Website SEO depends on its Structure
Website SEO can mean a win or a website that never serves its purpose. The internet is the primary form of media in today’s society, for all things from news to entertainment, displayed in the form of websites. If you have become interested in creating a website and hope for it to become popular and frequently visited, you need to do more than just make it look nice and give it interesting content. There are over 2 billion different websites on the internet, with more than 400 million of those being active today.
What all this means is that creating and gathering a user base for your website is a seemingly impossible task. But that is only the case until you begin taking advantage of SEO rankings to increase the foot traffic to your website, essentially providing free advertising for your website.
This, however, requires an understanding of SEO and how to structure a website that takes advantage of and uses SEO strategies to its best ability. Thus, with all this in mind, I will be covering the purpose of SEO and how to structure your website favorably for search engine optimization.
What is SEO and why it’s important
If it hasn’t already been made clear by the introduction, SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. While that may sound like a string of large words, it essentially boils down to how optimized your website is for developing its online presence. This makes SEO important as it pushes your website higher on the SERPs (Search Engine Response Pages) whenever someone makes a search.
Having a high SEO ranking means that your site is more likely to draw in new customers, which means more visitors to your site. If you’re paying for a server to keep your website running, then you likely want that site to be making your money’s worth in advertising. If that’s the case and you haven’t optimized your website for SEO, you’ve been wasting your money.
Why website SEO structure matters
A good site structure translates to a good user experience. To put it simply, users are more psychologically satisfied when things are organized and easy to navigate. So by putting elements of your website where the user expects them to be, the user experience is enhanced. This makes the overall experience far more satisfying and enjoyable.
The more appealing a site is to the users, the more appealing it is to search engines as well. If your website has low dwell time and poor CTRs (Click-through rates), the algorithm used by Google will rank your site lower. Contrarily, if a user enjoys a site, they will stay longer and won’t click through as quickly. This in turn leads to improvements in your site’s SEO rankings.
These are listing format in the SERPs that provide quick links to your site’s main page as well as a number of internal links. Sitelinks tend to be generalized around your search queries, thus it’s important to use high-quality keywords with a large search volume. These site links are a huge advantage in boosting your SEO ranking. They make navigation easier, direct users to what they are looking for, increase CTR, and much more.
Because keywords play a central role in your site’s ranking, it is advisable to spend some time doing keyword research to determine which keywords to use. Google and other search engines will have varying algorithms that favor different keywords, so your research should expand beyond one browser. Keep in mind some users navigate the internet on mobile devices, and the browsers may vary there as well.
This draws the SEO question: How do you get site links? And the simple answer? You have to earn them for your website. Google’s algorithm will automatically reward them to sites with excellent structure and domain authority. This further emphasizes why structure matters, and why you should spend more time developing a fluid-structure on your website.
If your website has poor SEO, it is very likely that your website won’t receive site links. This could be costing you a lot of additional traffic, and an improvement to your CTR.
Structure types and which to use for most enhanced SEO
There are three main types of SEO needed for a well-balanced search strategy: on-page SEO, technical SEO, and off-page SEO. By breaking down your website and planning your SEO using these three categories, it will become much easier to execute your plans.
- On-page SEO. This refers to the content of your website. Taking advantage of this kind of SEO involves using certain keywords to help target a page of content. You should focus on content creation revolving around those keywords, and keyword optimization. Keyword optimization requires using the target keywords in the right places.
- Technical SEO. This refers to the non-content elements of your website. This revolves around things such as the structure and organization of your website, the speed of your website, and how mobile-friendly it is. This can generally be summarized as the user experience aspect. The more difficult your site is to navigate, and the fewer browsers it functions well on, the worse your SEO ranking will be.
- off-page SEO. This relationship your site has with other websites. If your website is frequently referred to and linked on a more relevant site, it is displayed to the algorithm that your website is valuable and established. Typically, the higher this SEO ranking is, the more trustworthy your site is seen as. Being on social media platforms will help with off-page SEO.
SEO-Friendly URL Structure
URL structure is extremely important in developing an SEO-Friendly website. By keeping the URL short, and consisting of keywords and relevant terms, the more discoverable the content will be. It is recommended by experts to build your links on an expandable hierarchy for the future. Rather than having a messy, unstructured link that looks like this:
It is far better to practice to have cleaner, more clearly planned links such as this: https://seattleseonow.com/seattle-seo-services/. This link is built on clear keywords, making for a much better URL that SEO algorithms can follow. This makes for a much more optimized site structure overall when the algorithm can easily navigate your site via the URL hierarchy.
It is also recommended to avoid unnecessary words and characters, as well as repetition in your URL. Words such as “the” or “and” are unimportant and make for longer, harder to follow links. Simply remove them from your URL structure. While it may initially seem like a fine idea to use the keywords in your URL multiple times, this is just spammy and ineffective. As a general rule of thumb, the pages on your site should be easy to navigate, because this makes it far easier for search engines to understand your site. While your website is targeted at people, and you want it to show up when people search for it, it still needs to be approachable by google’s algorithm.
Other SEO techniques
There are a countless number of ways you can optimize your site’s structure for SEO, but I will be covering a few very simple but efficient methods. Some of those ways that are especially effective are:
- Improve the User Experience Across Your Entire Site
- Design your site for Mobile First
- Prioritize Topic Clusters over Keywords
- Write Longer Content – Most of the Time
Improving your user experience across the entire site means a lot of things, but once you break it down it becomes easier to understand. First and foremost, it is important to make the posts on your site easy to read. If the users have to read over sentences multiple times to understand their meaning, the user experience will diminish. This means keeping sentences relatively short, as well as the paragraphs.
Outside of the written content, you should also focus on the usability of your site. If your website is hard to navigate and use, you will experience a high bounce rate from visitors leaving your site quickly with minimal interaction.
Building for Mobile
Designing your website for mobile users first will make your process of optimizing go much smoother. This is primarily because a vast majority of the visitations to your site will be done on a mobile device. Furthermore, Google’s algorithm crawls the mobile version of your site before the desktop version, which sometimes never gets crawled at all. As a result, you should focus on building your site for the mobile user experience before the desktop.
While individual keywords will boost your site’s SEO ranking, it is more important to generalize your content into “topic clusters”.
Why? Because even though keywords boost your site’s ranking, it does not selectively filter your site to your target audience. If your keyword is “apple” for example, the user making the search could be looking for various things. Perhaps they are searching for the apple fruit, and want to find a local producer or grocer that sells them. Alternatively, they could be searching for Apple tech products.
This ambiguity in the user’s search query is why it is important to organize your content into “clusters”. Allowing you to attend to your target audience more professionally. Each cluster page has its own chance to get ranked, driving more traffic to your site. Do not be mistaken however, keywords are still important, but they shouldn’t be your primary focus.
Write longer content – most of the time. While having a lot of lengthier blogs or posts usually translates to improved rankings and greater traffic, it won’t be for everyone. Some of your users will not have the time to read extended articles on your site, or simply prefer quicker reads. While good advice can be to simply know your target audience’s preference, it is more recommended to just have a larger variety of content. Create some posts that are of a shorter length, and some that are longer than usual to cover all your bases.
If you are lacking the motivation to write new articles, you also have the option to go back and revise or refresh your old content. You can go to an old article on your site with only 1000 words, and aim to extend it to 1800 words. This lets you produce more content, but on a subject you already covered.