How to maximize SEO by website structure and design

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Your business is in danger of dying if it can’t be found on the web. This is well known, but oftentimes, business owners don’t apply the same sound business practices to this as they do when running the rest of their business. This article will tell you how to maximize SEO by website structure and design.

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It is important for business owners to understand the important of incorporating search engine optimization into their marketing strategy. However; when you look at website design and structure of many sites, you can see where many websites don’t hold the muster. A website that is ineffective, has poor navigation, doesn’t have a call to action, bad internal linking and doesn’t have a site map can lead to few conversions, little stickiness and reduced crawlability.

So while you’re making new marketing strategies and doing all you can do to attract new customers through traditional SEO methods, leads can still vanish on the basis of a poorly designed site. Look at these essential ways to make the most of your site while getting the most out of your SEO results.

Look at your Homepage

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The gateway to your business is your homepage for your customers and search engines. It relays an important message to your potential customer. Your audience will immediately be captured by a good homepage that if offering a call to action. Navigation should be simplistic and crawlable for search engines, front and center and preferably at the top of the page.

Make good use of images and color. These are important factors in retaining a potential lead once they land on your site. You’ll get the most of your homepage by including a contact form above the fold, redesigning navigation if it’s buried, and using images and color well. If your site looks outdated or plain, the likelihood of retaining a potential lead is slim.

Good Navigation

An essential component to a user’s experience is navigation. If it’s buried or tucked away, your potential leads will exit your site leading to poor stickiness. Navigation should always be right there. Stay away from deep menus that require the user to click through multiple pages just to get basic information. Make sure your navigation offers information quickly with the fewest clicks possible.

Navigation is also more than a menu at the top of your web page. It refers to the hierarchy that occurs as pages are built, categories are determined and tags are made. Navigation as it relates to hierarchy is mostly influenced by the platform on which you publish. Most platforms like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal give the webmaster flexibility when creating a hierarchy and are generally search engine friendly. But sites that are built on Flash, JavaScript, or heavily dependent on AJAX or JQuery are not ideal since search engines can have a hard time parsing, indexing and crawling these types of web languages. Stay away from building your site on these types of platforms. A great way to check if your website is search engine friendly is to look at the cached text version of the website from Google.

1. Go to your Chrome browser and type in the URL bar:
“cache:www.sampleurl.com” (Of course, replace the “sampleurl” with your website)
2. Then click on the link to the far upper right that reads “Text-only version”.
3. Look to see if your navigation links still appear.

Call To Action

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A call to action refers to the response you want your users to perform, whether you want them to call to schedule an appointment or purchase your product. Always offer a strong call to action to capitalize on your SEO efforts. Make sure to include a call to action in your Title Tag element as this will help your website listing stand out in the search engine result page. Potentially, you could gain a higher CTR at position #4 if your Title Tag call to action is more compelling than positions #1-3. Be sure to include a phone number or a “buy now” button on every single pages, including blog posts. Visitors make their way to your website by keywords, long tail searches or direct visits, so make it easy for your visitor to buy or call, no matter how they got to your site. Don’t make assumptions that your user already knows what you want to sell. Make it clear with a strong call to action on every single page.

Internal Linking

Internal linking is an SEO strategy used to improve the functionality of a website when it comes to connecting your pages relevantly. It can increase website usability since it reduces the number of clicks required to get to important information internal linking also allows an SEO to strategically use anchor text to create page relationships.

Google’s release of it’s Penguin update has resulted in internal linking that can make websites worse in many instances. Oftentimes, it is abused as a keyword-stuffing mechanism, in turn devaluing its meaning. Conversely, internal linking has no strategy at all, with various keywords pointing to a slew of random pages or posts. Before you create any internal links, make sure they are natural, useful, relevant and consistent. Make a plan prior to the internal linking to make the most of future pages and posts should you hand off the reigns to a webmaster or blogger.

Sitemaps

A sitemap is a very important component to your website since it dovetails on the important of navigation. Sitemaps usually come in two forms: one for your user, and another for search engines. The user sitemap is a single page that displays all of your website pages and sub pages, making it easier for the user to find what they want. On the other hand, a search engine sitemap is usually not visible to the user, unless the specific url is known. Instead, it is created to increase your site’s crawlability, telling search engines about your website pages and their important through specific XML language.

When a sitemap is missing, not only is your website in danger of being crawled improperly, but user experience suffers as well. Always include both kinds of sitemaps on your site. Many people believe that if a URL is included in an XML sitemap, it will automatically be indexed by the search engines. This is not necessarily true, as an XML sitemap is only a guide to Google and not a requirement. The use of popular plugins can help you create sitemaps on the fly. If a sitemap plugin is not possible, you can use any of the popular sitemap generation tools including Google Sitemap Generator to create sitemaps automatically.

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