SEO and Website Navigation Best Practices

Let’s talk SEO Best Practices!

Who comes first – the User or the Search Engine…? 

Let’s be clear, the user always comes first. Business websites should produce content and navigation for their users. If users click away quickly from your website due to complicated navigation search engines will penalise your site. These days Google places emphasis on websites providing searchers with a positive user experience.

Google now uses Rankbrain to help them organise their search results. One of the main factors used by Rankbrain is how long users stay on your website before clicking away. For Google, the longer = the better. If your site doesn’t provide the content users are looking for or a clear way to navigate to that content, Rankbrain will take notice. Your SEO will be negatively affected if user experience is not considered first.

On page SEO can seem complicated, we’ve put together a list of all the best practices you should implement now:

  • URL
    • Studies have proven that short URLs tend to rank better than long ones.
    • URLs should make sense to readers – they should know what to expect on said page of your website by reading the URL.
    • Include your target keywords.
  • LSI Keywords
    • These are words or phrases which Google, safari and other search engines use to understand what your content is about.
    • They should be relevant terms for the overall topic on that page.
  • Long content
    • Blog articles should be around 2000 words.
    • The longer the content the more naturally you’ll be referencing your page topic using LSI keywords.
    • This means Google will have a clearer understanding of your content – and are likely to push your rank.
  • Title tags
    • Make sure your title tags are optimised for target keywords and CTR.
  • Links
    • Internal Links
      • Refer to your own past content with internal links from your newer content.
      • This will help promote older content that you still want to rank.
    • External Links
      • Try and pop between 1-3 external links into every blog post or article.
      • Make sure these link to authoritative sites.
      • Google does use external links as a ranking factor so it should be a priority on every page.

All of the above on page techniques are considered common best practice in the SEO world. They should all be implemented in one way or another for your website to rank well according to Google.

Why website navigation is essential to your SEO success!

There are numerous reasons why it’s crucial you have a great strategy for your websites navigation structure. In this article, we are going to tell you our top tips for great internal link structure.

Website Navigation – your websites internal link structure.

Website navigation AKA the links within your website that connect your pages. The reason you have these is so users can easily navigate/find there way around your site.

Google and other search engines use your website navigation to find and index your web pages. The relationship between your web pages, as well as the overall content and context of your site.

Navigational best practices you should implement now:

  • URL structure
    • A good URL should make it clear to users and search engines to understand the content that will be on the webpage.
    • Keywords remain important and your target queries should be within URLs.
    • Matt Cutts head of Google’s Webspam team recently stated that the first 3-5 words in a URL are given more weight.
    • Submit an XML sitemap containing all the URLs (that you want to rank) via SEO to Search Engines.
    • Matching your URL to your title is a good idea if it makes sense.
    • Studies show that shorter URLs containing keywords rank better with Google.
  • URL hierarchy
    • Your URLs should be structured in a logical order.
    • Organise categories consisting of top-level pages and sub-level pages.  
    • If you discuss multiple topics on your website, you should make sure to nest pages under relevant folders.
  • Navigation bar (menu)
    • Your website nav menu is the most crucial area of your site’s navigation in terms of layout.
    • Keep your navigation bar at the top of the site.
    • No more than 6 menu items in the nav bar. If you have more than 6 it won’t be aesthetically pleasing or optimally categorised.

If you follow these best practices, you’ll be making invaluable changes to your websites SEO strategies.

Your website will be user-friendly and search engine optimised.