Use a Better Site Navigation for Better SEO


Websites Navigation is very important for SEO.Make use of Breadcrumbs,Sitemaps,useful 404 page and use mostly text for navigation.


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Website Navigation-Sitemap of Google
Website Navigation-Sitemap of Google

As the title suggests, in this post I will explain how website navigation can affect SEO and how to improve it.

The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want.

Links pointing internally from the home page and globally on your website play a large role in your SEO success.


 You should think  about how  visitors will  go from  a  general page  to a  page containing  more specific  content.

Refinement of your navigation benefits a number of pages Google and other search engines can locate on your site, allows you to increase your rankings, enhances the usability of your site and improves your bottom-line.

A  breadcrumb is  a  row of  internal links  at the  top or  bottom of  the page that  allows visitors  to quickly  navigate back  to a  previous section or  the root  page.

Consider what  happens when instead of  using the  breadcrumb links on the  page,  a  user might  drop off  a  part of  the  URL  in the  hopes of finding  more general  content.

A  site map is a  simple page  on your  site that  displays the structure of  your website,  and usually, consists  of a  hierarchical listing of the  pages on  your site.
Visitors may  visit this  page if  they are having problems  finding pages  on your  site.

A  simple site  map page  with links  to all  of the  pages or  the most  important pages  on your  site can  be useful.
Avoid letting your HTML site map page become out of date with broken links.


An  XML  Sitemap is a file,  which you  can submit  through Webmaster  Tools,  makes it  easier for  Search Engines to  discover the pages  on your  site.

Add navigation  pages when  it makes  sense and  effectively work  these into  your internal link structure.
Avoid creating complex webs of navigation links, e.g. linking every page on your site to every other page.

Controlling most  of the  navigation from  page to  page on  your site  through text  links makes  it easier  for search engines  to crawl  and understand  your site.
The navigation menu should be descriptively labeled to minimize the amount of work your visitors have to do to find the information most relevant to them on your website.
Optimize the navigation keywords for your users as well as for SEO. Ideally, the links pointing to each page of your site will reflect the keyword target chosen for that page.
Avoid having a navigation based entirely on drop-down menus, images, or animations.

The navigation menu should also be visible on every page of your site in the same location so that users can easily click around and find their place.

Users will  occasionally come  to a  page that  doesn't  exist on  your site,  either by  following a  broken link or typing  in the  wrong  URL.  Having a  custom  404  page that  kindly guides  users back  to a  working page on  your site  can greatly  improve a  user's  experience.
Avoid allowing your  404  pages to  be indexed  in search  engines and providing only a vague message like "Not found", "404", or no 404 page at all.

Summary:

1. Navigation is very important for search engines,
2. Plan out your navigation based on your homepage,
3. Ensure more convenience for users by using ‘breadcrumb lists’,
4. Allow for the possibility of a part of the URL being removed,
5. Prepare two sitemaps: one for users, one for search engines,
6. Create a naturally flowing hierarchy,
7. Use mostly text for navigation,
8. Put an HTML site map page on your site, and use an XML Sitemap file,
9. Have a useful 404 page.

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Photo credit: transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User: Shizhao using CommonsHelper.



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Written by , an SEO Analyst and Consultant and Keyword Researcher who works as a Freelancer and also a Medical Student.

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