Have you ever noticed those sub-links under a search listing when you do a Google search? Google calls them sitelinks and they appear only for certain websites triggered by certain keywords. Not every website gets them and ones that do reap big benefits.
Site owners cannot manually add sitelinks to their website. Sitelinks appear only for websites chosen by Google that meet certain criteria. Google keeps their formula top secret.
Google has bestowed sitelinks for our website. Here is what our listing looks like:
Just because a website is big or popular don't necessarily mean it'll get sitelinks. For example, Jupiter Research - a well-known market research firm - doesn't have sitelinks:
Benefits of Sitelinks
Sitelinks are coveted by website owners. For the chosen few, sitelinks reap rewards:
- Your listing is clicked on more often. Your listing makes a prominent impact when it has sitelinks. You occupy more "shelf space" on the search results page. Subsequently, these sites typically elicit more clicks.
- Your site appears more important. The majority of sites don't have sitelinks. This makes your site stand out even more. The perception is your site is special.
- You get more traffic to internal pages. Sitelinks naturally point to interior pages. So obviously you'll see an uptick in traffic going to interior pages of your website.
- Users get exposed to more information about your company. Google sitelinks display the subheadings of your main navigation. If our case, people will see that we can help companies "Build a Brand", "Generate Demand", and "Leverage New Media".
How to Get Sitelinks
Google doesn't reveal exactly how to get sitelinks and it's a closely guarded secret. Google says sitelinks are completely automated. It's speculated that you know you've done a good job with SEO when Google awards your website with sitelinks. That being the case, you can improve your chances of getting sitelinks by following SEO best practices such as:
- Having navigation that is intuitive for site visitors
- Create a sitemap and submit it to major search engines
- Use descriptive anchor text
- Minimize use of Adobe Flash, pages with a lot of images, or dynamically generated content
- Keep important pages within several clicks from the homepage. On our website, we have a relatively flat structure. Nearly every page is one click away from the homepage.
What questions do you have about SEO or sitelinks? Does your site have sitelinks? What tips would you add?