June 29, 2010 • Article by Nettie Wells
In Part One I discussed the idea that marketers seem determined to overwhelm the user with sitelinks rather than thinking about how to optimise sitelink performance. Today I want to talk about how we can actually improve performance by making sitelinks more distinctive and relevant to the user.
In an ideal world, every sitelink would take the user to a landing page relevant to its title. If a user searches for Play.com and clicks on a sitelink entitled DVD for example, they would rightly expect to be taken to the DVD category page and not the homepage.
Use of product categories as sitelinks seems to be the most efficient and productive way of telling users what they might find inside your site. However, if you really wanted to push a special offer then sitelinking might be a useful way of attracting more traffic. For example you might have a half price deal for a Children’s Paddling Pool, in which case you might consider a sitelink for
Half Price Kids Paddling Pool Only £9.95
and then land users directly on the product page. You might also consider seasonal targeting whereby you have a sitelink for
and then land users on a page set up especially for Christmas deals.
So far so good in terms of content. But how can we make the links themselves more distinctive? Research from bigmouthmedia.com shows that 80% of users still click through to the homepage rather than clicking on the provided sitelinks. One way of jazzing up your links would be to include small picture icons. If I was advertising for an airport for example then my Sitelinks might look something like this:
✈ Arrivals ✈ Airport Information
✈ Departures ✈ Flight Information
Not only does it help you to stand out from the competition but it also demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to ensure that your sitelinks direct users to the most relevant content on your webpage.