How to Structure Your Website for SEO

Structure your website for SEO and usabilitySite structure is an essential aspect of search engine optimization (SEO). The structure of your website shows Google and other search engines what articles and pages are most important. It also signals what your business is about and therefore which searches you should rank for.

Site structure also helps your users navigate your site. Especially when you have a lot of content, it’s important to keep an eye on the structure so that your most important content remains easy to find and access.

Keep the Most Important Front and Center

Your most important content should be the featured, easy to find content at your site. Even if this content is older than other information, make sure it does not lose prominence.

As you add new content, be sure to link to this foundational content. The more links that point to content, the more highly it is ranked by search and more likely users will access it.

Content that has one or a few internal links is harder for search engines to find. Therefore, Google will regard these articles as less important, and rank them accordingly.

Be Intentional About Usability

Visitors want to be able to find stuff on your website with ease. Your main navigation should give clear access to the information visitors need most. It should also reflect the structure of your site.

Usability means that users can easily find and access what they want most. They don’t have to guess through a series of navigation choices. Content is in HTML format (not PDF, Word, Excel, etc). And content is presented in a way that is easy to scan online.

In addition to the main navigation, use breadcrumb navigation. Breadcrumbs are important for user experience and SEO. They show how a page fits into the structure of your site and give users another way to easily navigate your site.

Focus Tags

If you have a blog, be mindful of the tags you create. If every post receives one or multiple new unique tag(s), you’re overdoing it. You’re not adding structure, because posts don’t become grouped or linked. Create tags that will help users (and search engines) find similar content.

 

Importance of Being Consistent Online

Be consistent onlineA fundamental element of online marketing is consistency. You need to be painstakingly completely consistent so that there is only one you online – one brand, one identity, one message.

Inconsistency creates confusion. When people see information that is similar but not the same, it creates a question in their mind. Is that the same thing? Is it different. Questions lead to confusion, which is not what you need.

Inconsistent information also hinders your search engine optimization. When crawlers find different information, it dilutes the understanding of your presence. This can lead to duplicate listings and worse, reduced search rank.

Name, Address and Phone

A critical aspect of online consistency is your NAP – name, address and phone. Use the same NAP everywhere! Variations of your business name, can confuse people and search engines to think each is a different business. Ditto for addresses.

Branding

Be consistent with the representations of your brand as well. Use the same logo everywhere. If you revise it, go back and revise it everywhere. Don’t lead a trail of differing logos that muddy your brand identity.

Define your color palette and stick to it. Decide on a style of imagery. Use the same fonts and the same tone.

Messaging

Know your marketing message and stick to it. Whether you are doing an elevator speech at a networking event, creating a page for your website, or posting on social media, your messaging must be clear and consistent.

  • Focus on your value proposition
  • Use your keywords
  • Maintain a consistent tone

Consistency Creates Understanding

Being consistent with your brand fundamentals will help you gain traction online. Each time people (and search crawlers) encounter your information will build brand awareness and understanding.

3 Essential Ways to Establish Yourself as an Expert

Every business is an expert at something. Sharing that expertise online is a crucial component of marketing success. Your expertise matched to customer needs is the groundwork for business development.

There are three great ways to establish your expertise online: social media, LinkedIn and forums. In this post I look at each.

Social Media

All social channels are great platforms to share your knowledge and insight. Among your options, you can leverage the short format of Twitter, the visual format of Instagram, and the longer posts allowed by Facebook.

People use social media to learn things and to connect. When they find content of value, they can read, engage and follow for the longer term. All of these actions are a win for your brand marketing.

Be most effective by sharing a variety of content. You can offer your own words and images as well as share and engage with content from others. In everything you do, be sure to highlight your expertise and the key value of your brand.

LinkedIn Articles

LinkedIn is the social platform for professionals, but it deserves separate mention as a means to establish your subject matter expertise. Like other social channels, LinkedIn allows you to post regular updates. Added to that is the option to post articles.

LinkedIn articles allow you to do a deeper dive into a topic. The platforms’ tagging system exposes your content to everyone interested in the topics you choose. This is a great opportunity to expand your influence.

Forums

There was a time when most interaction online happened in discussion forums. Social media has eclipsed most of these, but there are still very strong discussion communities online. Quora and Reddit are two examples. There are also countless discussion forums supported by industry groups and professional organizations.

Forums allow you to ask questions and to offer answers. Both activities position you as an expert in your topic area. Taking time to make valuable contributions will earn you a following. When someone needs your expertise, they will know who to tap.