How to structure your site for easy and automatic SEO
These best practices will ensure your site is structured for better recognition by Google and other search engines.
1. Search engine friendly URLs.
Have you ever visited a web page and the URL looked like something like this…
What a mess!
These kinds of URLs are a quick way to confuse search engines and site visitors. Clean URLs are more logical, user friendly, and search engine friendly.
Here is an example of a clean URL:
Take a quick look at Google’s search engine results. You will see a very large portion of sites in the top-10 have clean and readable URLs like the above example. And by a very large portion… I mean the vast majority.
Most site content management systems have search engine friendly URLs built into the site. It is often a matter of simply enabling the option in your site settings. If your site doesn’t have search engine friendly URLs, it’s time for a ‘friendly’ chat with your web developer to fix this up.
2. Internal navigation
There is no limit on how to structure the navigation of your site. This can be a blessing or a curse.
Some people force visitors to watch an animation or intro before they can even access the site. In the process, some sites make it harder for visitors and more confusing for search engines to pick up the content on the site.
Other sites keep it simple by having a menu running along the top of the site or running down the left-hand side of the browser window. This has pretty much become an industry standard for most sites.
By following this standard, you make it significantly easier for visitors and search engines to understand your site. If you intend to break this convention, you must understand it is likely you will make it harder for search engines to pick up all of the pages on your site.
As a general rule, making it easier for users makes it easier for Google.
Above all else, your web site navigation must be made of real text links—not images.
If your main site navigation is currently made up of images, slap your web designer and change them to text now! If you do not have the main navigation featured in text, your internal pages will almost be invisible to Google and other search engines.
For an additional SEO boost, include links to pages you want visible to search engines and visitors on the home page.
By placing links specifically on the home page, Google’s search engine spider can come along to your site and quickly understand which pages on your site are important and worth including in the search results.