Many people wonder whether they prioritize building links that point to the homepage and if so, what the ratio should be. While many wonder whether it makes a difference at all.
It certainly does make a difference, however, what I find, is that it makes a difference ‘in reverse’. Basically, building a link from the relevant content with the corresponding topic to the appropriate service page makes a difference to that service page. But building the link from that same content to the homepage instead (unless the homepage is optimized for the keywords the guest post is optimized for) will not make the world of difference to the homepage rankings. Since we mostly work with businesses and companies, our priority is to make sure our job gets the leads, conversions and great ROI. And throwing all your offsite resources towards homepage is not exactly the best resource allocation strategy. And here is why.
I notice a lot of fellow SEO specialists really go the extra mile just to get that ‘homepage’ link.
Well, I personally seem to be missing something, and here is why I don’t get it:
- Firstly, in the vast majority of cases, the homepage will not be as converting as the service page. Say you have 10 services, what would your homepage target and what would be the keyword distribution across the pages and what keyword are you trying to rank the homepage for when building oftentimes 90% of the authority to your homepage? While the service page, on the other hand, (if done right) would target specific keywords, the content that speaks to the buyer persona and that is more likely to convert than your homepage (that is the CRO/SEO intersection I have recently written about).
- Secondly, what I find is that links do their job best when the content you are linking out FROM has the same context as the page you are linking out TO (well, of course from the relevant website). For example, you have submitted a huge guest post with the link to your website. The post is about AWS Lambda. And you happen to have a service page dedicated to AWS Lambda, the page that has organic search visibility for the relevant AWS keywords. And then I see so many people still linking out to their homepage instead of the dedicated page. And homepage (unless you offer just this one service), is of course not optimized for the keyword. Yea sure, your website would get some credit, but in my personal experience, linking to a relevant page would deliver way more authority to that specific page as opposed to dispersing all these ‘resources’ all over your homepage. Basically, it makes more sense to me building more relevant authority for each of your services rather than investing all your resources relevant and not really to get a ‘homepage link’.
- Thirdly, some might argue that you could get that link juice via internal interlinking to service pages from your homepage. Yes, you could, but the effect would not nearly be the same. Recently we dealt with the client’s website. They are a reputable company in the software development industry based in the USA. They had spectacular and, most importantly, natural backlink profile. But, as it often happens, all their link juice was concentrated on the homepage. And guess how many out of 15 services ranked in TOP10? TWO! Well, and for how many relevant service keywords did their homepage rank? Almost none.
I guess what I am trying to say is why does ‘homepage’ authority take precedence over ‘service’ page authority for so many clients/professionals out there? It is not like you are linking to someone else’s website, it is still your website, it still gets the authority. However, with targeted offsite strategy, more of your service pages get the relevant authority, exposure, and traffic. I am sure we all know it: highly relevant authority link from a great website and amazing optimized content is worth 20 ‘average’ links. And the same in my opinion applies to the choice of the page you should link out to.
I am not trying to say that you should avoid homepage: maybe you are writing a press release, or an interview, or someone is quoting your opinion in the roundup, then sure, the homepage is the page you would link to here. But then why avoid linking to service pages or blog posts when the guest post just screams ‘link me to the relevant service/blog page, please!’ If one is working towards a diverse and natural offsite strategy, then, in my opinion, it should be that: diverse and natural.