Google Sitelinks: The Ultimate Guide

Google Sitelinks: The Ultimate Guide

Why do some websites have direct links to their site pages from google – and others not?

What exactly is google sitelinks? And how do you get your site to display links to some of your most popular pages?

Asking these questions is the same as asking: “How does Google’s Algorithm work?” or “How can you get me on the first page of Google?”

It’s never a straight-forward answer.

However, as with all things SEO, there are some tried and tested methods that you can deploy, that might get you the kind of listing you desire. But first, let’s look at the advantages of sitelinks.

What are the advantages of sitelinks?

1.Get results in a flash 

We use them as  online navigation tools to skip unnecessary search paths, and to get the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Let’s say your smartphone is due for an upgrade and you simply click on “Upgrade with Vodacom.” By doing so, you’ve skipped one step of the search process and obtained the information you were looking for.

2.Keep it simple 

The easier it is for users to gain information, the more traffic you will have on your site. Sitelinks point out the pages that are accessed the most .

Google determines which links are most commonly used by looking at the amount of internal and external links. Sitelinks are a great way to inform people about your product and increase brand awareness.

Let’s use Lady Gaga’s fan page as an example:

 

Fans can easily buy merchandise, listen to her music or confirm tour dates. 

3.Users can browse deeper pages

Users are most likely to browse through your homepage and look at product and service pages. On average, users visit 4-5 pages before they move on the the next site.

Consider this: If they have not yet found what they are looking for after an extensive search without results, will they continue searching?

Probably not.

 

4.Huge CTR increase

There are many different ways to measure the success of your website. a High ranking is every marketer’s main objective, but a high CTR rate is equally effective in generating organic traffic to your site.

55% Of all clicks can can be traced back to the first three search results, but fluctuation in numbers is possible.

For example:

If a keyword gets 10,000 searches in one month, the first google result receives 3,124 clicks. If you ad sitelinks, you receive 20% more clicks since they dominate the top half of the page. That’s an extra 2000 clicks on your site. Not bad.

Sitelinks can also pop up in paid search results. Studies found a direct correlation between CTR and sitelink visibility. After removing sitelinks, CTR had a massive drop from 20% to 10%.

5.Gain credibility and trust

Google knows that sitelinks rule the bottom half of their page and pushes other search results lower down the fold. If a site has sitelinks, you can be sure that it’s legit.

It’s a sign that Google has enough trust in them to give them sitelinks. If it’s good enough for Google, it’s good enough for any online marketer.

Google is committed to giving it’s users the best results in the shortest amount of time, therefore they will not grant sitelinks if:

  • The site is unknown or unpopular
  • The site structure is not compatible with Google algorithms
  • The users search is not relevant to sitelinks.

 

HOW TO GET GOOGLE SITELINKS

These links are automatically created by algorithms based on the link popularity of your internal pages, combined with the number of internal links you have pointing to your inner pages.  According to Google, they analyse the link structure of your site to find shortcuts.

 

*What are Internal links: a Hyperlink on a webpage that leads to another page. E.g. Images or documents, on the same website or domain.

 

1.User friendly design

Your website should be easy to use with a clear hierarchy and structure for easy navigation. If Google struggles to find the pages and understand the relevance to each other, it won’t be able to show site links.

Keep your home page as your “core” page. Visitors will usually start here and navigate further. Therefore, this page should be extremely well designed to assist visitors while browsing

For example, if you sell shoes online:

Home page -> Ladies’ Shoes -> sizes -> Boots, sandals, pumps

 

2. Add a sitemap.xml file to your Google Search Console account (Google Webmasters tool)

Sitemaps increase coverage of your website and explains the most important pages of your site. Google responds when they see your site generates a lot of traffic.

If you don’t have an account:

  1. Log onto Google Search Console and click on your website
  2. On the dashboard, click on the sitemaps link
  3. On the next screen, click on “Add/Test Sitemap” (it’s in the right-hand corner). In the pop-up box, add the location of your sitemap (usually “sitename.com/sitemap.xml”).

You can make your own sitemap if you don’t have one already:

Google XML Sitemaps plugin (for WordPress sites)

XML-Sitemaps.com (for HTML websites)

For those who use a WordPress plugin like All in One SEO or Yoast SEO, both plugins have Sitemap functionality built in.

3.Build internal links

Frequently visited product pages are an indication to Google which pages are important.

You can track internal links from Google Webmaster Tools. To do this:

  1. Log into your dashboard
  2. Click on “Search Traffic”
  3. -> Internal Links
  4. Cross check your page titles

The right page title is of cardinal importance. Google looks at these titles to provide sitelinks.

Page titles should be a short description of the page itself to avoid confusion when users are browsing through. The correct title is short and be applicable to visitors expectations.

4. Structured Data

Structured data helps Google understand the content on your site, which can be used to display rich snippets in search results.
You provide structured data by adding HTML markup to your site’s pages, so this means that someone with quite a bit of HTML knowledge will need to assist you in creating the Structured Data.
For instructions on how to do this, and to see if Google currently detects Structured Data on your site, go to your search console.

5. Rich Cards

Rich cards are a good way to provide data to Google Search about events, products, or opportunities on your website. Rich card data can be displayed to users in a variety of formats on different devices, and can help drive traffic to your website.

6. Data Highlighter

Does your site contain structured data like event listings or review ratings?
Now there’s a new alternative to webmaster markup for helping Google understand your site’s data. With Data Highlighter, you simply “tag” each data field with your mouse.
Then Google can present your data more attractively, and in new ways, in search results.

Can all of the above guarantee a listing with sitelinks?

No.

But it will definitely increase your chances SIGNIFICANTLY!

So, as with all things SEO, it’s up to Google whether it will or won’t display your sitelinks. So do everything that you can – and then remember to give it some time… it won’t happen overnight!

Leave a Reply