This article discusses how SEO affects your website and its structure, focusing on SEO architecture and its fundamentals.
These days, most SEO training guides and their resources are quick to tell you only the benefits of both on-site SEO (the process of optimizing the individual pages of a website) and off-site SEO (which is typically the case of external link building).
What’s to Come to SEO in 2013?
The most important underlying factor of SEO in 2013 is going to be structure of your website. This is the number one influence in your website’s rankings and visibility.
Things That You Should Consider Moving to the Top of Your SEO Checklist for 2013
– How is your site structured? What could I do to improve things?
– Internal link structure of your website- are you getting the most out of your content?
– How easy is your site to navigate? How can you improve your site’s navigation?
– How is your site’s content? Does it display your primary sales message?
– Are you using a CMS (Content Management System)? What options does your CMS have?
How is Your Site Structured? What Can You Do to Improve Things?
Your site’s structure is broken down into a few major elements. Most people don’t even know what these elements of the site are, which can lead to some misunderstanding in what is needed to make your site as search-friendly as possible.
The first element of your site’s structure are the URLs (uniform resource locator) or the pages of your website. Making sure that your page is specific to what your content is about, will ensure proper discovery and categorization of the pages for the search engines. Each individual page should be specifically targeted for what it is primarily about. Naming and categorizing your pages correctly within your site’s folders will help build relevancy in a topic and increase your authority. Depending on if you are using a CMS (Content Management System) or not will determine a huge factor in how easy it will be to make adjustments to your site’s URL structure.
Internal Link Structure of Your Website: Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Content?
The second element to improving your site’s structure is the internal link structure of your website. Internal links are connections between individual pages of your website. Having a large website that has many pages can be a challenge, and categorizing them all in order to reorganize your internal link structure can be a daunting task. If your site has 1000 pages, you’ll need at least 300 different categories to make sure that all your pages can be reached with at least three clicks using navigational structures alone. This could seriously affect your site’s appearance and functionality. So what’s the solution?
Internal Link Creation Between Pages of Your Website Offer a Large Number of Beneficial Advantages
– Internal links are connections between individual pages of your website.
– Internal links can decrease the number of clicks required to access the depth of your website.
– Internal links can allow for entire site indexing, utilizing search crawl time more effectively.
– Internal links can be played on keyword phrases, which offer opportunities to link to more relevant pages, which in turn equals better user experience and more time spent on your site.
Mapping out your internal link structure at this time will not only help later when it comes to the navigation, but will also give you a better idea of what your readers should encounter when falling into the rabbit hole. When you go to add a new page to your website, whether it be a post, article, or actual page, take a moment to consider if the users who will be reading this page will want to find more information about a related topic- maybe you didn’t go too far in depth on that page, but made an entire reference to it somewhere else- this would be a great place to put an internal link.
Keep in mind, however, that although placing internal links that utilize keyword-optimized anchor text does help by making your pages more relevant, it should not be your primary focus.
How Easy is Your Site to Navigate? How Can You Improve Your Site’s Navigation?
Now that we have added a few extra tasks to our SEO checklist this year, let’s continue on with the third element that can improve your site’s structure: navigation. Like many demographics which can vary from site to site, you being an SEO expert who is probably reading this, Internet users all have one thing in common, and that’s scanning. Users typically scan a page to determine where they want to go next. If your site is too complex, or confusing on guiding the user in the direction of more information, you may be misleading them. Not only do you have to think about the end user, you have to think about the search engines and how they will be able to navigate your site. If you haven’t planned out your site’s structure already, or are considering revamping its structure, be sure not to forget the navigation element. Remember, your competition is just a click away!
Things to consider about your site’s navigation:
– Stick with navigation schemes that are based in XHTML or CSS and be sure to use appropriate markups to define what the page is about.
– Depth of websites – all pages should be just 3 clicks away from the main navigation.
– Websites with easy-to-use navigation most likely allow users to find what they are looking for, therefore decreasing bounce rate and increasing time spent on your site.
How is Your Site’s Content? Does it Display Your Primary Sales Message?
So you thought all you need to do is restructure your site? It doesn’t end there! The structure of your site is just as important as the content that holds it up. As we mentioned before in the navigation element, Internet users tend to scan before they read, and if they can’t scan, they leave.
Things to consider in your content to make it user friendly:
– Use subheadings that contain keyword topics.
– Illustrative lists that disucss the main topic points.
– Bolded phrases or numbered steps to keep your readers engaged.
Keyword stuffing and over optimization are all things that Google Panda and Penguin algorithms stomped out in 2012, but don’t count them out. What are bears known to do during the winter? Hibernate – We’ve already seen 22 Panda refreshes and we are on at least version 3 of the Penguin updates. Providing users with good, valuable informative content is the difference between outsourcing your content, and taking the time to write about it yourself. You know what you’re trying to say best, so why send mixed messages?
The difference between good content and bad content:
– Good Content engages the users.
– Great Content keeps the user coming back for more.
How bad content can effect your site:
– Bad content may be keyword stuffed.
– Horrible content is plagiarized from another users page without credit being given.
Are You Using a CMS (Content Management System)? What Options Does Your CMS Have?
In this day in age of the web, you are probably familiar with the term CMS, but if you’re not, it stands for Content Management System. You’ve most likely heard of many forms of CMSs like Drupal, Joomla, Wix, Website Tonight, and, the most popular CMS, WordPress.
Depending upon your CMS, you’ll have a suite of different options, and sometimes no options. It really depends on your CMS and how they set things up. Fortunately Widget Ware can help you understand the limitations of your CMS and how to utilize its functions to its maximum potential. Contact us for a free consultation on how we can webolutionize your business.
Tags: google algorithm update, google penguin, google penguin algorithm updates, search engine optimization architecture, seo architecture, seo architecture strategies