When you’re redesigning your website and performing search engine optimisation (SEO), it’s critical that you carefully consider the main content categories of products and services, and then integrate these into the overall navigation of the site. What’s the key? To remember that you have two audiences: your reader (or buyer) and Google. They’re equal peers. If you want to get found online, you need to remember SEO and actual people. Poor site architecture can completely kill off rankings, traffic and even conversions.
Site architecture is the basic navigation through a website, from the home page to a product page to a landing page for conversion. There are different levels to the architecture, starting at the top with your home page. What happens to most sites is that they eventually look like a house that’s been completely remodelled; in other words, a well-thought-through website that has been added to over the years. As a result, you end up with rooms that are hard to find and plumbing that’s hidden. Of course, what you can’t find, you can’t fix.
This is a problem because Google needs to crawl around your website to find those hidden rooms or plumbing. And if Google can’t find it, your site won’t be indexed and your readers won’t find it.
This is why firms need to pay special attention to website architecture. If a site has been built over a number of years and has add-ons, it’s worth the time to have someone build a site map and clean up the existing site. It’s a great investment to improve user experience and SEO.
Quality pages should have several levels, beginning with the home page, then top-level products or services pages, then specific product or service pages, and finally value-added content such as blog posts and videos.
Jim Kirk, Senior Consultant, Goldmine Media
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