Deepen your site for fun and profit

June 4th, 2008 by Chris

The depth of your site refers to how many clicks it takes to get from your homepage to the furthest reaches of your site. With each click representing, of course, another page, another level of organization, for your site.

I think, with that definition, having a deep site means having a site with many pages. Since having many pages is directly related to your SEO success, specifically what I call brute force SEO (making so many pages, so much content, that you can’t help but get traffic), having a deep site is directly related to your SEO success.

So, since we’ve established a deep site is good, how do we make your site deeper? Well, there are a couple techniques that I want to call content lengtheners that will do it for you, easily, with almost the flip of a switch.

Scenario 1.

Say you have a directory, any topic or type will do. Typically the deepest level on a directory is the category level. You start at the top, and browse down from general categories until more specific categories. Adding more content means adding more categories. DMOZ is like this, Yahoo is like this, most directory scripts are like this. It is very common.

What if you could double your content in an instant? Well, you can, you just add one more level of depth, at the very bottom. You make site profiles the lowest level of depth on your site. So now you start with general categories, browse down until the most specific category, and then click on a listing to get the listing page, which has additional details and perhaps user comments or reviews on that listing.

You have now added 1 page to your site, a page targeted to a specific listing (good keywords there if someone searches for that business/product/thing whatever your directory is of), for each listing in your directory. If your directory had 10,000 listings, you’ve now added 10,000 new pages to your site, nice huh?

Scenario 2.

Say you run a system for user feedback/comments. That is a great idea, allowing user comments such as in blogs is a great way to get free content for your site. However, why not take it a step further and promote discussions?

Let people reply to comments posted by other people, make those replies, and the original comment, a thread, let the thread be shown on a separate page.

Now, instead of just having all user submitted content be on the one page of your site, you’re letting user submitted content become new pages on your site (like a forum of course) which is even better.

Scenario 3.

Combine the first two. With your directory go down one more level to the site level. Then allow threaded comments so that each comment that gets a reply generates a new page on your site. If again you have 10,000 listings and each listing gets an average of 3 comments that is an additional 30,000 pages of content from your comment system, on top of the additional 10,000 pages from your lengthening of the depth of your directory.

The overall point of this concept is to get the most possible content pages out of your databases. More content equals more traffic, more traffic equals more money. When I recently did this, scenario 1 only, I doubled the traffic of the directory.

2 Responses to “Deepen your site for fun and profit”

  1. Ken Barbalace  Says:

    I wouldn’t recommend putting in page hops just for the sake of creating new pages as there is a point where users won’t keep clicking just to get to what they are looking for. Having a well organized hierarchical structure as described above that allows users to drill down into a subject matter is important, but it is also important to make sure users can get to content quickly. I do use a deep hierarchy as described above, but at the same time I use multiple navigation methods to cross link content and to ensure that users can get from anywhere on my site to anywhere on my site with as few of clicks as is possible. There must be a balance between providing lots of “bot food” to search engines and making a site cumbersome to navigate.

  2. Internet Business Broker  Says:

    Great suggestions for increasing website page depth while keeping it unique – will apply at least scenario one to my current website broker business selling website businesses.
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