Thursday, March 10, 2011

Three site architecture tips to get you Ranking Higher

Before spending money on SEO, your site can get a great head start in achieving top rankings by ensuring you’ve implemented SEO friendly site architecture. URL structure, file names and website speed are three important elements to consider when designing your site.

Your URL structure refers to the structure of your website and the way each page is connected to another. Keeping your architecture relatively flat and separating content into different categories is the best way to achieve this.

Instead of placing all of your products into one folder, separate them out into categories and subcategories. Using the example below, you can see how each subcategory of jackets, shirts and shoes are separated into their own product folders. This helps search engines assign keyword relevance to different areas of your website and will have a positive impact on your rankings.

File and Folder Names: File naming conventions are another important area of website architecture. Including keywords in your file and folder names will help search engines determine the theme of each page and boost your ranking for these terms. Following on with our clothing store example, you can see the final URL below is much more descriptive than the first two and lets search engines know that content of the page is related to red dress shoes.

Website Speed: Website speed is a relatively new ranking factor that Google introduced in the middle of 2010. According to Google, “Faster sites create happy users”, so they’ve set out to reward sites with faster loading times and punish those that aren’t up to scratch.

Some areas to check on your website include:

  • Images – Ensure your images are a reasonable file size and don’t take a long time to load.
  • Flash animations – Again, keep the file size for any flash animations to a minimum.
  • Website hosting – Make sure your hosting plan is up to scratch and isn’t limiting your websites speed.
  • Javascript – Check that any scripts on your website don’t limit the performance of your page.

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