others. So if links are votes, when we use deep linking we are telling Google and other search engines that we have important content throughout the website and not just our homepage. Ring any bells? That means that we can increase the authority of the entire site, and not just a single page, which is our goal when we implement search engine optimization.
Fact Number 2. I already partially answered this in the beginning, deep linking increases the relevancy for a chosen keyword. We can’t optimize the homepage for every keyword, but our posts and certain pages have the desired keyword in the ULR, title of the page, title of the post and even in the body of the content, so that page will be easier to rank in the SERP for the chosen keyword than your homepage. By linking directly to that page with the chosen keyword as your anchor text you are increasing your overall websites relevancy.
Fact Number 3. No matter how small your website is, unless you have only 100 pages you will surely have to work hard to get all of your pages indexed. We need to have a good navigational structure on our website, and that helps search engines index our pages, but deep linking, both external and internal will help us get those invisible pages in the index and will overall improve our website’s visibility.
Deep Links Summary
These are just three reasons why you should use deep links in your SEO strategy, but they are more than enough. Personally when I type a query in Google I will most likely go to a deep page that pop ups in the SERP than to a homepage. I know that unless I am looking for a certain product or service I will not benefit from the homepage and I will have to look around the website, which means I will most likely bounce. If I am looking for information about a certain topic, I know that a deep linked page will have more chances of providing me with the content I am looking for. That is one of the reasons why I use deep linking, and I love when my deep linked pages show in the SERP before my homepage.
Also, if you have a linkbait on your website, it will always ataract links to the page where the linkbait is placed, usually deper pages, and not the homepage. So this is just a measure to show you how important and how much quality does your website content have.
So to summarize, deep linking will improve your website authority, your website relevancy and your website visibility in the SERP. Plus as the biggest bonus, your visitors are more likely to be satisfied with the content of your website when they land on a relevant page. Landing on your homepage is not the ideal solution for most of us, make sure that you use deep linking in your SEO efforts; perfect ratio by my measures is 20-80. 20% of all links should go to your homepage and 80% should be scattered throughout the website. So do yourself a favor, don’t skip deep linking, you can be sure that this is a great strategy that will bring results.