How to write a Search Engine Optimized Site Hierarchy
Now that you have chosen your CMS Platform, you’re probably excited to start creating website pages & uploading videos and pictures ….. Yet, “Slow Your Roll!” Building a website without considering the architecture beforehand is like biking without planning your bike route. Consider the following topics when building your website architecture.
Wireframe - Write down a conceptual idea of what the actual pages will visually look like. The purpose: to produce an idea of where components will be placed on each individual web page. [Ex: logo, search box, sign-in box, main navigation menu, page content, and social media widgets].
Website Depth – How many clicks does it takes for the user to go from your homepage to the farthest page on your website? Web pages that are positioned in the root folder will receive higher Google rankings than those found in a sub-folder. The lower the number of clicks it takes to reach each individual web page, the higher the page rank in the Google Search Engine. Many SEO Consultants advise having one sub-folders level (meaning, not creating sub-sub-folders). See: Website Structure
Interactions - Interactions simulate how individuals will use your website. What happens when a person comes to your website? It describes what web users will experience as they interact with the site via forums, contact us forms, sign in, retail commerce webpages and what happens when there’s an error.
File and Folder Names -Insert keywords into the names of the folders, media files and webpages on your website. If putting more than one keyword into a web page name, separate keywords with a hyphen (-).
- GOOD Example: http://ynottony.com/yoga-teacher
- BAD Example: http://ynottony.com/yoga_teacher.htm
Using Silos in Your SEO Architecture Strategy
A farmer thinks of a silo as a structure for storing grain, coal, cement, wood chips, sawdust, or other bulk materials by a specific category. Yet SEO Consultants use the silo concept to guide the search engines to understanding the theme or subject of each web page on your website by grouping like content pages under one, highly organized directory.
Think of a directory silo like a libraries Dewey Decimal Card Catalog System. In order for the library to be effective, everything must be tightly grouped in its place and filed under the appropriate structured heading. If you are a website specializing in yoga teachers, all of your yoga teacher pages would be grouped together and all of your yoga studio pages would be grouped together. The two would never be mixed as either content or cross-linking.
A yoga teacher silo might look similar to this:
- ynottony..com/yoga teacher/donation
- ynottony..com/yoga teacher/african-american
- ynottony.com/yoga teacher/women
- ynottony.com/yoga teacher/free
In the example above, each page is named after significant keywords to help the search engines see the like theme. The architectural naming system helps establish that these pages are all about yoga teachers. Sticking to this format will help prevent your themes from blurring.
After figuring out your site architecture; write the text content for each individual web page. Make sure to optimize your SEO “On Page” strategies by using targeted keywords within your text content. Keep in mind that the broader your keywords are, the more competition there is for them! Long-tail keywords might produce less traffic but they drive a more targeted visitor.
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