Sitelinks can be very useful in promoting your website on Search Engines. Sitelinks enable users to jump ahead to more relevant or important pages on your site, without having to enter the site to navigate around. However, it is also important to ensure that your website has a clear and easy navigation structure.
Below you will find more information about sitelinks, including the types of sitelinks, ad uses of sitelinks, benefits, and problems with sitelinks which were outlined at SMX West in Santa Clara by Jerry Dischler, Vanessa Fox, and Ariel Sumeruk.
What are sitelinks?
- Sitelinks help users navigate your site.
- Google analyzes the link structure of your site to find shortcuts that will help save users time.
- 2-line Sitelinks are for the most authoritative sites for a particular query. (Those links under the primary links in a search result)
- 1-line Sitelinks are the less authoritative sites.
- Show links to pages deeper in the site
What are breadcrumbs?
- Replaces the green URL for a result with a site hierarchy that shows where the result fits
- Each level of the hierarchy is a clickable link
- Must have a clear site hierarchy & visit-able link, breadcrumbs on your site breadcrumbs to show
How can you use sitelinks in PPC Ads?
- New feature of Adwords allow you to attract more users & move them further down the purchase funnel by providing add links to content deeper within your sites.
- Campaign level settings – up to 10 links can be provided, only 4 will show at any given time
- Seasonal/limited time promotions can use ad sitelinks to alert users to timely offers when they search for your brand on google.com
- User segmentation ad sitelinks can help you segment your users before they ever reach your site
- Brand segmentation allows you to highlight sub-brands to leverage and segment your core brand to promote these sub-brands.
- MVP´s – Most Valuable Pages – ad sitelinks allow you to direct traffic.
- Clear calls to action – if u r directing users to pgs w/ actionable content, make those actions clear in the ad text
Tips & tricks when using sitelinks:
- Briefer is Better: users are more likely to click on short, clear links than longer, more descriptive links. The links with less than 15 characters tend to outperform those links that use the full character limit.
- Use landing page language: prominently display the language from your link on the associated landing page so users are more likely to stay.
- Provide unique ID´s to all sitelinks to enable you to track
- Turn off sitelinks through webmaster tools for 90 days – reset the clock every 90 days
- If you have less than 3 unblocked sitelinks in your webmasters, sitelinks will not display in search results at all.
Benefits with sitelinks:
- Visually – click-thru rate increase w/ sitelinks
- Could be used to push competitors further down on page
Problems with sitelinks:
- No separate reporting on sitelink performance
- No information or tracking is provided on how frequently sitelinks get triggered
- Pushes natural search results down which is problematic if u rank poorly.
- Click costs get assigned to keywords generating impressions in the usual manner, not based on sitelinks
- Clicks on sitelinks is a small percent of total traffic to triggering groups
- Most go to headings, especially since sitelinks don´t always show
Jerry Dischler, Vanessa Fox, and Ariel Sumeruk have outlined the various uses of sitelinks as well as how to utilize sitelinks to make it easier for users to navigate your site.