There are so many things we often do for our web presence. From content marketing to social media networking, it is a constant task to grow a web presence for a brand or organization. Spending time and effort on growth is great, even when it comes to offsite SEO, but it can only help your rankings if your onsite SEO is well-developed.
Consider the following points as some things you may have overlooked, and even consider implementing them in the future to help make your website more structurally attractive to search engine crawlers and users, alike.
- 1 Here Are 6 Things You Might Not Be Doing for Onsite SEO:
Here Are 6 Things You Might Not Be Doing for Onsite SEO:
Simply put, keep it simple. Too many top-level items in your site’s menu are not recommended as they can negatively affect user experience and thus the SEO performance of your site.
It’s also a good idea to keep the content linked in the menu as consistent as possible so that users find whatever they intend to find with what they click.
The easier your website is to use, the more success you’ll have with its SEO. Make sure all of the menu’s items are navigable and intuitive so that users aren’t deterred from using it.
For example, a menu button for a promotional merchandise site that says “Pens & Pencils” needs to take the user to a suitable page. In this case, GoPromotional’s landing page for that menu link shows the user exactly what they should expect to see: pens and pencils.
2. Maximize Usability And Simplifying URLs
In many ways, people take URL structures for granted, but the reality (that any good SEO expert is aware of) is that simple, sensible URL text is much more advantageous to good SEO than some of the other more messy examples of links you’ve surely seen.
Avoid URLs that have confusing or overly-technical letters, numbers, and symbols.
Maximize URLs that only contain useful information about the respective page and where on the website it’s located.
As for subdirectories, they can be useful for the user interface of the website, but it’s not crucial to have them reflect the website’s entire structure, since (from an SEO perspective) the way you go about linking internally is more important than the structure of your page URLs.
3. Take Notes From Other Top Sites
When it comes to designing a website’s architecture, you don’t need to re-invent the wheel or start from scratch; it is most productive and effective to analyze websites that perform strongly in your website’s respective vertical and implement some of the structural methodologies (or the majority of them) in your own website.
Take notes from what is proven to work, and use them. There’s no reason to stay in the dark about the best ways to structure your website and its pages.
This isn’t only important from a technical perspective, but also crucial from the perspective of user experience. If you are building a news website, then it’s safe to assume that your audience is already used to using other, larger news websites.
Design your website in such a way that it functions similarly to highly established sites, and your user experience will be better.
4. Make All Website Pages Easily Accessible (***between 3 and 4 clicks)
When it comes to improving your website’s efficacy in SEO, another major factor that can help is the general accessibility of all the site’s pages. Every single page on the site should ideally be within 3 clicks of the homepage, or no more than 4 clicks from it.
Think of structuring the website like a tree, where pages branch from each other, as it is one of the best ways to cultivate a top-down distribution of pages that are connected to one another in an organized, intuitive fashion.
Part of keeping everything easily accessible is making sure the overall user experience follows a consistent pattern so that site visitors do not have a difficult time using the site. Their attention should always be completely invested in the content of the site, rather than whether or not it functions well.
If users are spending a large amount of time struggling to get used to navigating the website’s pages and menus, your SEO will ultimately suffer. Keep things consistent and in line with an easily-learned pattern.
5. Make The Most Of Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are the links at the top of a page that show the architecture behind how that page can be navigated, within the site. When it comes to optimizing onsite SEO, breadcrumbs are close to the top of the list of what you should be utilizing.
The reason breadcrumbs are so useful is because they convey an established logic behind how the user found the page as well as how they can find it in the future.
Preventing the user from being in a position where they need to play detective to understand how they, or any other user, may return to the page, is a smart move when it comes to optimizing the site.
6. Develop An XML and HTML Sitemap
Strong websites often have sitemaps that are navigable in case the site users so choose to use it; they are pages that show a detailed record of all other pages on the site that can be crawled.
The reason sitemaps are so important is because it is a documented testament to the total structure of the website in a format that is comprehensive and comprehensible to both users and search algorithms.
HTML sitemaps are user-oriented and built upon the same visual framework as the general website. Most useful for users, HTML sitemaps are beneficial to onsite SEO because they can help users find pages they otherwise may not have been able to.
Helping users is something that is proven to help a website’s SEO.
Comparatively, XML sitemaps are intended to be used by search engines as they crawl across your website’s architecture because they list all of the website’s URLs in plain text.
Since both types of sitemaps have different intended purposes, it is best practice to include both within your site’s architecture to appeal to both user experience as well as the search engine crawlers that we work hard to appeal to for sake of our websites’ SEO.