Your SEO Company Site Architecture Guide
In this SEO Company site architecture guide, we will explore how site architecture affects search engine rankings, and how you can optimize your site in order to implement effective SEO that helps you to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
This guide will teach you, in a ten-minute read, all the best SEO company tips and tricks to improve site architecture, for both search engines and for a better user experience. SEO and UX go hand-in-hand and should be used to work together for a more effective website for you. Trust a leading SEO Cape Town to guide you.
SEO Company Site Architecture Guide: Why It Matters
There are a lot of factors in site architecture that can impact your SEO. As search engines become more sophisticated, different factors play into where you rank. It used to be that keywords were all, whereas now, search engines are also looking at how useable, functional, and findable your site is.
A site with good architecture is easier for Google and other search engines to access and navigate, so your site will be able to rank higher. Get these factors right for more successful SEO.
As search engine algorithms change, so does SEO best practice. While keywords are still relevant, many more factors are now just as, if not more, important. Your site architecture will help you to appear to Google and the user as an authority in your subject.
SEO Company Site Crawling
All search engines use software to crawl webpages. These bots read the pages of your site and compile copies in a searchable index. When someone types a search into Google, Bing, or whatever search engine they use, the search engine scans this index to filter and rank pages it thinks will be relevant.
If these bots cannot crawl your site, it won’t be included in the index and won’t be delivered as a search result. An SEO company can help you to make your site more friendly to crawling by search engines.
Serious crawling issues are unusual, but it’s good practice to be aware of the factors that can hinder site crawling. Problems like slow loading speeds, URL errors, user access prompts, poor internal linking, showing web crawlers different content than users, and blocking search engines all create crawling issues and will stop you from ranking well.
Help search bots to crawl your site by making good use of robots.txt, making sure all your links work correctly, keeping your HTML and XML sitemaps up-to-date, and telling search engines not to crawl certain URL parameters.
SEO company advice tells you that your site must be actively mobile-friendly, not just viewable on devices like phones and tablets. When using a mobile device, site users should be able to access everything that someone browsing on a desktop can access.
A vast amount of searches are now made on mobile devices, which means that search engines have had to change the way they index sites, with a much greater emphasis on the mobile version of a website.
While most CMS’s support a mobile version of a website, just having a mobile site isn’t enough to rank well. Check your site on mobile as well as a desktop and look out for common errors that make for poor user experience on mobile, such as faulty redirects, slow loading speeds, incorrect font sizes, touch elements that can’t be clicked, and images overlapping other content.
There is a lot of duplicate content on the internet. For better rankings, you only want one version of a page to be available to a search engine. If left, duplicate content can make it hard for a search engine to work out which page it should deliver as a search result.
Duplicate content can also lead to people linking to different versions of the same content, so you miss out on traffic from backlinks too. If links are scattered, the value of them drops, as you aren’t getting the benefit of being seen as a trusted, authoritative source. This makes it harder for search engines to decide if your content is relevant to the searcher.
Use an SEO company to help you find and eliminate duplicate links and content to avoid problems, and to make it clearer to search engines which versions of pages they should index, by using suitable tags.
Site speed is a very important factor of both user experience and site architecture. Your site must load quickly for all users, whether they’re on mobile or a desktop. Faster sites rank higher with Google, so you need to get your loading speed down.
A fast site is also better for users and can help to drive down your bounce rate, as well as improving engagement and conversion. If people can navigate quickly around the site, without waiting for pages to load, they’ll stay on-site longer, and be less tempted to navigate away to a competitor.
Google has encouraged websites to move to HTTPS servers, so they can provide a more secure experience for searchers. To make the switch happen, Google now looks at security as a factor in ranking on SERPs.
Sites that are HTTPS or SSL secure get a boost in the rankings. Those that aren’t are flagged in the Chrome browser as not secure, which is very off-putting to users. This brings together user experience and best practice SEO together again, so get your site secure. This is especially important for e-commerce sites, as users will be wary of putting payment details into a site that is flagged as note secure.
Check your old assets. On WordPress sites especially, there are often assets that you uploaded into your CMS before you switched over to HTTPs, and so your images, which may in your layout or older content, are still HTTP and will be flagged as not secure.
URLs aren’t a big factor in ranking, but it is still good practice to get them right. Use descriptive words in your URLs, to help both users and search engines.
URLs will appear on SERPs, so it’s smart to have a URL that is easy for humans to understand, so searchers know what to expect when they click through. Your URL structure should be understandable by search engine bots and humans.
SEO Company Do:
● Include your keyword in your URL.
● Use hyphens to separate words
● Name pages with words that describe the content
● Organise your content with directories
SEO Company Don’t:
● Stuff keywords into your URL
● Use strings of characters or numbers that users can’t understand
● Use dates in your URLs
Five Top SEO Company Tips For Better Site Architecture For User Experience
There are lots of small changes you can make to a website to achieve better site architecture that prioritizes both SEO and the user experience. An SEO company will tell you that search engines actively look for things that make your site easier to use, so by getting your user experience right, you’re not only encouraging more engagement and a better conversion rate but also driving more search traffic to your pages.
1. Make it easy. People are often scrolling the internet while doing other things, like watching TV or waiting for the kettle to boil. Understand that you probably don’t have someone’s whole attention means you want to keep things simple. Don’t make your user think in order to navigate. Don’t make them feel lost. For example, if you went onto a clothing site, and saw a menu called ‘Brands’, you’d go there if you were looking for a particular brand. You’d also expect the menus to make it easy for you to change your navigation in order to look at clothes sorted by gender or occasion. Get your menus right, so people can easily find exactly what they’re looking for, and the search bots know where everything is so they can index it.
2. Reduce your clicks. A user should be able to navigate to any page on your website within just three or four clicks. If you have a home page, you can link to about 100 different pages per page. From here, you can link to 100 unique pages, for your
top-level category pages. This gives you 100 links per page, from 100 pages. This is your second-level category. You now have 10,000 pages, which means you can reach a million potential pages in only three clicks. You never need more than four clicks, so make it easy and fast to navigate around.
3. Be consistent. Your navigation and design must be consistent. For example, if all your links are red and in bold, then stick to this throughout the site, and don’t scatter in some random links in blue and underlined. If you always have links in the
right-hand sidebar, keep them there on every page. Users can find what they want without searching.
4. Use familiarity. Look around the web for a ‘standard’ way of doing things. Most websites have some key similarities in their layouts, especially for top-level navigation. Stick to these unofficial rules to make your site easier to navigate. For example, most sites have like the shopping basket or log-in options in the top right corner of the page. Put yours here too, so people won’t have to slow down to look for them.
5. Use unique URLs. You should have one unique URL per unique item of content. Don’t have lots of different URLs that you can access in different ways that all lead to the same piece of content. This is very confusing to navigate and creates a lot of problems for SEO, as search engines can’t work out which page they out to deliver as a search result.
The SEO Company Guide To Internal Linking
Internal links are useful for better user experience and for better search engine ranking. Any SEO company would recommend a smart approach to internal linking. When you create new content, aim to link back to other, relevant content.
For example, if you have a company blog, and are writing a post about how social media can drive conversions, link back to older posts you’ve written about relevant subjects, such as the best times to post on social media, or other methods of driving conversion. This positions you as an authority, helps search engine to find and index more pages on your site and encourages users to stay on your site longer as they navigate between and read different pieces of content. However, there are some simple rules to get internal links right.
● Make your links relevant. If you’re going to link to something, make sure the links are relevant and useful. If someone looks at the link, they should know where it will be taking them and why. This is especially for links embedded into content, rather than just in navigation.
● Don’t stuff keywords into the anchor text of links. This is bad practice, as search engines are alert to people trying to over-optimize and spam anchor text in a manner that is deceptive to search bots.
● Build a robust sitemap. A navigation heavy sitemap is fine to help people and search engines find more pages. Add a sitemap link to your footer, to make lots of pages accessible through a sitemap.
If you’re struggling to get your site architecture right, you can work with both a web design and an SEO company. Whether you’re refreshing your site, or building a new one from scratch, the architecture should be set up with good practice for SEO and user experience from the very beginning. Find an SEO company who can work with your design agency, or internal staff building the site. They can advise you on implementing all these tips from the experts in order to create a site that is easy for users to navigate, keeps users on-site, drives conversion rate, and is ranked highly by those all-important search engines. If you’re refreshing your site, use these SEO company tips to guide you, help you find where you’re going, and to improve your content and website moving forward.