The goal of most websites is to have more meaningful visits – whether this means purchasing, exploring multiple pages, commenting or subscribing. One easy tactic to improve these visits and reduce visitor bounce rate is “deep linking”.
Imagine you receive an email from a company you are interested in with a link to their business’s website. If the link leads you directly to the company’s home page, you’re likely to click on the link, briefly peruse the wide categories of information on display, and leave the page. However, if the link leads to a more specialized page with interesting and specific information, you are more likely to stick around, read the page, and explore related pages.
This strategy is called “deep linking,” and in general terms means creating links to pages other than your home page. The term “deep” simply refers to the linked page’s position in your domain’s site hierarchy.
In terms of the authority of your domain (or its prominence in Google’s search results,) deep linking raises the authority of your domain as a whole. Linking to your home page often raises the authority of your home page, but not the rest of your pages. For information on your site’s authority, Moz’s web page authority is a measure of a web page’s likelihood of ranking in Google’s search results, based off of link counts and other factors. Linking to the homepage also results in a higher bounce rate – the ratio of people who leave your site after viewing only the first page, versus people who stayed and viewed more than one page. With deep linking, users are more likely to stick around and look at other pages.
Deep linking in emails has particularly high potential for gaining interested readers because it is easy to tailor emails to different readers or demographics. For example, a company that sells a variety of musical instruments might keep track of their subscribers’ purchases. This company could use different deep links for customers who buy different types of instruments: a link to an article about a famous guitarist for guitar customers, or a link to information about an upcoming jazz event for saxophone players. Using targeted deep links can encourage subscribers to get past the home page and explore your page beyond their normal readership.
In addition to using deep links in targeted emails, consider using a deep link in your email signature rather than a link to your homepage. By using a link to an interesting article on your company site, you can draw in more traffic than you would by using a simple homepage link. Deep links have the added benefit of providing an easy way for viewers to get to your homepage if they need or want to, so nothing is lost by using a deep link instead of a generic homepage link.