Part 3: Structuring Your Website for SEO

Travis Van SlootenSmall Business SEO

Welcome to part 3 in our SEO series! Today we will be discussing how to structure your website to please both the search engines and your website visitors.

In part 2 of this series, we discussed how important quality content was to get the highest ROI for your SEO efforts. Site structure is an often overlooked but crucial aspect of SEO.

Messy sites distract both web spiders and visitors. You can have the highest quality content on your website, but if it’s hard to get to, what’s the point? Having clean code helps spiders pull key content, thereby pushing up your rankings on Google and helping your visitors find the information they need.

Why is the structure of your website so important? When spiders crawl your site, the structure determines what information they gather and how important that information is compared with other information on your site. The structure of your site can also play an important role in leading visitors to the right pages – the pages that convert visitors to clients!

Use CSS to Keep Code Clean

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) makes your website more accessible, increases the download time of your site and its pages, and makes your site more navigable and professional looking. On the other hand, excess, useless code detracts from both the appearance and navigability if your site. In addition, messy code can confuse spiders so that they don’t pick up the really great content on your site.

How do you make sure you develop a website that does not contain a glut of messy code? Hand-coding is the most efficient way. However, if you lack the time or the know-how, using Dreamweaver will significantly cut down on extra code. Clean code means as little code as possible. The less the spiders have to crawl through, the more content they find.

Meta Tags

Now that you’ve set up the basic structure of our site and have inserted all your high-quality, readable content, it’s time to further optimize by adding Meta tags. Title, description, and keyword meta tags are an important part of SEO – and the title and description tags being the most important. These tags should contain the primary keyword you are targeting for that page.

Image Tags and Header Images

Image tags are very important! You will be surprised by how many people find your site through an image search. Image tags (or Alt. tags) are more important in the eyes of the spiders than end users. Make sure your Alt. tags contain your primary keyword.

Don’t neglect your header image! Link your header image to your home page, thereby making your header image, which is the first thing the spiders hit when they crawl your site, a content-heavy facet of your page instead of just an empty image.

HTML Heading Tags

Another great way to optimize your content is to use HTML heading tags: H1, H2, and H3. H1 tags are the most important of all the heading tags so it’s typically reserved for the heading, or title, of your web page. H2 and H3 tags are used for sub headings within your page. You want to use your primary keyword in these tags. If you use heading tags, be sure you only use them one time per page. For example, you don’t want to use more than one H1 tag on your page.

Links To The 10-Part SEO Series on How To Rank on Google

Part 1: SEO Success Starts With Keyword Research
Part 2: Why Producing Quality Content for SEO Is Important
Part 3: Structuring Your Website For SEO
Part 4: Content Optimization for SEO
Part 5: Internal Linking Strategies for SEO
Part 6: Human Testing for SEO Success
Part 7: Search Engines Submissions for SEO
Part 8: Link Building for SEO
Part 9: Monitoring Your SEO Efforts
Part 10: Extra Tools & Resources for SEO Success