There are many regions of a website that need to be optimized you hope to rank better on search engines. Search engines use hundreds of ranking factors to crawl a site and determine it’s worth showing to searchers. A significant portion of the way search engines view your site usually comes down to the way the website is structured for ease of use and availability for search crawlers.
I have always believed that on-site optimization is 80 percent of the battle. It’s a huge aspect of what makes a site or its content usable to searchers (if they are finding your articles useful or highly relevant to what they have been looking for). Over my years of practicing search engine optimization, this seems to have remained steady.
There are a number of optimization factors that should be front and center in your approach. These include things like optimizing site speed, enhanced social sharing capabilities, quality usability and conversion optimization. With that in mind, let’s looks at some ways you can fortify your SEO strategy by optimizing the flow of your website to increase its usability and result in more conversions.
URL Should Match Site Structure
You should ensure the URL structure fits with your hierarchy. For instance, if you’re currently selling a red winter dress on your website, your URL should look something like this:
The URL is broken down into Category → Sub-Category → Product. This is easy for the crawlers to read and easy for your users to navigate.
Use HTML or CSS for Navigation
Make use of Breadcrumb Menus
Breadcrumb menus are crucial for search engine optimization. Google has noted the importance on numerous occasions. When triggering menus on your website, make sure that the bread crumb menu displays your site structure accurately.
For example, when you activate a breadcrumb menu on a product page, it should have the following elements:
Homepage > Product Category > Subcategory > Product page
In other words, the menu should display all levels until you go back to the homepage.
Create a Low Depth Website
Another factor of a site’s structure you should focus on is to keep it shallow. This is when every page on your website can be reached in a few clicks. It makes your site easier to crawl. The more accessible and easier to crawl you make your site, the more Google will be likely to understand your content and even rank it. When a user is having trouble locating the information that they desire, they can easily become frustrated and leave the site. This can lead to things like lower time on site and increased bounce rates.
Have a 3 Click-Maximum from the Homepage
Having a proper linking structure is very important. One great tip is to make it easy for visitors to navigate around your site. When adding links, focus on making everything reachable within 3 clicks from the home page as much as possible. Having too many clicks from the homepage to get to your subpage can have a truly negative impact on the user experience along with search engine optimization.
The Top Menu Should Have the Main Navigation Pages
The top-level menu in the header of your site should list the main pages. Adding any other menu elements becomes unnecessary and distracting. Even though drop-down menus with CSS effects that disappear will give an exciting user experience, they do not affect SEO. Do not make use of structure-based images. The most reliable type of SEO continues to provide text links utilizing appropriate page sourcing.
Use Internal Linking
Creating a deeper site can be very effective, but it’s difficult to do this without making the navigation too challenging, especially for a large site with tens of thousands of pages. This is where internal linking comes into play.
It creates a superior user experience for users. An internal link is an inner connection between 2 pages on your site. For example, you may write a blog post that relates to a service you offer, so you link within that post to the related service page. Internal links provide a useful way to navigate through your website, and they have a lot of advantages, which can be helpful to get rank. This also lowers the number of clicks required to reach almost any page website.
The Visual Sitemap Generator Can Solve Your Problems
If you have finished reading this article and realized that your website design isn’t friendly for search engines and users, you can visualize it and detect the topics with a simple tool, The Visual Sitemap Generator. This visual website map will enable one to understand what hierarchy is composed of your website. As practice shows, improving your website structure leads to reduced bounce rate, increased traffic and improved search results.
So, there you have it. It is an essential yet often ignored part of Technical SEO. It’s a foundation that the your search engine optimization strategies may build upon if it’s possible to get your site structure organized correctly.
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