5 Ways To Get Google Sitelinks and Increase Website Traffic
Do you want to learn how to increase website traffic, specifically your businesses site traffic or your client’s? If you haven’t heard of Google Sitelinks or you’re asking yourself “what are Google Sitelinks”, or how to get google to show Sitelinks in search results, well then this article is for you.
Sitelinks are an proven tactic that many businesses use to increase qualified website traffic.
Google uses Sitelinks to help a user to find exactly what information their looking for, and be able to click through to that answer on your site, directly from the search results.
Does increased CTR and spikes in website conversions sound good to you and your business? Let’s get started on solving this SEO issue with a Google Sitelinks example.
Here is a Google Sitelinks Example
Before we figure out how to get google to show Sitelinks, we should define exactly what are Google Sitelinks and how to get google to show Sitelinks. Keep in mind that these are 2 completely separate things that can certainly help you increase website traffic and generate qualified leads.
Google answer to the frequently asked question “what are Google sitelinks?” Is:
“The links shown below some of Google’s search results, called sitelinks, are meant to help users navigate your site. Our systems analyze the link structure of your site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don’t think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them.
At the moment, sitelinks are automated. We’re always working to improve our sitelinks algorithms, and we may incorporate webmaster input in the future. There are best practices you can follow, however, to improve the quality of your sitelinks. For example, for your site’s internal links, make sure you use anchor text and alt text that’s informative, compact, and avoids repetition.”
What Are the Benefits of Google Sitelinks?
Google’s Sitelinks have an essential SEO benefit that is proven to drive qualified click-through from Google SERPs to your website. This article reports that Sitelinks can increase your click-thru rate (CTR) by 64%!
When looking at the image above, showing an example of what Google Sitelinks look like in search results, you can see the large amount of search results “real estate” that a website with Sitelinks can own.
Many SEO’s consider Google’s Sitelinks as a quality indicator and a “reputation enhancer”. I tend to believe in this theory.
If Google is showing site urls/site pages from your site, underneath your main domain, that are relevant to the user’s intent and search query, you’re likely going to get that qualified click to your website.
If you’re following along closely in the SEO world you’ll know that user experience is becoming a vital part of website marketing and optimization. When it comes to Sitelinks, user experience, in Google search, is at the forefront.
Sitelinks can be very helpful for the searcher and give them a super user experience using Google search.
1. The user gets an immediate understanding on the relevancy of the website before they click to visit. If your site is optimized properly, users can easily get an idea of the type of information you have available on your site.
2. If it turns out they find the exact info they need from your site, from one of the Sitelinks listed below your main domain, they’ll be able to click directly to that page to get the answer they require. A simple, easy, and seamless transition for the user.
How to Get Google to Show Sitelinks
So now after seeing an example of Sitelinks we can understand their benefits but we’re still unsure how you actually get Google to show Sitelinks for your website. The fact is Google doesn’t tell us how to get Sitelinks.
They do however advise SEOs and web developers to make sure their sites are built with crystal clear navigation. Again, another user experience factor. You must make it easy for the user to find information on your website.
Google, as usual, keeps most of the useful information on how to get Sitelinks, very quiet. Totally on the QT and DL. Just like information on their search algorithms, Google’s reason for keeping things top secret are to keep the spammers and “black-hat” SEO’s at bay. They figure the more things are kept secret, the less manipulation of rankings by spammers and spammy SEOs.
Google Sitelinks Best Practices
So since Google can’t provide a definitive way for businesses to get Sitelinks, I’ve dug into the VPDM SEO bag of tricks to show you a few Google Sitelinks best practices that could help your site have relevant Sitelinks in search results.
1. Submit Your XML Sitemap to Google
I’ve audited many websites that had not ever submitted their sitemap to Google and guess what, Google rarely indexed 10% of the site’s pages and 1% of the images!
An XML sitemap will help Google index your entire website, media, images, etc., and will also tell Google the most important and priority pages. It will be these pages that Google would chose for your Sitelinks.
2. Crystal Clear Navigation & User Experience
If you think about Sitelinks being used for the main purpose of the searcher easily being able navigating a website, you can understand how important clear navigation is for Google. Google will sometimes use your navigation hierarchy to show Sitelinks in search results.
Google might take high traffic, relevant pages to show in Sitelinks. These could be pages like your “about”, “contact”, or “signup” pages.
3. Optimize Your Internal Linking Structure
A solid internal linking strategy is part of any “good” SEO strategy. When done properly and strategically, internal links pass value and “SEO juice” from one page to another. In Google’s eyes, your most important page will have the most internal links.
Following that logic, your second most relevant page with have the second most internal links according to Google. So a comprehensive internal linking strategy can possibly push Google into showing those top pages in Sitelinks.
Pro Tip: You can improve the quality of your sitelinks if your SEO uses optimized anchor text and alt text that’s informative, relevant, and not “stuffed” with keywords. Be sure to use this strategy is your main navigation as well. I often see many web developers or SEOs miss this trick. Use relevant and descriptive titles for your navigation.
4. Implement a High Quality Content Marketing Strategy
If there’s one thing for certain in SEO today, other than death and taxes, it’s that a well researched and relevant content marketing strategy will, make or break your SEO strategy.
Users love high quality content, Google loves high quality, SEO optimized content. It’s simple really.
Your site must be populated with relevant content that your customers, prospects, users, etc are consuming and sharing via social media.
The more pages you have on your website, the more opportunities you have to rank your different websites on Google search, for targeted keywords and phrases.
You’ll want to ensure all web content is optimized and that all pages have unique page titles and meta descriptions. Page titles are a ranking factor and is the first piece of metadata that Google reads.
Meta descriptions aren’t a ranking factor for Google but most certainly are a relevancy factor for the user. Strategically user-optimized meta descriptions are the key to increased click-through in Google search.
When this is combined with Sitelinks, you’ll be in for some serious increases in qualified web traffic.
5. Digital Branding. Unique Brand Name For Your Site
Believe it or not, a unique brand name can help you get Sitelinks. If your brand name is of the generic variety, you’d likely have a lower CTR when compared to a competitor with a unique brand name.
Reason being, with a generic website name, the user will have too many choices on the search results with many similarly named sites. It’s unlikely that a site that ranks “ok” for a certain search term will ever get Sitelinks from Google.
You can improve the relevancy, quality, Page Authority, and Page Rank for your website by regularly publishing high quality SEO optimized content that is relevant for your target.
If your target shares that content via social media and their network, you’ll see more engagement, more click through, increases in CTR, and increased website conversions.
So How Are These Sitelinks Generated Anyway?
So after all this relevant info on how to get Google Sitelinks and why you want them, let’s close things off with a video from Matt Cutts which will explain Google’s answer to how are Sitelinks generated.
Now you can answer when anyone asks you how to get Google sitelinks. You can also share the benefits of Sitelinks like increased CTR and a way to further establish trust and authority with Google and the user.
Now there’s no guarantee that the tactics listed above with get Google to show your Sitelinks, but if used appropriately and strategically, the tips listed in this article will help you get valuable Sitelinks for your targeted keywords.
Here’s my proof that the above tactics worked for me to get Google Sitelinks for my startup digital agency, VPDM Digital Marketing.
If you’d like some help with getting Google Sitelinks for your website’s search listing, or with execution of a strategic content marketing and SEO strategy, please contact me to get things started asap.