Monday, October 26, 2015

SEO Basics: Improve Site Structure - URLs and Navigation

Improve Site Structure - URLs and Navigation

During the previous weeks, we've tackled about how SEO can improve a website's ranking in search engine by creating good title tags and informative meta description tags. For today, we will take a look on how the site structure can make our website be more SEO-friendly.

What is URL?

Uniform Resource Locator, or URL, is a reference (or address) to a resource on the Internet. URL has two main components: [1] protocol identifier and [2] resource name.

Example: http:// google.com
Protocol idenfier: http
Resource name: google.com

IMAGINE - you searched for a "gundam shop in Philippines" and there were two search results listed below, which would you choose to click?
  • dandiely.blogspot.com/article/102222323-gundam-00000cdfRFgerhrhgrH-000.html
  • dandiely.blogspot.com/2015/04/where-to-buy-gunpla-gundam-model-kits-in-metro-manila-phils.html
We both likely to choose the second result that contains relevant words that describes the page content!
SEO Tip: Use Simple and Understandable URLs that convey the page's content easily

Simple and Understandable URLs

  • Descriptive categories, paths and file names for your website pages and documents.
  • Choose a URL that is user-friendly (easier for site visitors and search engine to understand).
  • It can help search engines to crawl your pages better.
  • URLs that contains recognizable words are much easier(and confident) to share or link to others.
  • When displayed on search engine results, it can easily provide brief information about the page’s content.
Recommended:
  • URLs with punctuations are good for search engines. 
  • Google recommend that we use hyphens (-) in creating our URLS, instead of underscores ( _ ) (example: website.com/green-plant.html is way better than website.com/greenplant.html)
In Google Blogger and Wordpress.com, your page or post title automatically becomes the page URL like this page: http://dandiely.blogspot.com/2015/10/seo-basics-improve-site-structure-urls-and-navigation.html

What to Avoid:
  • Long, vague and cryptic URLs like dandiely.blogspot.com/page234-000000000sdd-crfrfrfrf4346675634.html
  • Generic or default page URLs like "page1.html"
  • Excessive use of words like "gundam-shop-gundam-toys-gundamitems.html"

SEO TIP: Make the website easier to navigate

Site Navigation

  • Important in helping site visitors to find the content they want
  • Helps search engine in understanding which content the webmaster presents as important
Recommended:
  • You can use "breadcrumbs list" for user convenience (example: Collection > Gundam > High Grade Scale)
  • Organized a naturally flowing hierarchy of pages and navigation bar (make use of dropdown menus for sub-categories when needed but don’t overdo it)
  • Use text links for navigation instead of Flash and JavaScript as some devices may not display it correctly.
SEO TIP: Make the website easier to navigate


Glossary
  • Crawl - the exploration of websites by search engine softwares or bots in order to index the website content
  • Breadcrumbs List - a row of internal links at the top or bottom of a page that allows users to quickly navigate back to a previous page or root page.
And that's it! If you got something more to add to the pointers listed above, don't hesitate to write comments and engage in a discussion! :)

Didn't read the first few posts of this blog series? Click here to start the Learning SEO Basics blog series!

Source: Oracle, Google

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