Designing a website for SEO.

Most people want their website visitors to stay on their website, move through from page to page and take some action.

If you can get your website to do this, it also contributes to good positions in search results – it’s what Google want’s when they score websites for User Experience. They also look at page-load speed & bounce rate – which tie-in.

If the purpose of a website is to get contacts for a business or sales, then it’s important to move people in the right direction.

Good internal linking and arrangement of menus and pages creates a flow through the website, decreases drop-offs and keeps search engines happy ( I’m mostly talking about Google ) – they like well-organised structure, a good hierarchy of pages and meaningful links.

The opposite is not to have a flow – links goes to non-existent pages or the links on a page send people several places in a disorganised fashion. Menu items that aren’t well organised also prevent flows.

A good way to structure a website …

This is how it can be done using WordPress, but these points can be implimented in other types of websites ( it’s just not as easy ).

  • Set up a main page for each of products and services being offered. If the website is an online shop, then these would be the product pages.
  • Set up a post category for each of the main products and services.
  • Gradually write & accumulate posts in relevant categories that are about relevant long-tail subjects. These should contain a link to the main product page occasionally. The posts should concern long-tail keyword phrase variation of the main product page ( long-tail contain 3 or more words ). Also semantically related phrases. I’ve written a section below on how to compile a list of these.
  • If the website is primarily an online shop, the somewhere in the text of sub-product page there should be a link to the main product page, establishing it as the more important reference. For example if a main product were bikes, then the pages selling chains, wheels etc. should contain a link to the main bike page.
  • Breadcrumbs and sub-pages. In WordPress it’s possible to set a page as a subpage of another, and most Themes will show this relationship in the breadcrumbs. This also helps provide a hierarchical structure of information that Google likes.
  • If you use WordPress, then you can tag pages. Then all pages with a particular tag can be displayed on a single  page. This is a bit like the index at the end of a reference book.

Tracking down useful long-tailed keywords

These are phrases of 3 or more words that a post can be written about. The competition in search results is easier to beat than shorter phrases, so as posts accumulate the will help increase traffic from SEO of themselves. But linking a good number of them to the related main page will also help it to rise in search results for the shorter phrase.

  • Look at the related searches at the bottom of Google’s search results. These are compiled by Google from the other phrases people search with before and after the phrase you entered.
  • Look at the suggested phrases that drop down as you type the main search phrase.
  • Use Google’s Keyword Planner. you’ll need an Adwords account to access this ( but don’t have to enter credit card details ). Enter the seed keyword and look at what they compile for the Adsets.