Very recently I was shown some websites that had aesthetically interesting designs, but I was baffled about the elements in the site structure, since they were not optimized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The point of creating an SEO friendly website is to ensure that those people who want to find your site can actually find it. You also want to be viewed as a credible site in the eyes of the search engines, more specifically, a very important search engine like Google. This was much clearer to me after I saw the Search Marketing industry demonstrate how they use design to achieve better results at the Pubcon in Vegas.
It is never too late for SEO!
Creating a new site from scratch and using an SEO friendly site structure is easier than taking an older site and revamping it; however it is never too late to implement SEO. A beautifully designed site that is hiding somewhere in the internet is pretty much a dead site. It can only count on direct traffic and will lose traffic from a lack of visibility on search engines.
What are your marketing goals? Even if the site has been running for many years, there may be concepts that should be revisited.
- Does the site work for its main marketing purpose?
- Refresh your keyword strategy to match your marketing goals.
- Optimize Meta data with keywords to help visitors find your site and confirm they are on the right page
Information architecture including navigation and menu labels can also be optimized for SEO. Menus and navigation help the visitor figure out where they are and what they can do there. To optimize the experience and increase activity:
- Use call-to-actions on the menu or navigation bar instead of naming the section. In other words, use action verbs instead of nouns.
- Stick to logical structures to help the users read and the spiders to crawl your site correctly.
Optimizing your site structure, files or page links Helps search engine page rank and visibility.
- Use keywords in your files and avoid using underscores.
- Most keywords or phrase (long tailed keyword) searches are done in lower case so keep file names in all lower case letters.
- Optimize “404” pages.
- Use a custom site template and use this space to add call-to-actions. If the visitor reaches this error page, then they will have a way out to keep navigating through your site.
- All site structures should contain a body, H1 tags, textual content, related links, navigation links, a header, and footer.
- Strategically place keywords in the content and in the H1 tags.
- To enrich the content and provide important internal linking, use anchor text on relevant and topic-specific keywords.
SEO friendly sites are not just optimized on the outside but also on the inside. These techniques are used by the top search marketing industry professionals to help websites obtain visibility and get pages indexed without any hiccups. The amount of traffic generated from search engines is a significant number making SEO a very important part of web site strategy. Once switching over to an SEO friendly website structure, you will almost immediately start to see the results of your efforts.