We talked about the Why of SEO in our last episode. Most of you now want to know about the What and How. Over the next few posts I will try to answer those questions. I invite you to join me on this wild adventure into the world of Search Engine Optimization.
I am sure you are wondering why you need to worry about site structure when it comes to SEO. Let me shed some light on that. Think of Google (Bing, Yahoo, whatever) like the CIA. These search engines send out agents to do the dirty work. You have heard of these agents before and know them by their more popular names: spiders, crawlers, and robots. As creepy as they sound, your job with your website is to invite them over to your place, serve them a drink, and fill them with all the information they need. Then they take this back to headquarters and fill their database with your information. When someone types a search into the search engine, the search engine is actually accessing a database that its agents have already created. You want to make sure your website is prominent in that database. So, how do you do that? Simple, make your site an oasis for these road-weary emissaries of the BSE (Big Search Engines).
If you succeed at making these agents stay around and learn about your website, it is said to be Search Engine Friendly. See, the spiders, crawlers, and robots have a lot of ground to cover, so if they have to work too hard to learn about you they will move on. That, my friends, is why the structure is so important.
The first thing to remember about structure is to not make it too complex. You want to keep a simple structure that doesn’t require too much digging. Most of the robots, crawlers, and spiders won’t go deeper than two levels, so try something like this:
Of course you may have many more categories that lead to many more pages, but this a simple structural example.
Another thing you want to do is use keywords in the actual name of your directories and files. So if you are selling mint chocolate chip cookies on your website, www.isellcookies.com/chocolatechip/mint is way better than www.isellcookies.com/category1/file4. This will help both the robots and the humans find what they are looking for much easier.
One more important thing to remember: You want to take SEO one page at a time. Some believe if you optimize your home page, you are good to go. This is not so and would be a big mistake. You want to optimize each page of your website individually. This makes the process tedious and time consuming, but it pays big dividends.
That’s all I got, for now. Now that I have whetted your appetite, I invite you to check out part two. We will cover content and tags that are important to your site, tips for navigation and linking structure, and a few other goodies. See you next time.
Continue reading “Structuring your Website for SEO: Part Deux”