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How Web Design and Site Structure Affect Your SEO Success

When it comes to SEO, the structure of your website is extremely important. Unfortunately, many businesses simply leave the architecture of their website to be handled by the content management system, or worse, not worrying about it at all. The reality is that the structure of your website has just as much of an impact on your SEO campaign as link building, technical SEO or any other strategies that you employ to improve your search engine rankings.

While website architecture refers to how your website is organized, web design refers to tasks associated with designing and publishing a website. However, these concepts are actually closely related because they both affect the structure of your website. Here are some things that you should know about how Google sees your web design and site structure.

Improve Site Crawlability

The main factor that is important when it comes to the site architecture is site crawlability. Search engines use robots that “crawl” your website in order to determine what it is about. As the search engine rapidly reviews your website, all of the relevant pages are indexed and then the search engine decides which pages need to be displayed first in the search engines.

Search engine robots generally do not have problems with crawling your site. However, some of the techniques that you can use to help the search engine robots crawl your website more efficiently, include:

  • adding a robots.txt file
  • improving the internal linking structure of your website
  • adding a sitemap
  • avoiding Flash
  • improving site speed
  • eliminating 404 errors

In order to improve the crawlability of your site and your SEO results, you must also improve the internal linking structure of your website.

Image Credit: https://tempe.com/storage/uploads/9/5799db69f0-silo-structure.png

The purpose of a good site structure is to provide a good user experience for users and make it easier for the search engine robots to figure out what your site is about. Using silos is an ideal way to organize the structure of your site so that it is easier to continue making updates to your website in an organized way.

Eliminate Duplicate Pages

Duplicate content is bad for SEO because it may be perceived by the search engines as spam. As you design your site, you want to make sure that there are only links available to one version of each page of your website. In practice, as you design your site you should use 301 redirects, rel=canonical tags and pagination to eliminate duplicate content issues on your website.

Google’s Search Console can also help you find and eliminate duplicate content on your site:

Using these tools you can ensure that all duplicate content has been removed from your site.

Mobile Friendly

Most users expect that a professional website will be clean and intuitive in its design. As a result, you want to ensure that your website uses a layout that makes it easy to navigate your website. The design of your website should also be optimized for mobile users since Google now considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.

Here is the difference in the design of a mobile friendly site versus a site that isn’t mobile friendly:

Image Credit: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/imgs/mobile-seo/viewport.png

A mobile friendly site can mean better rankings for mobile searches, improving your overall SEO results.

Consider Future Upgrades

You may have already decided on how you want your website to look. However, as you design your website, take time to consider whether your site is designed for Google, as well. In addition, you also want to set up your website’s architecture so that you can make updates to your site that will further improve your SEO results without hurting the foundation that you have already built.

Published
  • 13 April 2016
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