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What Is Click Depth And Why Is It Important?

In this article, we will talk about click depth and its importance. This is one of those often neglected ranking factors that is quite easy to fix, and can have an impact not only on your ranking but also the user experience of your website. Let’s dig in a bit deeper.

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What Is Click Depth?

In short, “click depth” is a term that describes how many clicks it takes to get to the desired page, starting from your home page. Let me give you two examples:

  • Example 1:
    • Home Page
    • First Click – Store
    • Second Click – Desired Product Category
    • Third Click – Go To Page Two Button
    • Fourth Click – Desired Product Opened
  • Example 2:
    • Home Page
    • First Click – Product opened (the site had “Featured products” on its home page)

As you can see, in our example two, your potential customer got to the desired product immediately after getting to your homepage. The product from Example 1 was buried three clicks deeper than the product from Example 2. It had more click depth.

But Who Cares, Why Does Click Depth Matter?

Click depth is a search ranking factor, which was clearly stated by Google’s John Mueller.

Mr. Mueller openly said that Google judges the importance of a page by how easy it is to reach it from the home page. Of course, he assumed that your home page is the “heaviest” and most important page of your website. So, if it takes more clicks to get to the desired page, Google will think it is less important.

Moreover, Google doesn’t value the number of slashes (“/”) your URL contains that much, it values click depth more than that. However, that doesn’t mean URLs are unimportant, as they improve user interface, and how your page looks in the search results. “…com/bog/click-depth” looks much better than “…com/location/blog/articles/2019/11234312135112511235“.

Nobody but top Google employees understand exactly how Google (or any other search engine works). 

Understanding How Google Works

First, nobody but top Google employees understand exactly how Google (or any other search engine works). Every search engine is based on an algorithm that is ranking billions of search results.

Although Google gives us instructions and insights from time to time, the algorithm itself is top secret. The reason why is simple—if people knew exactly how it works, they would manipulate it, trying to get to the first page of Google, even if their site doesn’t deserve that.

Some ranking factors are public and are very valuable for SEO. In fact, one of the best SEO 101 documents is published by Google itself, and it’s their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide.

Big And Small SEO Ranking Factors—They All Matter

Major factors are content quality and length, quality links to your site, but also site speed and responsiveness, as more traffic gets from mobile devices than from computers.

However, because taking care of the site’s content is something that requires a lot of time and resources (especially if you have an unoptimized blog, which will require updating and rewriting), other factors that are easy to implement play a role too.

Things like installing an SSL certificate, which will turn your site from HTTP to HTTPS, making it more secure, are fast and cheap ways to make your site secure. Plus, SSL is a well-known ranking signal.

The same goes with click depth. Making sure crucial pages on your website are easy to reach won’t take away too much time, and it doesn’t cost anything. But, it a valid Google signal that will help your site get more traffic.

Is it going to be the difference-maker that will skyrocket you straight to the #1? No. But it is definitely worth optimizing click depth, as it can give you a slight edge over your competition.

Internal Linking—A Relevant Ranking Factor

Internal links are links between pages of the same site. So you can think about click depth as a part of internal linking—your home page links to other pages of your website, or at least to categories.

But, internal linking is so much more than links between your home page and other pages; links linking among your other pages matters too. That’s why it’s important to improve click depth with internal linking.

So for example, your Home page leads to Services, Pricing, Contact, About us, Blog. While it is obvious that your Services page should link to Pricing and Contact, people usually neglect their Blog.

Use Blog Links

Every article you write is an excellent opportunity to link to other pages of your site. While you can do it obviously, via calls-to-action, you can also link to your other articles previously written. This will make the blog post more engaging, and users will read your other posts as well. Google will notice all that, as well as the time spent on your website, and all of it will improve rankings.

However, if you already have an established blog with hundreds of pages, it might be hard to do proper internal linking on your own. If that is the case, and you don’t have time for it, just start internal linking from now on, with every page you write. Or set up a schedule, optimizing 1-2 old articles each day, or something similar that is doable, and won’t take you too much time.

Use Links In Moderation

Does internal linking that mean you should stuff every single sentence with multiple links? No, it doesn’t. Place links strategically, on places where it makes sense. And of course, keep your home page clean, and make sure it links only to the most relevant and most important pages/posts of your site. Use click depth wisely!

Use External Links Too

One more thing—link to other websites as well. Linking your articles to sources related to your keywords will tell Google bots that you know what you are talking about. While it is good to link to authority sites, don’t hesitate to promote other websites within your niche, as long as they offer quality content. Owners will appreciate it, and might even link back to your site in their future posts.

Of course, place these links strategically, as you don’t want people to leave your site too soon, without ever coming back. It is a good idea to set them to open in a new tab, without closing your article.

Conclusion

Click depth is a simple concept that can improve your search rankings if done right. Because it is easy to implement, we advise you to go and check your site and see how your home page looks. Then, consider adding links to the most important pages of your website straight from the home page. It will let Google know which ones are important, and it will also make it easy for site visitors to navigate the site, which can improve your conversions.