Deep Linking

deep_linking

Today’s post is part four of our series, “Six Quick & Easy SEO Tactics Anyone Can Do.” If you missed the others, in part one we discussed Keyword-rich Permalinks, part two covered Weighing Anchor Text, and part three explained Keyword Density.

What is Deep Linking?

Bloggers practice Deep Linking by linking keywords to relevant content within their sites. These internal links inform search engines that you have niche-targeted content within your blog’s interior, not just on your homepage. This is not only a great SEO tactic, it’s a great way to drive readers deeper into your site, which helps decrease your bounce rate and builds your community.

Why Should Bloggers Practice Deep Linking?

Let’s say you blog about crafts, and you’ve decided to display five posts on your home page. You write your very first piece about quilting and post it. Suppose your next five blog posts discuss needlepoint, cross-stitching, knitting, crocheting, and making latch hook rugs. The quilting article is pushed off the home page. It’s in your archives, but it’s no longer displayed.

If the search engine initially indexed your home page rather than the quilting piece’s permalink when they crawled your site, then they likely indexed your site topic as “quilting.” The problem occurs when a visitor does a search for quilting and your site pops up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). That’s great! However, when she clicks over to your home page, she won’t find any articles on quilting. Some patient readers may use your search form, but most will click on the back button and go to the next page on the list provided by Google.

Here’s How Deep Linking Can Prevent That Scenario

First of all, it’s recommended that new blogs start with at least five posts. But if you’ve already started your blog, you can help the search engines determine your site’s context by linking each article to at least two other articles within your site. This is called “contextual linkage.” If you’ve only written one quilting article, then either quickly write two more or get creative and find a way to include a sentence or two quilting in your other posts. Then use the word “quilting” in your link’s anchor text. Now when someone searches for quilting, they’ll be sent to the specific post because the search bots can find and index the most relevant post on your blog about that topic instead of the home page.

Don’t Make It Awkward

When you “get creative,” keep it relevant. If you can’t come up with a connection between quilting and latch hook rugs, then don’t be weird just to get a link. It may be better to wait until you write another quilting article and then link it back to your first one. You’ll get the hang of Deep Linking. You can see how linking within your own site will also help readers find other articles of interest. This will keep them in your site longer and drive them deeper into your content as well. And, should they choose to link back to an article on one of your internal pages instead of just your home page, that will give you more credibility with the search engines because inbound links have more clout than internal links.

Here’s a Step-by-Step How-to on Deep Linking:

  1. Write your article’s rough draft.
  2. Consider which keywords or phrases you’d like your post to rank for.
  3. Browse through your archives to find the most relevant article to link to from your new article.
  4. Include your keywords or phrases in the anchor text when you link back to the archived article.
  5. Ta-da! You have just practiced Deep Linking on your site!

Other Tips on Deep Linking

  • If you really don’t have anything to say about quilting in your other pieces and haven’t had time to write more quilting articles, don’t fret. Link to a quilting article on someone else’s site for now. Then, when you do write a quilting article, be sure the new one links to your first one.
  • Many bloggers add relevant post links at the end of their posts, but deep linking within the 150-200 characters of your post helps if your post is republished elsewhere (or even on your own blog) and only the first paragraph is displayed followed by the read more link.
  • Use about 2-3 deep links per post.
  • When you’re leaving comments on another blog in your niche, instead of leaving the URL of your blog’s home page, link to a specific article within your blog that is relevant to the blogger’s article and your comment.
  • When you’re submitting articles as guest posts or to directories, etc., link to a relevant post within your blog instead of your home page. Same goes for forum signatures, social sites, and anywhere else you’d use a link back to your blog. Remember — relevance is new best your friend.

Hopefully this has helped you understand how Deep Linking can help the great content buried within the archives of your blog be “found” by both people and search bots.

Happy Blogging!

Linda

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 Moving Write Along: Advice from the Experts… « Write On Online on 03.11.10 at 12:21 pm

[…] think. By doing simple tasks, such as effective use of anchor text, internal linking (called “Deep Linking”), including alternative text in image attributes, and using keyword-rich permalinks, bloggers […]

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