There has been no doubt that Google has an important role in our lives today. Especially for website owners like us.
As it is the widely used search engine on the internet, every website owner tries their best to make their pages at the top of their every Google search result page.
While I was learning how to increase my visitor and click-through ratio, I learned that I could do more than just use it as a tool for researching. This video can explain some of the tips I have used to keep my website ranking high.
Today, I will share with you the importance of getting your website’s sitelinks in Google search results.
I will discuss it in three parts: what are sitelinks, why do you need them, and my tips on how you can get them when someone searches your website on Google.
What are Google sitelinks?
These links are defined as a way for your users to be able to navigate your site. Aside from that, they added this feature as a time-saving feature for its users while informing them of website contents.
An example of a Google sitelink is shown below. When I searched for “Amazon” on Google, it showed me the website and some of the links below it.
If you noticed, aside from linking the main homepage of Amazon, it also shows Amazon Prime and Wish List. Apart from that, you can see each of their meta descriptions and a link to Amazon’s search results too.
The next image features another form of sitelinks. Unlike the first example, this simply adds the links to any page within the featured website URL.
Why should you have Google sitelinks?
There are several reasons as to why you should invest the time to add sitelinks to your entire website.
First, it can increase your overall click-through rates. If your website appears as the first three in a search result, having sitelinks will help increase your chances of growing your organic traffic.
Second, having sitelinks under your website as a search result is a sign that it is trustworthy. At best, since your website showed up higher in the search results, it will give you more screen real estate.
Third, it will help everyone be aware of you, the website owner, and any product you are trying to sell. For example, you can let other people know of your first book in your “About” page once it becomes a sitelink.
Fourth, it will help you gain traffic to pages that would help you get more leads and subscribers in the long run. They can help you bring more visitors by sharing your newest content around the internet, which in turn will help your trustworthiness.
Steps on how to get Google to show sitelinks
After learning the importance of why you need sitelinks, let me show you how to do this to your website.
1. Opt for a unique business and website name
The first step has something to do with what name you used for your website and business. You should opt for a name that only a few or no other company has adopted yet.
For example, if you own a hair salon and you opted for “Dorothy’s Hair Salon” for your business and website name, this will compete against other business names that have “hair,” “salon,” or “hair salon” in it.
Do take note that Google only lets the top search result show its backlinks, so ranking first in your business name is your first step into getting more visitors into your website.
2. Optimize the internal linking structure
This next step involves two things that would give Google a hint of which pages to add as one of the backlinks in future search results.
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- Create the most links to your most valuable site
For this step, choose which site you want to focus on and add it to every other site you have as a link.
As an example, in my best Articles post, I created several mentions of other content creators that I have worked with in the past. Aside from that, I even added my post about increasing your traffic to your website.
Doing these things helped me not only keep my website on top of my search results but also let every one of my posts on my site become featured at the same time.
Aside from that, make sure to avoid diverting most of your traffic to a single page. Doing this will not let Google display some of your sites, even if you have more than one as your content.
- Adjust your site’s anchor and alt text
After adding links to which sections you want Google to notice for its search results, the next step is to give each of them the right anchor and alt text.
Anchor text is what the user sees if they hover over your link while alt text is what the user sees if an image or video in your site does not load properly.
Thinking of a creative, unique anchor and alt text will convince the user to click it more. Aside from that, it lets Google know that the link is essential, and make it know to add it in future search results.
3. Optimize your titles and meta descriptions
Similar to the step where I explained about improving on your anchor and alt text, you should then proceed to start creatively changing your titles and meta descriptions.
For titles, keep in mind the following:
- Make sure it is relevant to the page’s content
- Keep it at six to seven words
- Make it different compared to your other sites and your competitor’s sites.
For descriptions, follow these tips:
- Make it relevant and clear on the site’s contents.
- Keep it within 160 characters in total.
- Write one before making it live to your new site.
Doing these things will make your website more valuable for present and future visitors. These steps, in turn, will increase your chances of having sitelinks due to how relevant your content is.
4. Optimize the website for better user experience
This step will involve you diving into your website’s code once again and establishing a clear path throughout your site to Google and users at the same time.
The first step is to get an SEO audit. After that, make the necessary changes as I outlined in my SEO guide. Finally, use tools such as Google Webmaster to monitor when you need to update your website again or not.
Aside from that, you should also focus on cleaning your website’s navigation menu. Two ways to do this include keeping it a 3-level hierarchical structure and replicating this structure to the list.
Then, add pages you want Google to add in your sitelink to your website’s sidebar. Doing this will not only avoid clutter in your main navigation but also alert Google of which sites they can promote on their search results at the same time.
Finally, add a table of contents with links pointing to different sections on your sites with long-form posts. Doing this will help Google be able to navigate through it quickly while making it a candidate as a sitelink.
Relevant: Also read how to optimize your website for better speed
5. Submit XML sitemap to Google
This final step has to do with creating an XML for your entire website. Doing this will help Google and other search engines index it for future search results.
To create a sitemap, check if your website has a sitemap.xml file. Doing this involves going to a browser window and entering “http://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml.”
If it displays a 404 error, that means you would have to look for a plugin or software that can help generate a basic one for you while following Google’s guidelines.
If there is one, update it at least once a month while keeping in mind the following tips:
- Include the pages that have high-quality content and can bring organic traffic to your website
- Exclude pages with duplicate content such as archive pages, tag pages, and author pages
- Exclude pages that have no to little content in them such as error pages and redirecting pages
Then, follow the steps here to submit your site’s XML to Google.
In this article, I showed you one of the many ways to rank up by introducing sitelinks to your website’s Google search results. All in all, it takes constant effort from updating your sitemap to adding definitive meta descriptions to your posts.
Also, this strategy can bring you lots of organic clicks and future subscribers to your website at the same time. It will also ensure that past visitors can see that you have added new content too.
Did this article help convince you to add this strategy for your website’s growth? Here are a few more articles you can read as a supplement:
- Your SEO guide for 2020
- Tips to get featured on Forbes, TechCrunch, Mashable Inc
- Comparison of Wix vs. Squarespace
Have you tried any or all of the tips shown above? Comment below on how it improved your website’s visibility!