Deep linking is what you do when you have an article on your site that defines a term or really nails a topic that you’re referring to. It doesn’t make sense to go off track in the current article giving a full explanation but one is really necessary. What do you do? Link the reference to the other article deeper within your site. That’s the basic definition and example. Let me show you how helpful deep linking can be for your reader’s experience, your site ranking, and your need to develop content.
The reader can’t be assumed to have any knowledge of how your product/service works or how it benefits them. That’s the whole point of educational marketing is that you are teaching them. But at the same time, you don’t interrupt a lesson to go off in a different direction only to come back again. That confuses people. They’re confused already. It’s your job to un-confuse them.
By pulling out the in depth explanation and putting it into a post or lesson of its own, you cater to readers of two knowledge levels – the ones that know the term and the ones that don’t. You’re not over-explaining something to a reader who already understands that term. That way you’re not upsetting them by wasting their time. And you’re not leaving the reader who doesn’t know hanging or feeling stupid because you lost them by introducing a term they don’t understand.
Letting people go off and do their own research to find out what you are supposed to be explaining defeats the whole purpose of educational marketing. If you’re sending your readers off to fend for themselves what do they need you for? Remember you are supposed to be placing yourself as the go to person they can trust to end their confusion and guide them to what they need.
That’s how your reader benefits. Now let’s get on to how your site ranking benefits from deep linking.
Time On Site (TOS) is a measure of user satisfaction in the eyes of the search engines. It logically follows that the more time a user spends on your site the more they like it. Anything you can do to keep the user on your site reading your content is good. (Pull quote) The ranking of your site includes a lot more than just TOS so please keep in mind this is not going to boost your rank, just contribute to it.
Flagging items that search companies like Google look at are the user closing the window on that page or using the back button. This is not quite fair. That is the behavior of most people once they search, find what they are looking for, and move on. But, that is not what Google wants. They want not just ok sites that give people what they are looking for. Google wants to push up sites that people find so interesting or helpful that they visit multiple pages. Conversely, they are also pushing down those that don’t.
That’s why you want people moving within your site. But how does this help you develop content?
The need for content is constant. It’s tough to develop good content all the time. You’ll find however that some things just don’t fit in an article. They interrupt the flow and take it off course. Yet you cannot just leave them unsaid or assume the reader actually knows what you’re talking about. That’s when you break that explanation out into an article of its own.
There are two ways (certainly there’s more but two is good for here) you can use this explanation article. One, you could post it first. Then when you post the main article, you deep link to the in depth explanation.
Another way you can work it is to post the main article and then post the explanation as a follow up. You can say something like “I talked about x term in the last post and I thought it could use some clarification…” If you do that, you can place a link in both posts making the relationship that much stronger in the eyes of the search engines.
So there you have it. Deep linking helps maintain the overall flow of your posts to provide a better user experience, helps your ranking in the eyes of the search engines, and makes content creation a bit less of a burden. Think about your site. Do you have any articles that could be deep linked?