If you are making use of Google’s site links you are probably already on your way to dominating the search results for your niche. If you are not, then you should be pleased to know that if you do, you can actually increase online trust for your website and send more targeted traffic to your site. So how do you get them and what do you do with them? Let’s take a look.
What Are Site Links?
Site links are a format for listing in SERPs. They show your website’s main page and some of the other internal links that have been targeted. They are organized into two columns in the SERPs.
Generally speaking, these only show up for navigational or branded search queries. So when a user types such a query in, they are shown the main page as well as some internal pages of the site, to offer quick access for where the user may want to go.
Well if you have not guessed it already these site links are really important because they enable a user to navigate to and around your site quickly and easily. They allow a person to find what they need with minimal effort. From your point of view, they can also get a visitor to the most relevant content in the fastest time possible. According to Google:
We only show site links for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good site links, or we don’t think that the site links for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them.
So What Is The Bad News?
Well actually, site links cannot be created, they are auto generated by Google. You cannot choose which links appear and when they show up. The only thing you can do is to let Google know when an unnecessary link is included that does not need to be there.
And The Good News?
The good news is that having site links makes pages other than the home page busy and active. And while there is a chance that the bounce rate may go up, there are also other benefits, as explained here by Moz.com:
Arguably, the bounce rate on pages appearing in site links will increase but at the same time site links should drive higher quality traffic, potentially increasing user engagement and conversion as more users will be able to quickly land on the pages they desire.
Better news is that, while you may not be able to demand site links for your website, your chances of being given them increase if you employ best practice guidelines while you are building your website. Okay so Google does not publish a guideline on how to create them, but if you do follow and adhere to the rules, your chances of acquiring them will increase.
One way to improve your chances of getting site links is to get a strong brand or company name, which is easily distinguishable from keywords for your website. You need to rank quite well for navigational search in order to do this.
Another way to improve the chances of getting site links is to ensure your website has a clear and solid site map. Your navigation should be intuitive and easy to use. It should follow a navigational sequence and include the basic elements: home, about, contact, blog and news.
You should also have an XML site map for your website. This makes it easier for the search engines to crawl and, you guessed it, easier for them to allocate site links too.