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Should I build links for the root domain for these more specific KWs or build deep links to the pages where the KWs are optimised?
I totally agree it is best if a visitor lands directly on the page they require, however, if they land on the root in this case they do get what they want, and then they are only one click away from what they really want. This lead me to...
When an link is pointed in this case to the root domain, would any positive influence for this specific KW (anchored) follow through to the deeper page (from main menu) or does the effect only influence the page it is anchored to? This question is only from the SERP point of view and not for PR matters.
With your kind wisdom on this I think I can come to a conclusion on if to 1. Start building deeper links as a long term strategy for this specific page and take any beneficial ranking as a pat on the back OR 2. Build as I am and put up with a maybe higher bounce rate resulting from them landing on a not so desirable page.
then they are only one click away from what they really want
If they are still one click away from what they really want they didn't get to where they wanted did they?
Besides, you'll have a stronger site if you optimize for each landing page individually because just optimizing for the root means if you ever lose your ranking for that page, which happens, you lose the entire thing.
Spread the link love around the site, make the whole site a destination, not just the home page.
One click away means a noticeable number of your visitors' next click is away, not to your site.
Deep linking to the classification page had the benefit of upping its subsidiary pages in the SERPS and let me add some indexable text that wasn't appropriate for the home page. Net results were better than getting all the hits on the home page but still not perfect.
So it is clear to start deep linking and not to the root. Would the best situation in this case be to adjust the internal link structure and anchor out from the root the text (already ranking high, but not so much for the deeper page) to the optimised page, if not is there a better technique? It may seem basic and logical the answer to this, but it would be great to know what is best way to deal with this situation.
Typical ranking scenario can look like this:
The main index page should be general. Longer tail pages support the relevance of the home page (the tip of the pyramid), they help the home page rank for the general one or two word phrase.
The second level pages rank for two to three word phrases, still somewhat general. These are generally hub pages that link out to more granular pages. So the the second level pages are like Green Widgets, and the more granular pages, the third level pages, are like Cheap Green Widgets or Cheap Used Green Widgets.
Third level pages rank for myriad longtail phrases. They're the bottom of the pyramid. So they not only rank for Cheap Used Green Widgets, but they also rank for Vintage Cheap Used Green Widgets and other oddball combinations, including misspellings, which you can put in the keyword meta.