Sharing Wealth: Value of Deep Linking

Stephen Yagielowicz

One of the most basic and yet most valuable techniques for building website traffic is the use of well targeted contextual deep linking.

In its most effective terms, this process involves crafting keyword-focused text links, pointing to internal or external pages that are optimized for that link text — for example, echoing the deep link on the page’s title, Meta and <h1> tags, and in the page body text.

Effective deep linking is a proven method of reducing bounce rates...

Contrast this approach to a generic link to the site’s home or other page.

Effective deep linking is a proven method of reducing bounce rates, as visitors find the specific material they are seeking, rather than landing on a generic home, landing or splash page. Bounce rates measure the percentage of visitors that only view one page of your site, “bouncing” off of it — which the search engines interpret as “the surfer did not find what he wanted.” When that is the case, the relevance of the link is questionable, which is not what search engines want to offer — so that link is devalued in the listings.

If deep links are so good, then why don’t more webmasters use them?

The short answer is because they’re a lot of work to properly implement — especially when it is two or more sites belonging to different owners that are being linked together — due to the specific anchor text requirements and their ability to blend with surrounding page content — on what could be a website focusing on a totally unrelated topic. Email chains devoted to these exchanges alone may use up a considerable amount of your time.

With carefully chosen link partners, however, the value of deep linking far outweighs the difficulty of establishing a proper linking structure; and when crafting internal links between pages on your own site, deep links are the way to go. Try it for yourself and see.