Why are deep links important, you ask? Before I can begin to answer that question, I need to define what a deep link is. Any inbound link that points to an inner page of a site is a deep link; it can be either internal or external. For a better part of the SEO history, deep links were overlooked in favor of the more prominent, and heretofore more “popular”, homepage links. But now that the entire SEO-realm is awake to the considerable clout they have on the SERPs, deep links are being hailed as the best SEO method to ever be.
The advantages of deep linking are so patently obvious, I am surprised that it took us this long to be hip to them. By now enough SEO types have written about the mistake we make of overlooking deep links (while cooking up our SEO strategies) that
what I am about to say may seem a bit redundant. However, this is my stance on this matter, when it comes to writing about the importance of deep links, redundancy is an invalid concept.
So, why are deep links important, you ask again? Let me count the ways:
1. Traffic, More Traffic!
Deep linking is your key to generating sustainable search traffic. Studies have shown that less than 20% of the search visits land on the home page, the rest land on individual pages. So engaging in deep linking can help you generate 80% more traffic than you already are.
2. Deep Links Can Build Relevance For Your Site
No matter how great the content on your site is, an ill-optimized internal linking structure and a poorly realized linking strategy will negate all the SEO-goodness your site can draw from it. It all boils down to one question: once on your site, can the user easily find what he is looking for? Does your site provide a ready answer to his search query? If you answer is in the negative, then you’ve failed to establish relevance for your site, in spite of having highly relevant content available so freely on your site. Now, if you had engaged in a spot of deep linking, either internal or external, you’d have got full points for relevance. Calibrating your links with your content is of utmost importance in building relevance, and the thing to do is to optimize your inner pages links with the most relevant anchor text. If a search query for ‘Belgian Waffles’ throws up your site in the results, then the link should be one that points to the page with information on ‘Belgian Waffles’, and not a generic link that points to the home page that contains information about, say, ‘Bed and Breakfasts’.