Deep linking is an effective SEO strategy that contributes to highly specific search engine rankings. For very large websites, such as those for ecommerce stores, hospitals and universities, the SEO value in deep linking is even more significant. Not only can deep linking efforts improve organic SEO performance, but users will appreciate more specified link paths while navigating a complex website.
Optimizing for long-tail keywords is a common SEO practice for larger websites. With respect to ecommerce, Internet users are becoming more specific and detailed with their search queries. Instead of "winter coats," savvy searchers are looking for "blue north face snowboarding coats for men." Many shoppers will go as far as searching for specific product models and SKU numbers. These behaviors are making the benefits of deep linking so powerful.
In essence, the practice of deep linking is directing a hyperlink to a specific sub-page, image, anchor tag, or any other destination other than a website's primary homepage. As a result, users are navigated to highly relevant web content. In addition, deep linking contributes to deeper content on a website being crawled and recognized - which helps facilitate desirable search engine placement.
Deep linking efforts are appreciated by both search engine users and spiders. Users are able find content that meets their needs in a more efficient manner, and search engine spiders have more link paths to crawl to interpret the overall website. Here we discuss two approaches to deep linking: external deep linking and internal deep linking (or deep cross-linking)
Although external deep linking for SEO is far from complicated, the practice does demand some logic and creativity. The first step is knowing the precise keyword target that reflects the link destination or webpage on the site. In short, deep linking requires an understanding of what anchor text (or link name) will best suit the content being linked to.
For example, mayoclinic.org is a complex website with tons of webpages filled with medical and health-related information. If the SEO team behind mayoclinic.org had goals to increase their organic SEO rankings on searches pertaining to "cardiovascular disease services" via link building, a deep linking technique could have a tremendous impact.
The SEO team could build a link with the anchor text "cardiovascular disease services" to the website's main Cardiovascular Disease page: http://www.mayoclinic.org/cardiovascular-disease/. Although this is would certain help the SEO efforts of mayoclinic.org, the SEO could take deep linking a bit further.
On that page is a tab that reads "Services," extending the URL to http://www.mayoclinic.org/cardiovascular-disease/diseases.html. Deep linking the latter anchor text to this specific sub-set of content would be even better. This will take the user to the exact page he or she is looking for - a list of cardiovascular diseases in which mayoclinic.org offers its services and expertise.
Deep linking for ecommerce is an extremely powerful tool for SEO. This practice involves linking to specific product pages with search-relevant anchor text. It is a very simple concept that can contribute to more search visibility and skyrocketing sales.
From within an ecommerce website, internal deep linking, otherwise known as deep cross-linking, can influence double stacks. These are a SEO dream, for double stacks display two website listings of the same domain in the organic search results. Double stack search engine results usually occur when to closely related webpages are internally linked. In ecommerce, this typically occurs when product categories are strategically linked with sub-product categories or individual product pages.
For example, MilitaryUniformSupply.com is popular ecommerce store for "kids military uniforms." The SEO team was able to achieve a double stack on that exact phrase with precise linking from a primary product category page to sub-category page.
Take a look at the link and anchor text used on the primary product category page heading to the sub-page titled "Kids Military Uniforms."
This link contributes to the following #3 & #4 rankings as seen in the screen shot.
Internal deep cross-linking and external deep linking can do wonders for both organic SEO and user experience. Creative SEO experts are now deep linking beyond product pages and primary category pages. Now images and videos are being linked to, and many are seeing top exposure in the search results. To better your deep linking efforts, practice some of the internal and external deep linking techniques we described here.continue...
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