Though the generation and output of Sitelinks are automated, few things contribute and help Google in providing favorable results fast.
In this post, I will show you some proven tips and strategies that actually work to get Google sitelinks. I have tested these strategies on my blog, and they are working great for me.
Follow these rules and soon enough you will see sitelinks appear in Google SERPs for your posts and pages.
Sitelinks are additional links that appear under your site’s search results in SERPs.
They are added automatically by Google. However, you can follow these specific steps to complement Google’s workflow and get sitelinks for your sites faster.
1. Pick A SEO Optimized And Schema Added Theme
While using A free theme from WordPress theme repo, my blog didn’t show up any sitelinks on google, and I analyzed my theme structure and found my theme didn’t have any site navigation element schema markup. (Read more about SiteNavigationElement)
Searching for BforBloggers shows 6 sitelinks on google without entering the domain extension. Even my individual posts are showing those beneath them in SERPs.
I changed the theme altogether. I switched to a custom theme that was already coded with the latest schema.org codes and was SEO optimized. The theme is easy to navigate and clean, supporting Google to do its work easily.
There are many themes but I recommend Genesis from Studiopress.
Different themes handle h1 and other heading tags differently. You would use <h1> in one theme which might turn <h2> in the other.
All of these factors will directly affect your SEO. A proper, clean coded theme with the required schema and SEO optimization is necessary at all costs.
Themes also affect your overall loading speed and starting from someday in July, Google will take speed as a ranking factor for smartphones as well. Earlier, this applied to desktops only.
However, Google clearly mentions if someone has got quality and relevant content with proper structure, they may still rank higher despite having a slow site (but you need to be as fast as you can).
But you should keep an eye on it. It could also degrade the UX of your website.
2. Add A Table Of Contents
I highly recommend this little trick. I was experimenting with different sites and their structures on the web for 3 weeks now.
What I found was quite surprising, and you should pay attention to this. This is a trick you can use to get results quickly.
Look at a post from MonsterInsights blog:
These two posts are from the same domain.
One appears to have sitelinks below the result while the others don’t. Google thinks that these headings are something the searcher would be looking for, and hence, it shows them in the search result itself.
When I visited the second article, i.e., The one who is having the links, I found a table of contents just above the first heading, which will help the user to easily navigate the different titles and subjects.
The first article didn’t have any table of contents in it, and that’s why I feel it didn’t show up any extra sitelinks on SERPs.
A table of content consists of basically hyperlinks, which include all your headings adequately structured and organized by simple <ul> tags. These are hyperlinks which are generated to help user scroll faster through long extended contents.
Google can quickly catch up with the links you provide to it via a table of contents tab, and that’s why sitelinks appear on such articles.
Structured data is the key to success with SEO. You should focus on properly executing your data with HTML too. Focusing on visual appearance does adds value to visitors, but the real work will happen via HTML only.
According to my studies, it is possible to get sitelinks quickly with these tables. The live example contributes a lot to this fact.
You can add a table of contents through minimum HTML coding, But beginners might feel very uncomfortable doing it. The more natural way to do this is to add a plugin.
It might be that Google follows the user flow and tracks precisely how the user interacts within the webpage. Table of contents provide immediate action, and a user can easily select the topic as per it’s interest and needs. Google might just hook that up in SERPs.
It’s like when Google feels that users are clicking through your table of contents links, it shows them up on the front end for a better experience.
Go ahead to Google search and type “Jetpack vs Google analytics“. My post shows post specific sitelinks and guesses what? All I did is mentioned in this article. Keep reading.
I strongly recommend adding a table of content plugin for your WordPress blog. Here’s a great free table of content plugin.
Without further elaboration, let me give you a three-step blueprint for a highly effective SEO friendly content.
First, start with an introduction. Introduce the brand, technique, product, or anything you are going to write about and give a brief insight into how you found it or whatsoever.
Second, Make sure you begin with an <h1> or <h2> tag. Depending on the title, make a habit of using heading tags instead of simply enlarging the titles.
Make sure you don’t use the focus keywords in h1 tags. Use correlating words or phrases instead. You can use the keyword in h2 tags once only.
Third, Use brake lines with contextual words that are eye-catching features, reasons, and questions related to the content.
Use break lines such as “6 benefits of getting sitelinks” or “what are the benefits.”
Google says, “sitelinks are shown when Google feels the user will be looking for it or may find it useful.”
As soon as you start giving what your users want, google will lift you up. Your content should be original and informative.
This blueprint is enough to help you with getting sitelinks. Make sure you write a highly informative post that covers up every side of the topic.
I have seen on google that only long and properly titled, and structured content is rewarded so make sure you do this.
Always write the way you would want to read as a beginner.
4. Submitting A Sitemap to Google Search Console
Submitting a sitemap to Google is extremely important. Not in it helps you get site links, Its the first step you should take to help Google better crawl and understand your website.
For doing this, Go to your WordPress dashboard and install the “Yoast SEO Plugin“.After the initial setup, this plugin will automatically create a sitemap for you.
You can access it by going to the link: “www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml”. Now, submit it to Google.
Go to your search console and select the property. Then in the crawl menu, select sitemaps. On the above right corner, click on the Add/ Test Sitemap.
Enter the slug “sitemap.xml,” and that’s it. Google will now index the URLs submitted in the sitemap. If you don’t submit a sitemap, Google will have a difficult time indexing your pages, images, and posts
Breadcrumbs as far as I have seen give a little boost to the procedure. However, this isn’t necessary to have.
Almost every premium, as well as quality free themes, comes with a pre-loaded breadcrumbs navigation so this shouldn’t be a concern for you.
You can check out if your pages support breadcrumbs via the structured data testing tool by Google.
6. Ranking On SERPs
Yes, this is an absolute fact. Unless and until you are acquiring the first page of Google for any given keyword. You are likely to get sitelinks if you are sincerely following the rules.
For this review, I am ranking on the first page. I haven’t seen any sitelinks appearing on any results after page one to date. So you should be ranking on page one of Google to get sitelinks.
It happened, After a successful experiment, BforBloggers is now showing Sitelinks on Bing as well, have a look:-
7. Important factors:-
Internal linking – Internal linking is a must to do practice for any blog. Not only this helps Google understand your content better, but it also helps your audience to navigate on your blog more easily.
Link your most important articles with every related post so that Google gets to know you want to put it on the mainframe. This will help you generate a better structure and User experience too.
There is no shortcut to getting sitelinks. You cannot force Google.
However, you can follow these simple best practices that will ensure Google follows you the way you want it to.
Be honest with your audience and add value to your content. Don’t pretend to know the thing you don’t.
Also, remember that sitelinks add indirect value to SEO. This means it does possess an effect on it.
As far as I have gone through, the traffic does affect how fast you are going to get sitelinks on your SERPs. Google follows the click made by your visitors to your article.
The more you write helpful articles with QnA segments, the faster you are going to achieve success with these. Probably the structure is a key right now.
The unique branding and unique domain and its authority have nothing to do with sitelinks. However, you need to rank first for your brand name.
The whole procedure will take time to show the results. This can be a month or a week depending upon google and its crawl rate. Following the suggestions I gave, you will ensure a higher percentage of getting success.
In the end, it’s all about content and it’s originality. Help your users with rock-solid articles that are helpful to the core.
Once you have got some, you can check your sitelinks via your Google search console. You can also remove the links of pages, taxonomies, etc. you don’t want to show up.
You shouldn’t change your theme once you’ve got these links. Doing so may result in the vanishing of these sitelinks. Make sure the new theme you choose is schema markup integrated and easy to render.
In case you are wondering, search boxes are also a part of schema markup.
These tips aren’t fixed for blogs only, sitelinks are also rewarded to websites with multiple pages. I strongly suggest you have a blog running under your website’s domain.
If this tutorial helped you get sitelinks, do share this on your favorite social media and let me know your problems and experience in the comments section below.