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  sitemap 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 sitemap 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Avoid letting your HTML site map page become out of date with broken links.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 works 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 by 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 sitemap 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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