Sitelinks and Search boxes: what they are, why you want them, and how to get them

Saturday, 12th August 2017

Being top in Google isn't necessarily enough - you need more to inspire users to click your result.

There are a number of different ways to get your business or brand found in search engine results, but what can you do to inspire visitors to click on your particular result? 

Well, sitelinks is one way to do this, and if you’re lucky, Google may also give you a Search box…

What are Sitelinks?

Sitelinks are the additional links which appear in search results beneath the main result URL when people search a particular brand or business.

They link directly into pages within your site other than the homepage, helping users navigate to pages that may be of direct interest to them from within the search result. 

What is the Search box?

The Search box is exactly that – a search functionality that Google includes within your search result that allows users to search your site specifically from within the search result.

Of what value are they?

Simply put, your result takes up the most space on page one of the search result (particularly on mobile), ergo by default you’re already odds on to get a click.

On top of this lofty real estate, the fact that the user sees numerous links to pages within your site (assuming you’ve indexed them all correctly) means that they’re far more likely to click on one of those sitelinks, if not the main URL.

This may well serve some possibly under-served sections of your site, which (if correctly structured) will lead users to an end-goal that serves your business needs.

And if you also have a Search box, users are able to search within the result for your site to find exactly what they’re looking for.

How do they come about?

Sitelinks are pulled into the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) result organically by Google, so unlike Adwords, the site owner or publisher has no control over what, how and when they appear.

How do you get them?

The answer here is simple – to stand the chance of Google giving you Sitelinks and a Search box, you need to appear in the number one slot for searches related to your business area or brand. Google won’t give anyone else the privilege!

  • Ranking #1 means having great SEO and indexing your site correctly throughout.  Ensure that all your root domains are correctly indexed as a starting point. 
  • You also need to ensure that your XML sitemap is complete and up-to-date – Google Search Console can help you out with that
  • Make sure your internal linking structure is sound, your page titles and meta data is correct, site content is well-written and descriptive and make sure your site speed and load times and mobile responsiveness are totally optimised.

Getting the Search box is a little tougher – to stand a chance, you need to visit the Google Developers page on Sitelinks Searchbox - this is no guarantee, but at least you’re in with a shout!

Find out more

It may take quite a lot of detailed work to get your website into a position where Sitelinks and Search boxes become a possibility, or a reality. For advice and support with your website’s SEO and more, contact Realnet today.