SEO is not something you add to your website later, but something you work right into the designing process of the website way before you even think about bringing it up.
In your digital landscape, think of your website as the centre of it all. That’s the place where all the resulting effects of your digital effort converge.
One thing people don’t get right is that search engines don’t actually look at your website the same way you do. As far as web crawlers go, your site’s aesthetics, typography, and other trivialities we tend to be so hang up on don’t mean a thing.
Search engines have a special preference for texts in the HTML format. Meaning, if you choose to publish your content in a non-text format, including images, java applets and flash files, there’s a fair chance the text will either be ignored or devalued by Google crawlers.
That’s the case even with the impressive degree of progress made in crawling technology.
That means, as a web owner concerned about your SEO ranking, it’s always wise to ensure that all your content is both published and and displayed in HTML text.
It’s to be however noted that there exists a number of formatting methods that can come in handy to those looking to achieve greater visual displays despite limiting their texts to HTML formatting.
Here are a few of them:
Alt-texts for images
Web crawlers don’t index images. But you can circumvent the limitation by assigning an alt text to your image whether it’s in gif, png, or jpg format.
For what’s worth, an alt text is a short text description of what your image is all about, and as long as its made in HTML format, search engines will recognise it and index it accordingly.
Use navigational elements made with search engine friendly codes on the search boxes you have on site. This will make them crawlable to be indexed by the said search engines.
Add texts to Flash and Java Plugins
You can supplement the flash and java plugins you have on board with plain on-page text.
Transcribe Video and Audio Files
If you’re planning on posting text and audio files, take some time to transcribe the content therein in and post it alongside them for search engines to crawl.
Viewing Your Site with The Same Lens as Search Engines
One good thing about being a web owner at this time and age is that you have tools aplenty to help you tackle even the most technical aspects of your blog. You don’t have to rely on your gut or to keep doing things on a humble.
With content indexing, you can double-check the content on your site using different tools to trace down the root of your problem. Examples of tools you can use include SEO-browser.com, the MoZBar, and Google Cache.
All you have to do is run your page in the tools provided to see which elements of your web page are visible to search engines. All elements seen through the tool are indexable, otherwise you’re better off revising them for search engine friendliness.
Your website architecture is the technical jargon for its organisational structure. It’s the layout idea your designer had in mind while working on your site or theme.
The most common architectural design in web designing is the Pyramid structure.
Top Features of the Pyramid Structure:
- The pyramid structure features the home page at the top. Usually, this is the most important page of your website and it’s the first page people see upon opening your website.
- Coming next in the hierarchy list are your other pages, of which your about us and contact us pages happen to be part. Pages can also be worked with categories, which basically determines where your posts go.
- Third on the hierarchical list are your sub-categories. Sub-categories basically fit into one of the listed categories. They can therefore be assigned to specific pages depending on the categories they happen to fall into.
- By understanding your website hierarchy you’ll have an easier time organising your website by simply prioritising on the most important pages. For the pyramid structure, you get to work more on the visibility of your homepage, and calibrate accordingly as you work your way down the hierarchy.
Your Site’s Hierarchy and SEO
To begin with, a well organised site allows for an easier navigation. And since Google has user experience as one the metrics its uses to determine one’s ranking in the SERPs, then you should clearly get the gist of why this is so important to a web owner concerned about their SEO-score.
A bad site structure could also mean a higher bounce rate. Users land on your site but since they cannot navigate through the complexities of your website, they simply backtrack or move on to the next available option.
A good web structure also makes it possible for Google to crawl your content. If search engines can understand the structure, starting from the home page all the way to categories and sub categories, it automatically becomes easier for them to figure out what a particular piece of content or post is all about.
Google bots can tell how pages relate to each other provided the layout is all clear to them.
Your Guide to Building an Intuitive Site Structure
Create a Plan
This is basically about coming with a visual structure of how you intent the site to be.
The plan you come up can be more complex with an increase of the number of pages.
It’s important that you create the plan with an aim of keeping everything simple and straightforward. Don’t let the hierarchy drop to more than three levels or users be more-than-three clicks away from any of the pages included.
Define Your Main Categories
Take time to think about the main categories you intend to use. The categories you choose should clearly define what your pages and products are all about. They should also be intuitive to any person coming to your site, intuitively directing them on where to click to find relevant content.
Define Relevant Sub-categories
Your website can do without subcategories, but if it clearly needs one, then there’s a way to go about it when you are going about designing a website.
The best way to come up with a list of subcategories is to think with the mind of a user who just landed on your website and happens to be going round clicking on every single one of the pages and categories you have on site.
Make the visitor get specific enough as to what they’re looking for under each category. That should be the categories you end up with by the end of it all.
With a site hierarchy, you can always create a menu to minimise on the number of clicks one has to make to access the key parts of your website.
Find a way to make the menu show up on every page and post, and people will have no trouble navigating to any section of your website they see fit.
It’s a Wrap
How to make a website SEO-friendly enough for Google.com.sg? A site hierarchy generally works to ensure you have a well laid out plan of how you intend your site to both look and function. It also leaves room for scaling up and adding more features without cutting into it your site’s usability and on-site SEO. Stuck on how to come up with a solid site hierarchy for a project you have in mind? Well, reach out to MediaOne for SEO consultation and all the help you need.