15 Jun 2016

WEBSITE STRUCTURE AND SEO

WEBSITE STRUCTURE AND SEO

A well planned out website will increase the chances of your business ranking well online in Google. There are various different ways a website can be structured but not every method works effectively in helping a business rank their site online. Below I’ll talk about some of the things a business needs to take into consideration when designing and structuring their business’s website.

It’s quite interesting to take a look a quite a lot of businesses and see how structure is overlooked. And this is definitely a more prominent issue with business’s providing a wide array of services. And often times, these business, although larger, might rank lower than a smaller business which focuses on one specific service or product.

This is because the larger business has a site which is too large with content that is not easily accessible and relative to what people are actually looking for online.

The Importance of Structure

The few reasons why it’s very important for you to plan your website’s structure beforehand is because of the following benefits:

  • Indexing – Getting your site listed in Google
    Your website and webpages won’t show in search engines unless they are first indexed.
  • Ranking Advantages – Distributing ranking power throughout your site
    A web pages ranking ability comes from the amount of back links pointing to it. What other easier way to generate links for your pages, than from other pages on your website. By linking to various pages within your website, you spread the linking power across these pages.
  • User Experience – Easier for your users to navigate
    Between 2000 and 2013, the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. What this means is that users want to find what their looking for quick and if they can’t find it, they’ll move on to finding it elsewhere. So an organized and structure website will help your website’s users better interact and find what their looking for much easier.

How Amazon does it?

Amazon is one of the best examples of a good website structure. Take a look at the image below.

One thing you notice here is that they start with broad categories and start to narrow down on exactly what you need. Then when you actually go in and click on those links, they have a long list of further links which narrow in even further to what you might be looking for. This type of structure is called website siloing.

This is generally what your site structure should look like.

site-structure-breakdown

Where to start?

If you’re wondering how exactly to start structuring your website, start with keyword research. This can help you determine what exactly people are looking for. So for example, lets choose a lawyer in Toronto. This lawyer specializes in various areas of law such as Personal Injury Law, Immigration Law, Family Law and Criminal Law. I go to Google’s Keyword Research Tool as shown below. I would do keyword research on these areas of expertise and find the related keyword with the highest search volume.

 

 

In this case, the keyword “Personal Injury Lawyer” has the highest search volume. Some other related keywords are “car accident,”  “work injury” and etc. So here’s what a good structure would be for a full service lawyer.

Note: Please note that there is no exact science to this. So you don’t necessarily have to name your page “Personal Injury Lawyer Toronto.” As a title like this might throw users off. So you want to find the middle ground between being user-friendly and search friendly by not using weird titles which aren’t necessarily the best title in a grammatical sense. But it can still rank well with the title “Personal Injury Law” as shown in the example below. This is because Google is also pretty smart in understanding content and knowing what content is related to different keywords.
As you can see, you have the home page linking to the boarder categories which are likely to be much more widely searched. Within those categories, sub-categories talking about more specific areas of law are created.

Summary

Generally, when it comes to organizing content in a way that easy to find is generally a problem with businesses that provide services and products in a wide range of categories, such as Amazon and full service businesses, such as a law firm providing services in multiple areas of law.

With such a large website with a lot of content, it can become quite overwhelming to organize the content in a way that is user-friendly and search engine friendly. But if you do keyword research before and figure out what people are looking for and organize your content around that with pages targeting high volume keywords at the higher levels of the hierarchy, you’ll definitely boost your website’s usability of search engine friendliness.

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