We have already shed light on some of the most important aspects of search engine optimization from using keywords and META tags to link building. However, not all these things will be of much help if your website’s structure is not SEO friendly.
SEO is not merely a set of some technical tricks but it inculcates many small things like a website’s overall structure. The structure of your site is important because it helps search engines reach a conclusion regarding the indexing of your website. It helps crawlers reach to every corner and see what files or pages should get indexed and in what way.
With the help of a good site structure you can quickly improve your website’s ranking. If your site structure is good, then the benefit you get is incredible as you will be able to get some brilliant links. So how does one develop an impressive site structure? Read on to find out!
How to Develop a Good Site Structure
The battle begins right from the beginning. When you sit down to develop your new website, you need to keep in mind the importance of SEO so that you can properly design your website. It is recommended that you draw out the structure of your site in Visio or other such tool; even MS Excel may do the trick. You should start with the first page, which is usually the Home page, and then put other pages as a proper branch so that you can have a set structure of all your pages.
The above example may look fine to you but from search engine’s point of view, this is not the best possible scenario. Search engines like websites that have a balanced tree, something that looks more like a pyramid. Take a look at this image and you will see that the structure is clearly unbalanced. Since no two sites are same, one cannot have an etched in stone rule as to how many pages or subpages should there be.
If your website is content heavy, then you will understandably have a lot of sections and subsections. However, experts recommend having a minimum of two sections and a maximum of 9. If you want to go more, you can always avail the subsection option. Additionally, you should always try that no section is more than twice as large as any other section.
It may not be easy for a layman to understand this layout, which is why we would ask you to take a look at it again.
If you observe closely, then you will see that there are three pages talking about the same thing. These are About Me, Websites and Projects. The titles are different but the content in these pages would be the same.
About Me would explain about the website or the person running the website. This is exactly what theWebsite section will do. It will give details regarding the website and the Project section would highlight the projects that the website or its experts have worked on.
When you look at it, these are things that can easily be merged in one page. The About Me page can very easily present all this information. You have the option to join all these pages in one, this way search engines will not find duplicate content and the users too, will find it easy to browse through the website.
Additionally, you should also see which section receives the maximum hits on your page. Understandably, the About Me section would not do so. Hence, there is no point in paying so much of attention to this section. Let’s assume the WordPress section receives the maximum traffic. In such a scenario, it should not be on the third or fourth level and should be upgraded. Once you reduce the pages, this section would automatically be upgraded.
So, why should one use tools like Visio? The answer is simple. These tools will help you rearrange pages easily. You can quickly rearrange things and see the structure that would suit your needs the best.
This image represents the same thing, but in a neater manner. Pages with duplicate content have been eradicated and the WordPress page is on the top now, as it receives the maximum traffic. When it is the aforementioned section then more people and crawlers will visit it, giving a boost to your website’s traffic. Additionally, this structure looks more balanced as well with almost every section having information that visitors and search engines would be interested in.
Once you have designed the structure, you have to think about a few other things that are explained below in detail.
Naming Your Sections
One cannot overemphasize the importance of this point. Firstly, remember that only pages with exclusive and valuable content deserve their own section. If a page is empty or has duplicate content then you should not have a section in its name as such a thing is not appreciated by search engines. In addition to this, the more important thing is to select names that clearly depict the information available inside while staying SEO friendly.
How does one do this? It is very easy.
We have already explained the use of keywords to you.
You are required to use keywords when naming a section. Such as, if you have Plugins on your website then instead of just having it appear as “Plugins” you can use search engine friendly variations like “WordPress Plugins” or “Download WordPress Plugins”. However, the second can be only used if the page actually has Plugins for download.
Remember these tips and you will have a design that is tailor made for search engines. The most important thing is to pay attention to every point as something as small as the name of a section can do wonders when it comes to SEO.
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