The Short Version
Deep linking simply refers to links that send visitors to any page on your site other than the home page. While home pages are great places to start, a business may want certain visitors to start on a more specific page.
The Detailed Version
As its name would suggest, a deep link is an HTML link that delivers visitors to a specified page on the site that's deeper than the home page. Deep linking enables you to send traffic directly to an appropriate page on your site, and keeps those visitors from having to 'drill down' to the right page themselves.
Deep linking is now commonplace, and a standard practice in all but a few scenarios where you would actually want someone beginning at your home page.
Deep linking, in its execution, is no different from linking to a site's homepage. By nature, all HTML links function the same way. Deep linking is simply a way to refer to links that don't send traffic to a site's home page, and are more targeted.
A few cases where deep linking would be useful might include:
- Writing a blog post about your company's recent sponsorship of a 5K charity run, and then including a link to your site's 'Events' page.
- When writing an article for an online news source about a prominent elected official, linking to that official's bio page which is several levels down from his or her home page.
- Creating an online advertisement that links potential customers directly to a targeted product on your site, as opposed to the home page where they would have to actively search for it and possibly give up.
While the term used to describe it may be unfamiliar, chances are you're already quite familiar with the benefits and usage of deep linking. In fact, you might have even followed a deep link to get to this page.