Your Website, Its Navigation/Structure And SEO
A good navigation improves visitor experience and helps users to move around the web site from one page to another, promoting the right pages, guiding visitors to the all-important calls to action that go to validate an organisations website presence. If you have not been focusing on the structure of your website, when it comes to SEO, now is a good time to begin to do so. Most people do not even give thought to the structure of their site and this is really a bad habit. Failing to plan is really planning to fail.
How is easy is it to get information from your website?
How organised are links that go from page to page within your website?
In you links do you use keywords ?
In SEO internal interlinking on your website is very important. This is the building of links that take users from one page to another within your website. Website navigation and website structure serves two main purposes for SEO.
1. They enable the search engine spiders to properly crawl your sites and index them.
2. They Improve website usability.
What better way to cultivate a loyal customer base than to give visitors a highly user-friendly experience in working their way around the site and easily locating the information they require? It’s not just the spiders who prefer good structure and navigation, research shows that 80% of usability is down to website structure and navigation. If users can’t find what they want in three clicks, you’ve lost them, they bounce. Therefore it’s critical to build an effective navigational structure.
Create a clear picture for the Search Engines to understand
Many sites with indexing problems and lack of representation in the search engines are usually suffering from an inefficient internal page linking structure. If a page is not accessible by a link from somewhere, it won’t be ‘seen’ by the search engines.
How web masters categorise and label their own site content and Internal Site Navigation will make or break your SEO efforts and decide your website visibility on the search engines. It is also recommended in some cases to have a sitemap that has a summary of the link structure of your website.
The more internal links you have to a page, the more internal strength this page will accrue. Some SEO specialists report that one relevant contextual link from your own site can be worth more than 10 good external links.
Website inter-page linking tips:
- Follow a logical directory structure with appropriate levels of pages, the most important ones being on the first level. For example, if your website is about “Cars”, you should have sub-categories like BMW, FORD, HONDA e.t.c and if one of them is clicked, it should break down to relevant sub-categories and on and on like that.
- Try to keep the site as flat as possible. Do not go more than 3-4 levels deep in your directory structure
- Avoid over stuffing keywords in the URLs. This looks cheap to users and looks like keyword stuffing to engines. Your site will suffer for it.
- Use hyphens instead of underscores to separate keywords in a URL structure
- Do not use very long file names or directory names for your website pages
- Avoid using special characters in website URLs
The internal URL structure of your website also has a direct influence on your search engine rankings, with the navigation menus and links helping optimise the internal linking structure of your website. The relative weights and relationships of their interconnection are all contributory factors in the search engine’s relevance assessment. All search engines are looking for is well structured content, good site performance, authority for verified links and, one of the most important factors, user experience.