Is your site built better than Arnie?

Arnie… what can I say? You weren’t the best actor in the world but you sure were built well! And building your website in the correct way can help you achieve ‘governor’ status on the search engines!

What I am talking about here is isolating the best architecture for your site right from the beginning as this can impact how well your site will rank on the search engines. Successful site architecture should be a fundamental aspect of any search marketing campaign because if you get the site skeleton, navigation and hierarchy of pages defined at an early stage, you will maximise the weighting your pages are given by the search engines.

As part of our strategy phase, Leapfrogg always assess the structure of a site in order to ensure that the site is set up to give the best user experience as well as achieving maximum visibility across the search engines.

When building your site, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly, you should build your site in a logical structure. For example on an e-commerce site, your home page would link to your top level category pages which would then link to any sub category pages that would link to individual product pages and so on. Not only will a logical structure be good for the search engines (by distributing page rank evenly through your pages), but a logical structure will match your users expectations, making your site more user friendly.

Another factor search engines look at when they come to ranking your pages is how closely a page is linked to from the home page. Generally, the closer a page is linked to from the home page, the more importance it is given. When analysing your site architecture, look out for pages that could be moved closer to the home page but only do this if they would work well there.

Not only is the location of pages important but how you link to and from your site pages is also important as each link passes lovely link juice and page rank to one another. In this case, there is a best case scenario when it comes to internal site linking as depicted in the diagram below (click to enlarge.)

You can see from the above diagram that your site should link to each page as follows:

  • Home page links to the top navigation pages and top navigation pages link back to the home page
  • Top navigation pages link to sub category pages and sub category pages link back to the top navigation pages
  • Sub category pages link to any sub pages and sub pages link back to the sub category page
  • ALL pages link to the home page

You should also be aware that when linking between your site pages, link juice will be passed to the link destination page so be sure to link between your most important and relevant pages. This should help you strengthen the internal page rank of your most important site pages.

So to summarise

  • Take time out to properly design the architecture of your site
  • Be sure to make your architecture and navigation logical to facilitate the even spread of link popularity among your pages and to meet user expectations
  • Assess whether pages can be moved closer to the home page but only do this if the page will work well (and is logical) in its new location
  • Implement optimum internal site linking and link between site pages that are relevant and important in order to distribute page rank around your most important pages.

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