Stop Linking To Your Home Page!

True or False: You want every page of your website to rank well for a specific keyword phrase relevant to that individual page.

True, of course! The more top rankings you have, the more traffic you can funnel into your website. A quick search shows that (today) Google sees about 1100 pages on ClickNewz.com. It only makes sense to optimize each individual page to multiply your website traffic potential - instead of relying on one single page: your home page. Wouldn't you rather have hundreds - or thousands - of top rankings, than just one? Yes, of course!

Okay, so you realized that (great!). But did you know that the best way to get top rankings for internal web pages on your site is to...

Get Inbound Links

You knew that too, I imagine. Then WHY do you keep linking to your home page? Wait, let me stop there and just say that if you dont understand "SEO" (ie Search Engine Optimization) then you should download the Free SEO Guide by Dan Thies. Even if you think you know SEO... download it anyway ;)

Or if you need a super-quick reference, see my Keyword Placement post.

I'm getting to the point, I promise.

In order for a web page to rank well in the major search engines, it needs links pointing to it. These links - called backlinks, or inbound links - define your page. They should come from two places: other pages on your own website (called internal linking), and pages on other websites.

Obviously if you want every internal page of your website to rank well for its own specific keyword phrase, then you'll need to get inbound links to those individual web pages. This is called "deep linking".

It's not just about search engines either - your website visitors will thank you! Think about it: when you are searching for something specific do you want to be dropped off at the main page and told "go find it yourself"... or do you want to be pointed to the exact information you are looking for? Exactly.

7 Practical Deep Linking Tips

Every time you link to your website, consider the absolute best (most relevant) page on your site to link to. To give you some ideas, here are just a few practical deep-linking ideas:

1. If you are referring to or introducing yourself, particularly when networking or building relationships, include a link to your About Me page instead of your main page.

2. When leaving a blog comment, use the URL field to link to something on your own site or blog that specifically relates to the topic of the post you are commenting on. Keep the related discussions connected!

3. Set up hub pages and squidoo lenses about micro-topics on your site, and link back to specific articles or pages in those categories of your site. You can have dozens, or even hundreds, so dont limit yourself.

4. Create your forum signatures manually each time you post on a discussion forum, and link to a page on your site that is relevant to the thread topic.

5. When submitting articles to directories or for syndication, choose the most relevant link back to your site for the byline of each article. Submitting a how-to on planting rose bushes? Link to the roses category, not the main page of your general gardening site!

6. Include reference links to specific web pages and blog posts when you participate on social sites such as: Yahoo! Answers, Twitter, Askville, MyLot, WikiHow etc.

7. When exchanging links with another site owner in your niche, interlink related pages on your sites with contextual text links. One-way links are best, so link out to their site from one page and let them link in to your site from/to another page.

Stop being general, and start being super specific with your links. Of course, you'll want to make sure that your website has good navigation, and that each individual web page contains a strong Call To Action. Remember: what makes visitors happy, usually makes search engines happy too ;)

Best,
Lynn Terry

Keep these tips in mind, and help the web become a better-connected place, where we can all find people and information more efficiently!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Hi Dennis,

    I just realized I never replied - sorry about that! You are welcome to repost my comment of course ;)

  2. LOL you didn't reply here, but I do believe you came over and replied on my blog...I took that as the same thing?

    I could be wrong :-)

  3. Whew - Just so long as I didnt drop the ball :)

    I was making my rounds and doing some catch-up work tonight and noticed this here. Thanks for the quick response!

  4. This is my life dontcha know LOL

  5. I have been struggling with building up links for a while now. I have seen somewhat successful, but its hard when you dont even know if the search engines make any changes. Then of course its who do you believe and what methods really work. Since it takes so long for anything to happen, you can easily waste months and get nowhere.

    Phil
    http://MakeCashTomorrow.com

  6. Ahh yes, all so true - but at least you can "make cash tomorrow"...

    Right Phil? ;)

  7. Hi Lynne, your site is bookmarked and highlighted! ;) so I can easily access it again.
    I have been working on backlinks to my website http://www.mybeachdecor.com, but alas, most of the time I have linked back to - my home page (you guessed it!). Have to change that!!
    One question: When you submit your site to the Website directories, is it possible too to submit different pages within your site, or should you just stick with your home page there? I think some directories allow you to submit several pages, but not all of them. Have you got any tips or comments on that?
    Petra

  8. Tom's Orchid Flowers Help says:

    Lynn,
    thanks for the reminder that also internal links require some attention. I used your advice to change the linking at my site http://www.orchidflowershelp.com in sofar as the deep links to articles are now showing the articles title n the link compared to a "click here" what it was before.

    @Petra Weiss
    most directories I have come across just accept the homepage. Btw, nice site with the decors.
    Three things that crossed my mind:
    1) your top adsense hangs a little to the left into the wonderfull beach-theme
    2) get rid of the site information. Although it is important for you, it should not be available to visitors - also distracts a little from the main content
    3) Your pages are listed alphabetically, so they start with the about page. I would start the list with the money makers and place the about page as the last one.

  9. Tom is right, Petra - most directories require you to list your home page only, which is fine. Use those as they were intended (to get a "site" listing).

  10. @Tom, thanks for the input! I always look at my site with Firefox browser so it displays fine, but have just seen that in IE it has a few problems! But I can't see the Adsense hanging to the left...
    I have tried and tried to get my pages listed in the order so that my Privacy Policy and About page are at the bottom but don't seem to be able to change it. Don't know what to do any more.

    @Lynn Thanks for clearing this up for me!

  11. Thanks Lynn. I was doing it the wrong way all along. Your post is an eye-opener.

  12. mike otis says:

    wow good stuff here. thanks alot for the help

  13. I am a zero when it comes to SEO. I realized some of my mistakes after reading your Post. Thanks a lot!

  14. Internet Strategist says:

    There is a discussion going on in my most recent blog post because some bloggers object to our using links to anything besides our main page when leaving comments.

    Some indicate they will remove the links and others that they'll delete the comments - all because a comment links to a specific page. I have asked them to state WHY they object.

    One of my regular readers shared the link to this post which provides even more reason to use post links instead of a main link, especially in blogs that use CommentLuv and KeywordLuv.

    With KeywordLuv you can choose your link AND your anchor text for that link making leaving QUALITY comments in dofollow blogs an excellent strategy for both SEO and sharing readers between blogs.

    I'd love to know what you and the readers of Clicknewz think about comments that use deep linking. To make it easier I used that post to link to this comment.

  15. Internet Strategist says:

    @Lynn, I hope you will come and check out both that post and the comments because they are very related to this discussion and I have shared information in the post and comments that clears up some of the questions Dennis Edell mentions in your comments.

    You CAN change the main URL and preserve the CommentLuv link too if you do it the way I describe in my post (linked from this comment).

  16. "Deep Linking" is an excellent way to shine a little new light on an older post that never quite seemed to get its due share of exposure. Y'know sometimes the blog entries that you're most proud of are the ones that go by largely unnoticed...

    And while you usually think of deep link in a chronological sense - linking to older posts - I'd argue that it can sometimes be legit to edit an older post to provide a "deep link" forward from it to a newer, closely-related entry. I don't do this too often, but when I do so, I indicate it with a little red "Update" notation, so it's more apparent. (You can take a look at my FiveFingers For Your Ten Toes article for an example. Oooh, see that? I just "deep linked!")

  17. Traffic Matters says:

    I am not sure when this was written. Some great information Lynn but I think you forgot a very important point.
    When getting links it is very important to do so from pages that are in googles main results. Links from pages contained within the supplemental results pass zero SEO value and should therefore be avoided. The majority of forum posts, blod comments and article directories are included in this catagory.
    Great advice however to focus on deep links, this is an area of SEO that 95% of sites get wrong!

  18. So useful it was to read your advice and so rare it is to see deep linking with good anchors out there... I'll definitely use more of this strategy.

  19. Rick Glaser says:

    Lynn you are exactly right that internal link building is critical. Thank you again for another great post!

  20. Brian Ratzker says:

    Deep links are definitely important. Although, I would stay away from exchanging links with other websites. It is good to link to authoritative sources from your website but link exchanges don't really help much and can hurt your rankings if over done.

    Also, there is very little value from more than one link to your website from the same domain name. Keep that in mind when you are creating a Squidoo Lens. Don't go crazy making a ton of lenses and linking to different pages, there is little value in this tactic.

  21. SEO Packages says:

    Great tips gonna download that free seo guide and read that as well.

  22. it is great stuff about linking/deep linking. but it is possible that Google give top place the same site for the same keyword. is we have to use different keyword for the different pages.

  23. whew! my head is spinning. I'm so new but the information you give is great - detailed and "in plain english" LOL thank you!!!
    dropping by from SITS .
    sweetjeanette.blogspot.com

  24. Thanks for the tips. This is valuable information.

  25. after reading, i realized i'm not doing any of those. hihihi!
    thanks for the tips.

  26. Flash Design says:

    This article was a great lesson for me. I have never considered deliberately linking to a specific page. I will start doing it from now on and will share the results.

  27. Great information here that certainly gives me a few ideas on building links

  28. Hiya, I've just started up a website and began making rather diverse articles for it. Do you mind if I write about this? Of course I will give you and this post full credit.

  29. Thanks for the useful information. I love to linking between articles. I can spend all day here.

  30. Good post!

    #4. Create your forum signatures manually each time you post on a discussion forum, and link to a page on your site that is relevant to the thread topic.

    This practice will get us banned!! ALWAYS check out the rules of discussion board before doing that..

  31. Okay but what about when you can not deep link, with plugins such as keywordLuv, which does not allow a deep link? I guess you really mean to say use deep linking as a priority and then home page where you can not deep link.

    James Mucci

  32. Thank you so much for the info... i too.. been linking to my homepage for so long... i should have link to each post..

  33. Great pointers Lynn, thousands of web owners are creating a big mistake for only optimizing on their main page, but if they would think about it. If we want more traffic to our site, having lots of pages in ranked in google ensures that we will be achieving it.

  34. This is a great point about not just linking to your home page. This is extremely important if you have an ecommerce site with many pages of products. You want high rankings for your internal pages so you need those important backlinks for these internal pages.

  35. Hi Lynn, I am just starting out with a website and struggling to get ranked and traffic. Your information is very useful. I have a steeeeep learning curve. I will take your advice to heart. Thanks again.

    Rgds. Seb

  36. Great stuff Lynn. This is by far the best post I have read with respect to linking. Thanks!

  37. Thanks for the seo guide near the top, some really good stuff in there.

  38. Great tips, thanks for the info!!

  39. Hi again

    Do you think that by putting a keyword in the comment "name field" helps at all?

  40. Thank you for writing this. Most of these I had run across before, but number 2 and number 7 were both new to me. I had been avoiding link trades like what you're talking about...well, basically since they started counting against you. It didn't occur to me that two pages using deep links to different, related content would work and provide twice the amount of relevant information for people who might follow one or the other. Also, most of the time I've been just using my main page in comment links, but now that you mention it, I think I can make sure to change those links to related ones.

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