Link building is a popular optimization practice that SEO professionals use to generate links to their website through other sources on the internet. A common mistake that many novice or inexperienced SEO professionals make is creating links that all lead back to the homepage. However, the homepage offers limited information about the business and services/products that it offers. Linking to a products or services page instead lets Google know what the website is about and crawl it accordingly for information.
This is where deep linking comes in. What are deep links in SEO? Deep links are those that are built to pages other than the homepage, like products and services pages. Think of it this way; giving links to various pages on your website makes it rank higher than linking it to a single page. Let’s get into the details of what deep links are in SEO and what purpose they serve.
The Importance of Deep Links in SEO
A link that directs visitors to useful information/pages will help your website rank better because it will improve user experience. The primary aim of good SEO is to create a positive experience for your visitors. It is also good for long-term SEO purposes.
Organic Link Profile
Deep linking allows you to diversify the link profile of your website. Creating links throughout the website helps create an organic link profile across important pages, contrary to a forced link profile linking just to the homepage.
Driving Traffic to Inside Pages
Deep links can be used to drive traffic to pages that are not found in the navigation tabs across the website. If your website has a lot of webpages that cannot be included in the navigation or sub-navigation tabs, then making them visible to site users is easier through deep linking.
Now that we know what the importance of deep linking is in SEO, let’s look at how to create them on your website.
Understanding Link Profiles
Your link profile is the quality and quantity of inbound and outbound links on your website. You can determine your link profile by analyzing three major factors –
- The number of links on your website
- Anchor text used in each link
- The search ability and web presence of these links
This helps you understand which pages need optimization and which pages can do with lesser links. It also helps you understand how to prevent your website from appearing ‘spammy’ and how to generate high-quality inbound links. Now that you know how to analyze deep links, let’s look at how to create them.
How to Create Deep Links on Your Website
Linking to Guest Posts
Creating a blog on your website is one of the best ways to create deep links. It helps you link back to your website pages when posting elsewhere. For instance, if you are writing guests posts or contributing an article to another website, then you can link it back to a post in your blog by adding it naturally into a sentence. It’s important to remember here that you should only give links to relevant posts, and not an unrelated post just to create an inbound link.
Use Internet Mentions
This means inserting the link to your webpage into a post/page/article that mentions your brand. For example, if someone has reviewed your service on their blog or website, then that opens up a possibility for a deep link. So how do you do that? Google search! Look up any latest mentions of your brand on other domains. Or you can set up Google alerts to know every time someone posts your brand name on the internet. And then what? Contact them! Ask them to add a hyperlink to a certain line of text sending their readers/customers/visitors over to (possibly) your services or products page. This increases traffic and builds quality inbound links.
Ask Manufacturers to Link to Product Pages
If you own an eCommerce website or sell products made by third-parties by hosting them on your cyberspace, then you are more than entitled to ask manufacturers to provide links to their products on your website. Rather, it is natural to expect them to do so. Contact your manufacturers and send them links to the most informative or engaging page related to their product, and ask them to include it on their website. This will ensure more traffic, relevant inbound linking and greater sales.
Just as there are active links on a website, there are also ones that lead to expired pages or domains. They are called broken links. When you click on a broken link, it takes you to an ‘expired domain’ page or give a 404 error. Although this doesn’t affect rankings greatly, it affects them nonetheless.
Fixing Broken Links
To start, it is extremely important to fix broken links within your website. Check all your outbound and inbound links to see if any are going to or coming from expired websites. As for monetizing on broken links, you need to regularly keep an eye on your competitor websites to see if any of them are shutting down. Then look for any inbound links to the expired website, and see if you have a similar page on your website. If that is the case, contact the Webmaster and tell him that you have found broken links on so and so web pages. Then discreetly tell them that your website has the same pages which can replace outbound links to the expired website. It’s a win-win.
Deep links are an important part of SEO. They are useful for building a greater credibility among users, and driving more traffic to pages that are useful to visitors. It enhances internet visibility and helps improve Google rankings as well. Overall, it should form a critical part of your SEO activities.
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing