SEO projects come in all different shapes and sizes. In most cases, clients are simply looking to drive more qualified traffic to their sites, but on the odd occasion, they'll ask us why search engines behave in a particular way, and why their site is treated as it is.
It's common for new clients to ask why their site is not appearing in the Google search engine, and they're surprised when we respond, 'well, did you tell Google about your site?' It seems many simply believe that Google, in it's infinite wisdom, will find their website eventually even if there is often no means of doing so (ie., there are no links pointing at it).
What are Google sitelinks?
Recently however, the question of 'sitelinks' has been raised. For those that don't know, sitelinks appear as part of several Google listings, in order to aid navigation. They give users the ability to jump straight from the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) to particular sections (often 'category' pages, if you will) of a website.
Why are Google sitelinks so important?
The reason why these links are so sought-after is that firstly, they give your website a larger presence within the SERPs - meaning more people are likely to click on your site, as apposed to your competition. Secondly, the links can improve your conversion rates, as customers might click through to a page which is actually further along in the order/buying/enquiring process. If there are fewer pages to navigate through before they complete a transaction for example, then the customers are in fact more likely to complete that transaction.
For those reasons, sitelinks are an important feature of the Google listings.
How do I get Google to include sitelinks in my listing?
Actually having those links appear within your Google listing is a little more challenging however. We know that Google generates sitelinks automatically, meaning it is an algorithmic feature and not something which can be requested manually.
As you would expect, Google has not offered anything more than an explanation as to what sitelinks are, and so, when it comes to working towards having sitelinks created within your listing, we can only go on our past experiences and understanding.
To have Google create sitelinks within your listing, your site needs to:
be easy to crawl, with a clear, structured navigation have a fairly high stream of natural traffic have high click through rates from the SERPs have a number of high quality inbound links be a useful resource
It's worth noting that sitelinks only seem to appear within your site listing when it ranks within the first few positions of the SERPs. With that said, if you're interested in developing sitelinks but are not yet listed within the top rankings, you might want to give us a call, and we can put together a plan of action!