Defining Your Sites Information Architecture

Beauty means something different to humans than it does search engines, what one considers pleasing another may not. The overall design of a website can have a positive or negative effect on a websites rank in SERPs.

 

Structural Decisions

This covers basic navigation, the internal link structure of a site. This is typically mapped out prior to development.

 

Target Keywords

Mastering keywords is optimal for SEO (But you already know that). SEOs need to master these terms, and successfully implement them into a websites hierarchy. The way your site maps out, should conform to customer expectations.

 

Cross-Link Relevant Content

Linking to a page with relevant content, is a positive indicator to search engines. It helps search engines determine with greater certainty the content of a page and its reliability. If you own multiple websites in the same industry then you have at your fingertips a golden opportunity to link between them and boost SEO across all boards. Figure 4.0 best illustrates this practice.

Figure 4.0

This promotes the dwell power of all the pages on your site(s), which is a crucial SEO factor. This is because you will be feeding you traffic with high volumes of great quality content. With the right strategy you can compel visitors to spend maximum time on all your websites, and boost SEO ranks all across the board.

 

Use Anchor Text

When it comes to internal linking nothing beats anchor text, these are the clickable hyperlinks that tend to appear in bodies of online copy. When it comes to anchors SEO specialists need to have a plan for utilising the BEST keywords for their links. It is imperative that you avoid generic terms like Click here, having an anchor strategy prior to project commencement is very important.

 

Breadcrumb Navigation

This is a form of navigation that tells visitors exactly where they are within the website hierarchy. Figure 4.1 from smashingmagazine.com conveys it clearly.

Figure 4.1

Breadcrumbs are helpful to users and search engines as it helps both parties logically navigate the confines of a website. They are especially useful for large multi-level websites as a means of simplifying navigation.

 

Depth of Links

The number of links users have to click from a websites main page to another, influences page rankings. For example, a page that can be reached in one link will rank better than one that requires two. Too many links may make some pages invisible to the search engine crawlers.

For the best possible SEO outcome, you should adopt a web structure that is as flat as possible. This can be done by having all (or as many possible of) your pages accessible from the main page. This will minimise clicks between the home page and your most important content. However caution must be exercised. Search engines do not favour pages with high amounts of links. Implementing a flat structure is best done as early in the web development process as possible. Doing so at the end can result in a need to completely redesign the website.

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