NB: This is a guest article by John Doherty, an SEO consultant at Distilled.
Every now and then I come across a strategy that is absolutely brilliant and need to share it with the world. I recently found strategy like this from Expedia, while doing competitor research for a client.
At Distilled, we talk about page types a lot, which basically means your site’s taxonomy. These are all examples of page types:
- Product pages
Expedia is combining a few of these in a really smart way that is helping it rank these pages well.
It is putting its guide content on the city hub pages, and getting links for travel guide related keywords that are partial match anchors for its main keywords!
Let’s take a look.
Expedia's London hotel page
Expedia has travel guide URLs for their city hub pages, where each city hub URL ends with ".Travel-Guide-Hotels". Take a look at the London Hotels page...
Not only does it rank third, behind two TripAdvisor URLs and the local 7-pack for "london hotels"...
But it also ranks well for "london hotel travel guide"...
Let’s look at this from a link perspective, both internally and externally.
OpenSiteExplorer tells us that this page has 29 linking root domains...
None of these are external, but Expedia is able to link internally using "travel guide" in the anchor text and it’s completely natural and beneficial to users This is exactly what I covered in my internal linking Whiteboard Friday.
If I was working on SEO for Expedia, I would be linking more internally to these pages using the [travel guide] related keywords, because there is some search volume opportunity there that would probably convert...
Why is this content smart?
So why do I think this is such a great strategy, and why should Expedia work to make its internal linking even better to take advantage of these terms?
First, it is putting useful content on the page, which is good for the user experience and for the links experience. They could do more with it, sure, but the basis is there.
Second, it can rank this page for more terms than just its [city + hotels] term.
Third, this strategy makes the site architecture simpler. Expedia does not have to build as many links to the guide now, as it already has links for [london hotels] keywords. This content now inherits the value of those links, making it easier to rank this content for the above shown terms.
I guess there’s not much of a discussion point here. I’d challenge you to think about how you can do this for your own pages, or how you can get links to certain pages (linkbait on product pages, perhaps?) in a smarter way.
NB: This is a guest article by John Doherty, an SEO consultant at Distilled. Read more from Doherty on his personal blog, where this article originally was published.