Anyone who has spent even a short amount of time working with SEO likely understands the importance of deep linking. For those who may not know, deep linking is a strategy that involves linking to internal pages on your website, rather than just your homepage. Not only does this benefit you, since deep linking reduces bounce rate and improves the overall authority and relevancy of your site, but it also creates a better user experience for your visitors because they are consistently brought to content that they can use. That being said, here are 5 deep linking strategies that you may not have thought about.
Email Signature – You’re probably already in the habit of including your website URL on all of your bios and signatures. You may want to consider instead linking to a relevant internal page on your site, especially as it relates to the topic of your email message. This is particularly effective with large mailing lists, because it enables you to reach a significant audience and provide them with access to the exact product or service you’re referencing at the simple click of a button.
Blog Comments – Do you participate in blog commenting as part of your overall link building strategy? If so, rather than linking to your homepage in your comments, look for opportunities to deep link to a relevant internal page that would be useful to the audience and entice some incoming traffic. The same applies to forum interactions.
Social Networking – Just about every social media platform provides the option of including a URL as a part of your bio or profile. Most people opt for their homepage without even thinking. Using a deep link instead, however, will reduce bounce rate (provided the link is to something that is relevant to your target audience, of course).
Article Syndication – If you do any article work, you probably already include deep links within the body of your content. What do you use for your byline, though? It’s probably your homepage. Instead, consider deep linking to a page on your site that you feel would be useful to your readers.
Social Publishing Sites – Networks such as Scribd and Squidoo can be excellent for driving traffic to your website, but if you are going to get those visitors to stay, you have to offer them something of value. A link to your main URL will probably not do it, but a link to a relevant internal page that contains content that visitors can actually use will.
A good rule of thumb is to achieve an internal link page ratio of 1:3 or higher. In other words, you should have 3 times more links to internal pages than to your homepage. You can determine exactly what your ratio is by visiting SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer. Enter your domain URL, select the “Top Pages” tab, and calculate the number of inbound links to your home page versus all the other pages on your site. If that number is not up to par, you’re likely experiencing a high bounce rate and it’s probably time to incorporate some more deep linking into your overall strategy. These five tactics should help you do so more effectively.