Deep Links

What are deep links and how do they impact SEO?

Deep links are simply links that take visitors to a specific page or section of a website that aren’t the landing page or the homepage. Deep links make it easier for users to find what they are looking for, quickly.

Deep links are links that take visitors to a website directly to the page they want to go to. They don’t link to the website’s homepage or landing page, instead they go directly to a specific page of a website. 

You might think that linking to your homepage is going to help your SEO efforts, but actually, linking to this page or any landing page is a poor SEO practice, because you are creating a back link portfolio to just one page of your site, neglecting the others. 

What are deep links

Deep links are links that take visitors to a website directly to the page they want to go to. They don’t link to the website’s homepage or landing page, instead they go directly to a specific page of a website. 

You might think that linking to your homepage is going to help your SEO efforts, but actually, linking to this page or any landing page is a poor SEO practice, because you are creating a back link portfolio to just one page of your site, neglecting the others. 

The advantage of deep links over general links is the benefits they provide users who are looking for certain information and want to get to it quickly, without having to comb through an entire website to find it. And let’s be fair now, there is no I in team – all the pages of your website should work together to make it a winning site, the homepage is merely the entry point. 

Which is why deep links are vital to ensuring an equal and balanced backlink portfolio across your site.

How can deep linking enhance SEO

Deep links are incredibly beneficial to SEO because they enhance the user’s UX. Deep links take users directly to the page or information they are searching for. Most links will direct users to a homepage or a landing page, but that tactic is likely to make visitors bounce, because unless the information they require is immediately obvious, they won’t hang around and scour your website to hunt down the requisite information. 

Deep links keep the attention of your visitor firmly on the page, information or service that you offer, which they are looking for. 

Besides, it isn’t possible for your home page or your landing page to rank for all keywords that you want to use. 

Deep links also:

  1. Spread authority across your entire website – if you have all backlinks directed to your homepage, your homepage will have an unnaturally high authority rank, but the rest of the low ranking pages will drag down your average, making your SEO efforts futile. 
  2. Boost your website’s relevance. Search engines are always on the lookout for the most relevant websites to include in the SERP, and if you have backlinks spread throughout your site, then the spiders are better able to crawl your site, and index it more effectively for the keywords that you want to rank for. 
  3. Enhance your website’s visibility. Sites with multiple pages tend to suffer with lack of visibility because many of the pages are neglected. Deep links both internal and external, boost navigational efforts, for users and search engine spiders, allowing both to follow a path through your site. 

Downsides to deep linking

There are a few downsides to deep linking, mainly, that when you direct users to a certain page of your website, you are, by choice, allowing users to circumnavigate the rest of your website, and this in turn lowers the impression rate on the other pages. 

Impression rate can be important to some websites, particularly those that rely on advertisement revenue, because by deep linking, you by pass those pages that host advertisements to other pages or products, to the detriment of those websites. 

There are some websites who overcome these obstacles by not allowing deep links, making all visitors click through the entire website to find the content they require, and any deep links that do exist on these websites is likely to be no follow, meaning that the deep linked pages are not included in the search engine spiders’ index. The result? Pages that are deep linked on these websites do not, therefore, appear in the natural SERP.

Simple deep linking tactics

  1. Creating a blog. By having a blog on your website you can not only create unique and useful content for your users, but it also provides ample deep linking opportunities for you and others, to link back to. 
  2. Backlinks from mentions. When you see other websites linking back to yours, reach out to them and ask them to link to a specific page that will benefit their site, not just your homepage. Find mentions of your particular keywords by setting up Google alerts to let you know every time someone publishes content containing these words. 
  3. E-commerce links. If your website sells products that are manufactured by someone else, ask the manufacturer to include a link on their website that links directly to the product on your website. Not only will it increase their reach, but it will boost your credibility by having the manufacturer of the products you retail linking to you. 
  4. Broken links. Find broken links on sites that you want to link back to yours, reach out the webmaster and offer your link as an alternative to the broken one. Why would a website accept your offer? Because a website hosting a load of broken links is likely to be penalised by Google, affecting their position in the SERP, because they aren’t offering users a top experience. You can find broken links using a variety of SEO tools including:
  5. Email signature. Include a deep link in your email signature. Most people merely include the URL of their website, but by linking to a webpage that will actually add value to visitors – ie a white paper you’ve crafted, or an e-book you’ve written, or even your latest blog post. You’re not only enhancing their UX, but you’re boosting your SEO efforts naturally. 
  6. Comments. If you’re commenting on other people’s blog posts, don’t just include a link to your home page, include a link to a relevant page on your website that either supports your comment or adds value to the discussion. 
  7. Social media. When you link your site to your social accounts, don’t link to the homepage, link to a page that users will find beneficial and that is relevant to them. You’ll not only decrease your bounce rate, but you’ll increase your traffic. 
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