Search rankings are so important for online marketers that it becomes the top objective when developing SEO strategies. But rankings are not an end in itself because the bigger goal is to encourage viewers to click on the links to create leads that actually convert and generate revenue for the business. In simple words, you have to know how to make use of the high ranks to generate traffic that translates into more clicks and leads. For SEO betterment you have to focus on improving the click-through rate (CTR) and must know how to work out a way for it.
The established practice of improving CTR is to utilize the powers of Google sitelinks that help to dominate the search engine result pages (SERP). Most importantly it enhances trust and directs more targeted traffic to your website’s internal pages. However, sitelinks do not happen automatically, which is the reason why you might not see it for every listing on the SERP. In this article, we will explain what sitelinks, why it is essential, and how you can acquire sitelinks.
What are Google sitelinks?
To implement SEO effectively, you have to familiarize with terms like ‘sitelinks’ that have a considerable impact on the SEO prospects.
Sitelinks are a format of listing on the SERP that determines the manner of displaying some specific listings. In this format, you can see the main page of the website as the main entry with some other internal links like About, Blog, Contact, etc. appearing below the main entry and arranged in two columns. The overall display has a step-like appearance with the main entrance on the top step and two other steps below you would find the internal links.
The purpose of the display is to provide more elaborate information about the website by showing what contents you could find in the internal pages. Viewers can gather comprehensive information to judge the usefulness of the link for deciding whether to click on it.
Only for navigational and branded queries would you find sitelinks and not for other types of questions. For example, when users search for ‘Google webmaster tools’ the search engine assumes that the intention behind the search is to have a look at the entire website. This is the reason why the search result contains additional options that point to the internal pages like Search Console and Google Search Console and even encourages searchers to look at more results from goole.com.All sitelinks do not display in the same way as in some brand search queries you could also find knowledge graph accompanying sitelinks.
The importance of Google sitelinks
Google sitelinks save user’s time and facilitate quick navigation across websites by helping them to find information that they are looking for very quickly. It is a way of providing the best result in the shortest time. To show or not to show them depends on the way the Google search algorithm interprets searches and only if it finds that providing additional options besides the main link would help users that Google decides to show sitelinks.
Google can only show sitelinks for those websites that have the proper structure for facilitating search engines to find them. Moreover, the sitelinks must be relevant to the search query. Sitelinks help to increase trust and build brand reputation, increase CTR and improve the strength of internal pages besides shortening the conversion funnel.
How to get Google sitelinks
To improve the chances of having sitelinks, you have to follow a process that consists of the following steps.
Create a brand
Sitelinks relate to brand queries, and you must create a brand for your business that differentiates it from the generic companies so that Google finds a reason to display them. Your website must have some distinctive marks, in this case, the brand that qualifies it for navigational searches. In most situations, brand names find a place on the first page of search results.
Create a clear site structure and hierarchy
The website structure and the hierarchy has to facilitate efficient crawling by search engine bots, and smoother is the navigation, higher are the chances of getting sitelinks. Maintain a logical sequence when developing site navigation as it facilitates sitelinks.
Have a site XML map in place
Sitemaps are excellent for enhancing crawling by search bots, but additionally, it helps more coverage of web pages by Google. By creating an accurate XML sitemap, you can improve the chances of numerous sitelinks, more targeted.
Develop information rich and relevant content
Google intends to provide the most pertinent information to users, and your website must be an excellent resource for such information. The only way of gaining Google’s confidence is to create high-quality content that is useful and relevant. The more content you have on the web pages, better are the prospects of Google capturing it for sitelinks, and it improves SEO too. Having skimpy content on the main navigational pages will hamper the chances for sitelinks and not suitable for SEO.
Build internal text links
Internal links guide search engines to the relevant pages against search queries and improves the prospects of sitelinks. Logically creating internal text links will ease navigation and lead to meaningful content against search queries. The use of image links does not help the cause of sitelinks.
Accurate page titles
Page titles are essential for SEO because it should amply reveal what the content is about and help to judge its relevance. Since Google depends on page titles for sitelink information, make sure that it is apt and self-explanatory. Make it as much descriptive as would be useful for understanding the page content.
Since the first or No.1 link of the SERP qualifies for sitelinks and branded terms are the best bet for acquiring that position, creating a brand and establishing it is of utmost importance. It opens the gateway for Google choosing your website for sitelinks.