We specialise in SEO (search engine optimisation) and I love passing on quick tips that you can use to immediately improve the quality of your website’s SEO. Better SEO means better rankings on search engines like Google. This tip is about why website structure matters for SEO!
Search engine optimisation is a series of techniques we use to increase the number of visitors to your website. The more visitors you have on your website, the more sales and/or enquiries you’ll get!
First up, we need to decide what keywords you would like to be found for. The longer the keyword, the easier it will be to rank for that keyword, because longer keywords are usually more specific.
Example – it’s easier to rank for “website designer in Durban South Africa”, than for “website design”.
Start with in-depth keyword research
It’s really worth spending time researching which keywords will work for your business and for your industry. Keywords are terms that people in your target market will type into Google to search for your product or service. It’s critically important to choose keywords that your customers will use, rather than what you might call your own product or service. Let’s say you teach breathing techniques. Are your potential customers searching for “breathing techniques” online? After some research, you might discover that they’re actually searching for “how can I relax” or “how do I sleep better”. Once you know which keywords are getting traffic, you can optimise your website for those keywords.
Your website structure should use one keyword per page
Let’s assume you have now chosen the keywords you want to rank for.
Your website structure REALLY matters for your SEO because it helps Google to understand your website. Google is able to identify which pages are the most important pages on your site, and which pages are less important.
You’ll probably write many articles about similar topics. Unless the structure is clear and correct, Google won’t know which article is the most important and your articles could compete with each other for rank. This will dilute your website ranking overall, which means you’ll rank lower on Google.
So what website structure works the best?
Your site structure should look like a PYRAMID.
Your Home Page will appear at the top!
Under that, you will split your content into the most important categories. There will only be a few of these, and they will probably be your main services.
The rest of your content will sit within each of your categories, as separate pages.
Example: In our website, our main categories are “website design” and “email marketing”. Our services fit into one of these two categories. If you look above at our menu, you will see that all our website services sit under the “website design” tab, and all our email marketing services sit under the “email marketing” tab.
We have put together some more guidelines to help you to get website structure right for SEO:
- Every page should have a DIFFERENT focus keyword.
- Pages about similar topics should be linked to each other.
- Pages focusing on more common search terms should appear higher up, and pages focusing on long tail keywords should appear lower down.
- Have between 2 and 7 main sections.
- Ensure sections are about equally large. If they’re too large, split them into 2.
- Ensure no section is more than twice as large as any other section.
- Large sections should have a prominent place on your homepage.
- If a section is relatively large, this is something you write a lot about. Dividing the section into 2 would result in a more accurate reflection of the content on your site.
- Pages that generate a lot of traffic should have a prominent place on your site (check your web stats to confirm). Put these pages relatively high in your site structure.
- Delete pages that aren’t beneficial to users, but make sure that you use the correct redirect so you don’t lose any traffic.
If you’re struggling to see your structure clearly, draw your site structure on paper and see if you can identify any potential problems.
Obviously, there’s a LOT more to SEO, but this is a great place to start. SEO is best done on an ongoing basis. Websites takes time and energy to build and grow. Great SEO happens over a period of time (usually months) but the benefits are enormous.
If this is all a little technical, we can manage your SEO for you.