Deep links—that is, links to internal pages of your ecommerce website—are an important part of search engine optimization. However, if you are like many online retailers, you have a constantly evolving product inventory. It can be hard to boost your rank by linking to internal pages when these pages are in a constant state of flux. Here are a few ways of dealing with the issue.
Why You Need Deep Links
Deep links are essential to SEO. The more high quality links that a page has, the more important it will appear to search engine bots. This helps not just the page itself, but your website as a whole. Obviously bots view a website with many meaningful pages as more important than those with fewer.
In addition, link diversity is important. Search engine algorithms are designed to look not just at the number of links, but the nature of them. Maintaining a web of deep links between different products in your website can be valuable even if you are no longer selling the product. It makes your ecommerce website look more relevant.
We have posted before about how to create these links, but keeping them can be a whole different matter.
The Not Found Issue
Your product line will change with time; this is a given no matter what industry you are in. However, this can create a challenge when it comes to preserving deep links. When most e-tailers remove a product from their inventory, they completely remove the product page. This means that all of the links to this page are erased as well. This can be a substantial loss of search engine power. Not only this, it is also frustrating for a consumer to follow a link to a product that they are seeking, only to get a 404 Not Found page. Few will take the time to look around your website; instead, most people will return to their search and go to the next link.
An Easy Solution
There is an obvious solution to this issue: a 301 redirect. This allows you to maintain the SEO power of those deep links. In addition, it takes consumers seeking specific products to an alternative product page, increasing the chance that they will buy from you. This boosts the SEO value of the page to which the old product page redirects and also improves the overall link diversity of your site. The potential added sales are icing on the cake.
What about pages with few internal links? Well, you never know when someone will link to one of your items. Why not create a policy that allows you to keep these valuable links? For this reason, many wise ecommerce website owners never simply erase a product page.
Easy tricks like this can make all the difference in the ongoing success of your ecommerce website. You cannot afford to lose even a mote of momentum. Redirecting instead of erasing will add to your traffic and also directly to your sales.