When a plumber arrives to work on your home, do you leave them at the front door or do you guide them to the area that needs attention? Most people visiting your website will expect to be guided directly to what they are looking for. So it makes sense to link your visitors directly to the relevant inner page they are looking for rather than always directing them to your home page. This is made possible through inner-page link building, which is also known as deep link building. If you do not build links to the inner pages of your website, you have less chance of search engines finding, indexing and returning your website’s inner pages in search results.
When it comes to links built toward your home page versus your inner pages, a general rule of thumb is to keep a one to three ratio to enhance SEO for your site. This means that for optimized search ranking, the number of links pointing toward your inner pages must collectively be three times higher than the number of links pointing toward your home page.
There are many reasons for deep linking your website. They are as follows:
The page authority of your home page is enhanced when you build a lot of links to it. High page authority is good as this decides how high in search results your site is displayed for your target keywords. However, building high page authority for your home page alone does not create high page authority for your site as a whole. To build high page authority for your whole website you need to increase the page authority of the inner pages as well. Your website gets a boost in page authority when you expose your inner pages to the search engine bots by building links to them.
If you have 1000 websites linking to your home page but none linking to your inner pages, search engine bots might categorize this as unnatural link building, even if your links are legitimate. It triggers an indication of spam, especially if the links are all built within a short period of time. Many cheap SEO companies offer bulk link building but this practice is no longer legitimate as more and more webmasters have received unnatural link warnings since 2012. Thus, it is advisable to spread your home page and inner pages link building over time to create the necessary diversity in your link profile. A diverse link profile is considered to be more natural than a unidirectional linking pattern (exclusively to the home page).
This is a very crucial factor when it comes to understanding why deep linking is important. For instance, say your website is a mobile phone comparison website and you drop a link to your home page on a forum thread discussing the iPhone 5 versus the Samsung Galaxy S3. The members of the forum that follow your link expect to find a comparison of the iPhone 5 versus the Samsung Galaxy S3 but instead will find a comparison of a wide database of mobile phones. Although webmasters most often leave links back to their home page, in this instance it makes more sense to drop a link to an inner page specifically about the discussion topic. This will lower the bounce rates on your website. Inner page links tend to be more relevant, thus you should have higher chances of attaining repeat site visitors, as well as a higher page authority for that particular page.
When you primarily build links to your home page your website will only be optimized for two or three keywords. By building links to inner pages you are able to target your site for a wide variety of keywords. Thus your site will be search-optimized for numerous keywords, which improves the visibility of your site in organic searches. Building links to your inner pages will also help search engines crawl and index your inner pages efficiently, making it easy to return relevant pages in search results. This will ideally increase the clickthrough rate (CTR) of your search snippets and decrease the bounce rates of your inner pages because the page returned in search results should be relevant to the keyword query. When CTR’s are high and bounce rates are low there are higher chances of your pages moving up in the SERPs.
Building links to inner pages is similar to building links to a home page.
The following are some quick ways to build links to the inner pages of your site:
If you comment on blogs in your niche, take these as opportunities to drop relevant inner page links to your site, wherever relevant. If you do not normally comment on blogs, we recommend you start doing so in order to build links to your site and also to build authority within your niche community.
Similar to blog commenting, find forums in your niche and create profiles with a link to your home page or one of the popular inner pages in your website. You can also drop links to relevant inner pages in the forum comments in order to direct members to pertinent information.
While guest posting on other blogs can be done legitimately, bloggers often leave links to their home page in their guest post bios. If you are talking about a specific topic in your guest post, consider linking to a relevant inner page on your website that offers further information on the topic of the blog. This helps direct targeted traffic to specific pages on your website and also builds quality deep links.
Bookmark your inner pages with keyword-rich descriptions and tags. This will generate high quality links as well as essential social signals for your site’s inner pages.
You can blog on Google+ as there is no limit to the number of characters allowed in a post. These blogs can be angled toward a topic concerning one of your inner pages. Include a link to the specific inner page. Google+ posts are shown in search results, so this can be a direct way of building links to your inner pages. Take, for example, this search result featured on the first page of results:
If you have a blog page on your site, link to relevant inner pages throughout the posts. This builds quality internal linking and also helps to build inner page SEO.
Submit your website’s inner links to deep link directories, such as the ones listed below:
On your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn brand pages make sure you link to inner pages on your site. You will benefit from the traffic sourced from social network brand pages, even if the links are nofollow.
Post images to image sites such as Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram and other similar sites, and link them to the inner page where the original image is found.
Include inner-page links in email signatures, specifically in emails talking about a particular service or product on your website.
There are many document sharing sites on the web, such as Scribd, DocStoc and Slideshare, where you can share PDFs or whitepaper, or even product brochures and restaurant menus. These sites allow you to link to your website, so add relevant inner-page links.
If you share company news on press release sites and the news is related to a particular product, service or concept that is not directly represented on your home page, you can add relevant inner page links in the resource box of the press release. This is a good way of building links to your site’s inner pages.
These are some of the link building strategies for inner pages. Use every opportunity to drop inner page links, as they drive visitors to relevant pages, thus hopefully increasing your CTRs, SEO and conversion rates.