Making Your Web Site Structure Search-Engine Friendly

Related Articles

Web Site Structure
 
Making Your Web Site Structure Search-Engine Friendly
 
When you're planning to create a web site there's often plenty to think about. Not only do you have to research your keywords, write content and make design decisions, but you also have to consider the structure of your web site as a whole.
 
The Strands of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
 
Think of effective search engine optimisation (SEO) as a working hi-fi system. In an ideal world all of your stereo's components will work without any problems. Even if your CD player stops working, you can still play music on your cassette, LP or MiniDisc deck. Even if your remote control breaks you can still operate your stereo using the buttons on the main unit itself. However, in order for your stereo to perform at its optimum level you need all your components working together.
 
This scenario can also be applied to search engine optimisation. You can get away without having quality incoming links, sufficient keyword research or a planned and thought out web site structure. However, in order for your web site to perform to its full potential you will need to concentrate on all of the different strands of search engine optimisation, one being the structure of your web site.
 
Categorise Your Content
 
When planning the structure of your web site you will have to be clear about your content. Ensure that your pages are well categorised and that the deeper you navigate into your site, the more specific your page content becomes.
 
Imagine we're creating a web site about stereos. On this web site it is important that you organise your content and split it up into seperate pages. The top pages will invariably contain general content but as you go deeper into your site the content will become more specific - from 'stereos' to 'pioneer stereos', 'accessories' to 'in-ear travel headphones' and so forth.
 
The advantages of using such an organised structure are clear. The fact that your web site content is grouped together in a logical fashion can only be of benefit to your web site visitors and potential customers. It's all about usability and making your web site as easy to use as possible. Also, you will find your keyword research will come into its own when you have a set of pages each explicitly dealing with a certain subject. In this case it will be less of a struggle to write Search Engine-friendly copy.
 
Often it is a good idea to view your web site structure as a pyramid. The top of a pyramid is a small point but the bottom of it is much bigger. Your web site will only have one home page and this represents the top of our pyramid. Using the above structure as our example, you can see that the further down the pyramid we go, the more specific phrases we can target:
 
SuperStereo Home - stereo store, hi-fi store, discount stereo
 
Stereos - stereos, hi-fi, CD players
 
Accessories - stereo accessories, stereo equipment, hi-fi accessories
 
Pioneer Stereos - pioneer stereos, pioneer hi-fi, pioneer CD players
 
Kenwood Stereos - kenwood stereos, kenwood hi-fi, kenwood CD players
 
Speakers - speakers, discount speakers, quality speakers
 
Headphones - headphones, earphones
 
Small Pioneer Stereos - small pioneer stereos, compact pioneer stereos, small pioneer hi-fi
 
Large Pioneer Stereos - large pioneer steroes, big pioneer stereos, large pioneer hi-fi
 
Small Kenwood Stereos - small kenwood stereos, compact kenwood stereos, small kenwood hi-fi
 
Large Kenwood Stereos - large kenwood steroes, big kenwood stereos, large kenwood hi-fi
 
Loud Speakers - loud speakers, powerful speakers, large speakers
 
Compact Speakers - small speakers, compact speakers, mini speakers
 
In-Ear Headphones - in-ear headphones, ear headphones, small headphones
 
Travel Headphones - travel headphones, plane headphones, quiet headphones
 
 
 
Look at all of those keywords we can now target because of our web site structure! Imagine what would have happened if we had put our different headphones onto only one 'Headphones' page. We would then have had to ignore highly-targeted keywords like 'ear headphones'. Also, if your Headphones page has in-ear headphones, travel headphones - all by different manufacturers - how does the search engine detect what your page is about?
 
By structuring your web site accordingly you give yourself a greater chance of success with the search engines. Often it is the more detailed keywords that bring you the best visitors - visitors that are finding precisely what they are searching for and so are more likely to convert to customers. Also you are more likely to attain a high ranking for those niche phrases as opposed to the general terms that everyone seems to be targeting.
 
Improvement to ROI (Return On Investment)
 
Using a planned structure for your web site will also be useful if you plan to begin a Pay-Per-Click campaign using Google AdWords or Overture. By explicitly dividing your web site content into specific products or topics you can be confident of superior ROI (Return On Investment) statistics. This is subject to you choosing the correct keywords, but you should see better results when you provide searchers with the exact information or product they are looking for.

Publication Date: Friday 7th May, 2004
Author: James Wellburn View profile

Related Articles