Imagine you are a new father who has just come home from the hospital with his wife and a brand new baby. You are anxious about your new role as a father and want to make sure your little family is completely comfortable and as happy as possible as they grow and recover from the birth experience. A helpful friend tells you that a local store has diapers on sale at an amazing price. Worried about finances at this time of your life, you kiss the wife on the forehead and head out to load up on diapers, which you know will be needed.
Unfortunately, when you walk into the store and start looking for the diapers you can't find them. You search all through the baby section of the store and don't find the diapers that are on sale. You eventually assume that the friend was mistaken and leave the store, never seeing the special display in a completely different section of the store which holds the bargain priced diapers.
The store just lost out on a sale, right? You had money in your pocket and were ready to spend, but you ended up leaving empty-handed.
Believe it or not, this type of thing happens every single day with websites investing in paid search engine advertising. The problem is too many websites are not using a technique known as "deep linking."
What is Deep Linking?
Deep linking is simply the act of matching a paid ad to the specific page of a website that holds information or products directly related to the ad. Most websites contain a lot of different information and different products, even though everything is related in some manner. Most ads lead to the homepage of a website, rather than to specific pages that deliver the specific information a searcher is ultimately looking for.
When a searcher clicks one of those paid advertisements and finds a homepage that they then have to maneuver through before finding what they really want, it is much like that new father wandering through the store looking for the bargain priced diapers. The searcher has to find their way through a large website to find one page or perhaps one paragraph of information they need to find.
Deep linking is the practice of leading the searcher directly to the specific information they want to find. The link in the paid ad does not go to the homepage, but to a second or third tier website that contains information directly related to the search term targeted in the ad.
The Value of Deep Linking
Deep linking gives the searcher instant gratification. They may be more open to exploring other pages on the website once they have found exactly what they were initially searching for. This is especially true if they come to your site after clicking on others and being unable to find what they were really looking for. By giving them exactly what they want with one simple click, you improve the value of your site in the searcher's eyes.
When a searcher is going through page after page of your site trying to find what you advertised on the search engine results page, they are more frustrated than open to what you have to say. You have a limited amount of time before they give up and go back to another site.