To the 2nd Power: Internal Links

wine-mag-logo

HIGHLIGHTS:

Client:
Wine Enthusiast

Mission:
Increase page views to drive advertising

Tactic:
Revamp internal linking architecture

Would You Build a Massive Retail Store Without an Architect?

Probably not.

Yet, this is often what companies try to do when it comes to their SEO strategies. Many firms place so much emphasis on getting other sites to link to them that they neglect their internal site architecture. Sure, external linking is important. But internal linking, which drives how visitors and search engines move from one page to the next, is the foundation on which SEO rests.

SEER brings the same creative approach that it uses to build external links to its internal site architecture strategy.

From The Case Files

100,000 Wines…

Wine Enthusiast was founded in 1979 as a major source of information for all things related to wine. The company started out as a print based business and has published over 300 million catalogues over the last 30 years. Since moving into the online space, the Wine Enthusiast website has become a storehouse of knowledge for over 100,000 varieties of wine.

…Made Easy to Find

Wine Enthusiast has a number of websites that make money for the company in different ways. While Wine Enthusiast does sell wine, its main source of online revenue is advertising – which means it’s important to get as many visitors to see as many pages as possible. When SEER examined Wine Enthusiast’s website, we noticed that even though the site had tons of information, it could sometimes be difficult for visitors to find the particular wines they were looking for. Our experience told us that search engines were also having trouble locating individual web pages, which was hurting the site’s ranking for important terms.

SEER re-architected the website to change this.

Getting Technical

Optimizing a site’s internal links is a job for the real geeks on our staff (which could describe most of us, come to think of it). But for those of you in touch with your inner geek, here are some of the ways we made it happen for Wine Enthusiast.

SEER’s internal linking strategy included…

  • Performing an in-depth keyword analysis to determine which regions and varietals presented the strongest opportunities.
  • Restructuring how pages within the site are linked to one another (organized by wine, region, and varietal).
  • Adding search friendly navigation links.
  • Making each varietal page (example— Pinot Noir) link to the top reviewed region that produces that varietal (example— France).
  • Linking all wine review pages back to their appropriate regions, subregions, varietals, and producers.
  • Creating programmatically optimized keyword rich page titles, meta titles and meta descriptions.
“Since our work began with SEER we’ve seen vast improvements in both traffic to the site and an apparent improvement in satisfaction while on site. Organic traffic to the Buying Guide is up 580% and page views for the Buying Guide are up over 600% comparing January to August. The on-page analytics are through the roof as well with a 17% drop in bounce rate.” - Erika Strum Editor, Wine Enthusiast

The overall result…

  • Page views within the site’s Buying Guide increased 1,027%
  • Site-wide page views increased 83%
  • Total Buying Guide traffic went up 814%
  • Organic search traffic went up 170%

More people saw every page every day. More people got exactly what they wanted. And Wine Enthusiast dramatically exceeded every online business goal.

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