5 Reasons Why Deep Links Help—Not Hurt—Your Site
By Larry Kim, founder and VP of product development, WordStream Inc.
Historically, companies that monitor links to
their websites haven't looked kindly upon inbound
"deep links"—links to site pages other than the
homepage or other top-level pages.
Some objected on the grounds that deep links cause
visitors to bypass a site's main advertising or
branding page. Others were concerned that visitors
might not recognize that they are on a new site, and
they might interpret the linked page as part of the
website that linked to it.
But, the truth is that deep links can actually be
really good for a website. Here are five benefits
1. Deep links improve your search engine rankings
If you are serious about optimizing your website,
you likely know that inbound links can boost your
site's search engine rankings. The more
high-authority sites that link your way, the higher
your site will appear in search results pages (SERPs).
Well, your rankings can improve even more
dramatically if other sites are linking to a variety
of your site's pages, not just the homepage. That's
because search engines infer that content throughout
your site is worthwhile, and so the engines reward
you by improving your standing in the SERPs. Also,
having deep links implies you are getting links the
natural way—editorial links—as opposed to paying for
them. (A fair number of paid link services will
perform link building only to your site's homepage.)
2. Deep links increase your site's traffic
If deep links can increase your search engine
rankings, it's pretty much a given that they can
increase your site's traffic. The higher your site
appears in search engine results, the more people
who will learn about it and visit it.
Moreover, those who find the site through a deep
link are more likely to return to the site than
those who find the site through a generic homepage
link. That's because a deep link, being more
targeted, is more likely to give people what they
If a blog mentions the new type of organic dog treat
your online grocery store sells, for example, you're
probably better served by a link directly to a page
featuring that product than to your store's
homepage. If visitors to your site easily find what
they're looking for, they are more likely to return.
3. Deep links let you target different keyword
If more of your site's pages get inbound links, then
more of your site's pages will get indexed by search
engines. If more of your pages are indexed, more of
them will be crawled during Internet searches. That
opens up many keyword opportunities for your site.
Instead of trying to cram all your site's keywords
onto your homepage or another main page, you can
target different keyword groups on different pages.
Again, consider the online grocery store example:
Your main keywords for a page about organic dog
treats might be "organic dog treats,” "buy organic
dog treats," "organic dog treats sale," "organic
puppy treats," and so on. Ideally, you have
different target keywords for each different product
4. Deep links keep old content alive
Many company sites now maintain blogs as a way to
engage and interact with readers and increase site
traffic. Unfortunately, many of the older blog
entries get buried within the site and are never
read again. You can revive these old posts by
linking to them in your new blog posts.
When you blog about something relevant to a past
blog post, add a link. A reader might click on the
link, read the old post, and link to it himself.
Good posts can go viral weeks, months, or even years
after they were written.
Another good way to keep older posts alive is by
posting a monthly summary of the previous month's
top posts and linking to them.
5. Deep links can help you learn about and improve
Without deep links to your site, people may rarely
get beyond its homepage. That doesn't mean your site
doesn't have good content, it just means that people
don't have an easy way of getting to it. Deep links
provide a fairly effortless way to reach your site's
Once you have a substantial number of deep links,
and a resultant increase in site traffic, you can
really start benefiting from a Web or keyword
analytics tool. You can see which pages people visit
the most, and which pages people spend the most time
That information can help you determine which of
your pages are most appealing to readers or
customers, and which can be improved. Determine
which techniques attract visitors and implement them
on the appropriate pages.
---Source: MarketingProfs online
newsletter Aug. 3, 2010 (www.marketingprofs.com).
Larry Kim is the founder and VP of product
development for WordStream Inc. (www.wordstream.com),
a provider of SEO tools and pay-per-click software
for search engine marketing efforts. Follow Larry
Kim on Twitter (@larrykim).