For all the discussion that revolves around search engine optimization, many business owners (and more than a couple of web designers) tend to focus on the wrong things, or miss the obvious. That's often the case when it comes to website structure (how your pages and links are organized), which can have a surprisingly-large effect on how easy your content is to find.
That effect comes in two ways: how your pages are displayed in search results, and how well Google and the other search engines are able to understand what lives where on your business website.
In the first case, a website with an easy-to-use site structure can be displayed multiple ways in Google search engine listings, and even have "sub-results" for individual pages. And to the second point, search engines can't necessarily find or crawl your content without the right webmaster tools. Even when they can, they may not understand how pages work in relation to one another, which in turn means they don't know how they should be displayed, either.
Luckily, it's not that difficult to organize your website for search effectiveness. Here are a few basic ideas we always keep in mind when working with our clients:
Draw a flowchart before you begin. This will allow you to envision the way your website pages should be set up. It also gives you the chance to ensure that everything follows a logical flow from one topic to another.
Make it easy to get from A to B. Try not to "bury" anything on your business website, particularly if it's an important topic or product. A good rule of thumb is that it shouldn't take more than two or three clicks to reach any part of your website from anywhere else.
Stick to languages Google understands. Lots of designers love flash and animation, but these are hard for search engine spiders to crawl. Code your site in HTML or CSS whenever possible to make it more searchable.
Don’t draw visitors too deeply into the rabbit hole. If your website goes more than three or four layers deep (something you can see from your flowchart), find out if you can simplify it. The deeper you go with individual layers, the harder it is for users to find what they're looking for.
Make sure your navigation menu is easy to see and use. It should be visible from every page, of course, and with main topics and subcategories that are easy to understand.
One thing you might notice about these tips is that they aren't just good for search engine optimization; they also make your site easier for actual customers to use. That's the whole point. Search engines just want what people do, and that's a website that's clear, intuitive, and full of great content.
Are you getting all you can from search engines and social media? Talk to the San Antonio web design team at WebRevelation today to see how we can help take your Internet marketing to the next level.