All the steps you usually take are focused on a goal accompanied by an implementation plan. The same should apply to the structure of the website – define the aim, create a plan and then start to think of the design. The structure of your website influences SEO results. In this article, we are going to discuss the reasons for this and suggest actions to appear as high as possible on search engine rankings due to the clear structure of your site and the right approach to presenting the content.
When you remove all design elements, the structure is the only thing left. If the human mind finds what it is looking for there, most likely search engines will find it too. According to the latest Google algorithm changes, the extent to which the customer is happy with the website matters a lot. The happiness of the customer is reflected in two ways – bounce rate and time spent on the website. Bounce rate refers to jumping over sections, whereas overall time spent on the site should be as long as possible.
The overall structure of the website can be easily evaluated by finding it in results provided by the search engine. This is an example of good site structure, where precise site links are indicated and shown to the party interested. They point users to the precise location of the content and also shorten the conversion funnel.
This is what you get from Google. The only way how to influence it is to create perfect structure for your site and content.
Site structure – some simple steps
You will best placed if you are creating the website from scratch. Put all the ideas you have or you want to tell your customer on the whiteboard or fill in the Excel Spreadsheet. Afterward, try to put all the ideas in logical order. This is very important due to the fact that it will be the navigation of your site and the basis of the URL structure. Try to make it as simple as possible – category is the main element of the structure and all subcategories should correspond and relate to it.
There should also be some limitations on the number of categories – try to stick to a number between two and seven. Otherwise, I suggest you rethink the structure. Most likely, you need some other elements to stand for categories. In addition, try to have approximately the same amount of subcategories under each category.
The next step is to create a logical URL structure – use real words and clearly indicate in each step where your customer currently is. The category title should be followed by the subcategory. In addition, carefully create an internal link structure so the user can navigate from one page to another. Every page on your site should make it clear to users where they should go next. In other words, the storyline should not stop on one page.
When this is done, take another look at all the structure and check whether all the most important pages for your business are easy to find and are not hidden too deeply. Remember that every additional click moves your potential customer further from the deal.
The top header should be the umbrella of all the main pages that your service or product is about. In addition, it should stick to all pages, especially if you are using a parallax site. And if you also use a sitemap in the footer, make sure that it has the same structure as on other sites.
Heading structure for SEO as well as readability
When the site structure is ready, you should work on the text structure within the website as well as on the page and post. There are six versions of the Heading Tags available – starting from H1 – the most important – to H6 – the least important. Experts recommend primarily focusing on H1 (title, use it once per page) and H2. Of course, you can go further to the H6, but make sure that you need so many headlines and that together they really do create a logical structure:
<h1>Yoast SEO – probably the best plugin to guide you through SEO<h1> <p>Some text here</p> <h2>Manual configuration of the plugin</h2> <p>Some text here</p>
Headings also help when the content is not very exciting or people simply get lost – it is a great element to bring them back on track. The heading should appear before each longer paragraph of the text or several paragraphs that explain the same issue.
For visually impaired people, headings are the roadmap. Screen readers use headings before a person decides whether or not to read the text further. Readers also use them to jump from one section to another – headings are an important part of providing an overview.
What about keywords in headings? Although they might be important, this is what subheadings are for. And the most important function of the heading remains to provide the context – the reader shouldn’t get lost just because you want to include a keyword in the title.
How to write a catchy heading?
Sometimes, you just need to be straightforward – write what’s in the text. But if you need more click-throughs, engagements, and conversions, you have to think creatively. This requires some practice, but it is definitely worth investing in this skill. In addition, there are some tips you can follow when you have to come up with a good headline:
- be authentic – don’t make copies and describe the content accurately;
- be cautious when using words like “best”, “always”, “magic”, “free”, “simple”, because different studies show that these words perform badly on search engines;
- don’t mislead readers and offer concrete value for paying attention to the text. Some research even suggests using clarifying words in brackets, for example, infographic or video (which can be tricky in WordPress as it can be understood as a shortcode);
- be short – we suggest sticking to between 40 and 80 characters. And focus on the first two words;
- be direct – make sure that the text shared without the content still conveys the main message.
Additional text elements
There are two more elements in the text to pay attention to – the first paragraph of the text immediately after the heading and the first sentence of every new paragraph. The first paragraph should explain the heading. In written text, it usually starts with a teaser, but if you write for the web then try to get to the point right at the beginning. The attention span of readers has decreased dramatically so it’s getting harder to attract them. Don’t lose their attention with a good heading and bad first paragraph. Google will also catch this. And don’t forget to use focus keyword in the first paragraph of the text – this is important.
Pay attention to the first sentence of each paragraph. If people are just scanning through the page, they usually pay attention to the first sentence of the paragraph. And focus keywords should definitely be there!
One more thing you can improve that doesn’t correspond directly to the text hierarchy, but can influence text appearance in search engine results are properly prepared images. Images are a “must have” for the text. They make it look vivid and fresh. It is important to use them in the age of visual communication, but don’t use an image just for the sake of SEO or “just to have an image”. You have to put some effort to make it appropriate for the web page, as well as for search engines. This should reflect what the article is about. Do not use big pictures – neither in MB nor in width and height, because it is vital that your web page loads fast. Images have to have a proper name and description that corresponds to what they are showing, as well as the content of the page and focus keywords. Want to find out more? Here you can have this topic explained in details.