Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the primary online marketing strategies entrepreneurs prefer to implement for their businesses. If you have an official site, you can optimize it for search engine standards to rank high on search results pages (SERPs). A higher SERPs ranking increases web visibility. Also, it’s an advantage if your goal is to get more sales and widen your audience reach.
Search engines have algorithms and protocols they use to display the most relevant data their users are looking for. These SEO algorithms are dynamic, but their permanent goal is to crawl the web and gather information from content sources, such as websites, articles, blogs and even social media sites.
Site Structure and SEO
One factor that search engine algorithms are looking for when ranking websites is the site structure. Site structure refers to how your website is set up or how its pages are correctly linked to one another.
If your website isn’t set up correctly, it may be difficult for search engines to access and index it. That’s why marketing and content specialists may create an SEO silo when building and putting up content in your website to ensure the structure is built properly.
Through a silo, web pages and content are organized according to topics and hierarchy. As mentioned, this improves site structure, leading to more favorable results from various search engines. Other specific areas of your structure that affect SEO are discussed below.
1. User Experience
User experience (UX) refers to how users feel when browsing your site. It’s particularly important in today’s world, where attention spans are growing shorter and shorter. This makes it challenging for web designers to engage their audiences and keep their attention. Thus, if you want to keep users on your site, you don’t just need compelling content; you need it to be properly structured, too.
A simple strategy to achieve this is using headings for your site content. Headings that are clear and precise can help your users scan through your content and quickly understand it. They would generally also contain keywords and phrases to help improve your website’s SEO rankings.
A great site structure may also affect accessibility. Web accessibility means that even people with disabilities, such as those with visual and hearing impairments, can use your website with ease. It’s believed to be a strong factor when providing great UX and can therefore result in better rankings.
2. Speed and Site Performance
Another essential factor affecting UX is how well each page has been designed and contributes to your website’s overall performance. This area covers your site’s loading speed and website downtime.
A slow site not only frustrates users but can also hurt your ranking. That’s because many see page speed as the top user-experience satisfaction score for mobile searches. Also, your website’s downtime can determine the number of people who bounce off your site, resulting in a less-than-desirable SEO outcome. Therefore, if you want to have an edge in SEO, you should focus on improving your website’s loading time and overall performance.
Some ways to make this happen are caching plugins and content delivery network (CDN) services. It’s also recommended that you regularly update your website’s plugins. Lastly, it’d help to get a web design company to perform a redesign on your site’s structure for faster loading time and others.
“Crawlability” is common SEO jargon. It refers to how easily search engines can access and index your website’s content. A well-structured website can boost your SEO rankings by making it easier for search spiders to index as many pages as possible within the shortest time. Indexing pages is crucial as it allows your content to be searchable on the Internet.
4. Presentation and Branding
When you establish a website, the first thing that people see is the site’s design. If your website doesn’t look professional, it may be challenging to convince your visitors to stay on your site. That means they may not bother to find out more about what you have to offer.
A well-structured website can make your business look professional. Make sure all information is properly grouped together and the layout is designed to represent your brand image. This will encourage your visitors to stay longer on your site.
A good way to structure your website is using a hierarchy. One way to achieve this is by utilizing a main page or home page and having sub-pages below it. The main pages of the site will tell your visitors what they can expect from it and how to navigate it. The sub-pages are where you have all the details of the content you want to share. That helps navigability, and an adequately designed navigation system is essential as it allows the users to quickly locate the site content they’re looking for.
Meanwhile, integrating branding into your site structure can be tricky. You have to be careful in how you design your website and what elements you use. Thus, make sure to review your brand guidelines and website design to have a professional, robust site.
It’s believed that most people today are using their smartphones to access the web. This means that you need to ensure that your website has a site structure designed for mobile users.
Mobile-friendly web pages have a simplified layout, which makes it easy for users to navigate. They also have a responsive design that allows the site to automatically adjust its size and layout depending on the visitor’s device.
With the increasing number of mobiles users nowadays, well-structured websites make it easier for them to utilize your site, increase traffic and positively impact your online visibility.
Security is still believed to be a big issue for site owners. Users and potential customers can no longer trust a website that has been hacked, thus resulting in a possible loss of revenue. It also means that your site’s ranking may be affected as search engines also consider a website’s security when determining its position. Therefore, you need to consider the user’s security when you design your site’s structure.
To keep your site secure, follow these tips:
- Use an up-to-date content management system (CMS).
- Formulate strong passwords and change them regularly.
- Install a security plugin on your website and keep it updated.
- Back up your website regularly.
Remember that a well-structured website isn’t only crucial for your SEO ranking and your user’s experience.
7. Content and Links
Many might not know it, but certain types of content can negatively affect your site’s ranking. This is true particularly in cases of duplicate content because visitors may consider it a sign of a poorly maintained website.
Further, it can confuse users when they find the same content on different pages. To avoid this, make sure that all your website’s content is original and high-quality. You can do this by creating unique content and double-checking for any duplicate content on different pages of your site. This will help improve your SEO rankings and increase user experience.
Also, internal link structures are essential for both users and search engines. They help users navigate your website and provide information to search engine crawlers. Yet broken links can also cause your site to lose ranking. That’s because search engines see it as a sign of poor website maintenance.
In addition, defective links can be frustrating for users and lead them to dead ends or irrelevant pages. To avoid this:
- Check your website for broken links and fix them immediately using a link checker tool.
- Keep your website’s content up to date so that users won’t encounter any broken links.
URLs are another essential part of your website’s structure. They’re the addresses that uniquely identify each page on the web. When designing your website, use short, easy-to-remember URLs to make it easier for users to navigate and remember your website’s address. Additionally, using relevant keywords in your URLs can help improve your SEO rankings. A URL shortener tool helps you come up with a URL if you get stuck.
Keywords are an essential aspect of your website’s SEO. When designing your site structure, choose relevant keywords you can use throughout the site to improve search engine visibility. However, remember not to overdo it. Excessive use of keywords makes you come across as spammy, which is bad for both ranking and user experience.
A well-structured website needs to have high-quality images. However, this doesn’t stop at just high-resolution images. You must also optimize your images to speed up your website loading time. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for an image size ratio of 1,200 px x 675 px and 16:9 per file. If possible, use compressed images to reduce your website’s loading time further.
Alt text is an integral part of your website’s images. This is because it helps search engines understand the contents of your image. Additionally, it can also be used as a ranking signal. You may also use descriptive alt text that accurately describes the image to make the most of your images.
Structuring your website correctly is vital to your SEO ranking. If you pay attention to the areas mentioned in this blog, it’ll be easier to improve your site’s SEO ranking and structure it to gain more traffic and conversions.