While most people know that getting links to their websites is critical if they want higher rankings with the search engines, they are often unaware of how to link properly. Those who want to get the most out of links to their websites need to be aware of deep linking.
A common mistake those building links to their sites make is to concentrate too much, or exclusively, on links to the top page of their domain. While this is the single most important page to build links to for many sites, it is not the only page that needs linking.
Do not put everything on top
The algorithms search engines use when determining how to rank sites look for natural linking patterns. In other words, those sites that show signs of receiving links because users find their content interesting and valuable will do the best. Since the content that people naturally want to link to on websites is often on pages deeper in the site and not on the top page, good sites that are getting links naturally because of their content will have direct links to pages deeper in their sites.
Therefore, anyone building links to their sites needs to make sure to not only to link to their top pages. By building links to pages deeper in a site, a technique known as deep linking, the linking will look more natural and count for more with the search engines.
Internal linking too
Deep linking is also a way to bring more traffic to the more interesting pages of a website. Most sites are targeting a number of keywords. Create well-written articles that contain those words. Then, include those keywords in the anchor text on other pages of the site linking to the page optimized for the keywords. This will bring in more targeted visitors and help the site rank for those keywords in the search engines. Often, these deeper pages are more interesting than the top pages of sites and will impress visitors more.
Generally, a limited number of pages on any site will pull in the majority of the search engine traffic. Find these pages and direct more links to them to make them do better.
Having keywords in anchor text is good for SEO even when it is within the site. Internal linking also helps visitors with navigation but should be kept organized and focused between parts of the site that are within the same category (see siloing).
Although it can seem counter intuitive since the links are coming from the same site, internal linking does offer real SEO value and needs to be used.
Examples of a deep linking strategy
Article marketing is one away to build external links to a site. Most directories offer two or more links to the site that is being promoted in exchange for posting the article. A common tactic is to place one link to the top page of a site targeting the main keywords and use all the other links allowed for deep linking and alternate keywords.
When blog commenting, the links can be rotated between the top pages of the site and those good internal pages that are most related to the topic.
How many links should go to the top page and how many should be devoted to deep linking will vary greatly with the site. It is always a good idea to look at how a site is ranking with traffic and keywords when deciding. If the site is doing well with the main keywords, it is probably time to devote more linking to the deeper pages and other keywords. Look for and target pages that have the most potential.
Remember that some deep linking can be done within the site itself.
Deep linking makes link building more natural while offering great SEO and other benefits. Any webmaster building links should include it in their program.