Here, we will look at some of the most common site structure mistakes and how you can avoid — or fix — them.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most critical parts of your site structure, but designing your site structure can be a difficult task. Maintaining your site structure can be just as challenging, and it can be easy to overlook a mistake or small detail in your site structure.
Hiding Cornerstone Content
Your cornerstones are the most important articles on your site, and they should always be featured fairly prominently. These are the articles that clearly explain the mission of your brand and the main topics of your site. Sometimes people will forget to link other articles to their cornerstone pages, which can make it harder for search engines to find them when they crawl your page.
Make sure you link your other blog posts to your cornerstone content, which can be done by mentioning that topic in some way in another article and then linking to it. For example, if your cornerstone content is about SEO strategy, you could easily mention that topic in an article like this and add a link to that cornerstone page.
The other way that you might end up accidentally hiding your cornerstone content is by not making that content visible or making it hard to find. Your cornerstone content should be within two clicks of your homepage so that it is visible and easy to find.
Making Categories too Big
Having a huge category is another site structure mistake to avoid. Typically, this occurs when you write about one specific topic more than others, so that category begins to grow. Eventually, it will end up being bigger than the other categories and will start to make your site unbalanced. It can make it harder for you to rank with your blogs if they are part of a huge category.
Once you realize that you have a category that is getting huge, look at how you can split it into two or more small categories. This will allow you to keep your structure balanced. For example, if you write too many blogs about dogs, you can break down the categories by dog breed or based on the topics about the dogs, like training tips, dogfood reviews, etc.
An excellent way to organize these categories is by putting together a list of the posts in the category in a spreadsheet. Then, create columns for different subcategories that might be related to each blog. From there, you can get a better idea of how to group posts to break down those categories and what categories will make the most sense to your audience and your site.
Cluttering Your Navigation
When you work on your site, you need to take the time to visualize its structure. Your visitors need to be able to find things on your site with ease, so you need to work out your structure in advance. Your main blog topics need to be put in the menu on your site’s homepage, but you cannot have too many categories there because then your site will get cluttered. The menu is there to guide your visitors, which is why it is imperative that you have a clear, organized structure.
Spend some time evaluating your site structure and determine how to make your menu the most user-friendly for your visitors. Think about what someone may be looking for when they visit your site and the path they have to take to get there. Was it easy, or did it take several clicks and a lot of looking? If it took too long to find it, you need to evaluate if this is something that needs to be easier to find. Keep in mind, if someone has a hard time finding what they are looking for, they will get frustrated and go to one of your competitors.
Google is not factoring the user experience into their ranking structure, so the user experience is even more important than before.
Not Using Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are an important part of your SEO and your user experience, so they are another vital part of site structure that can get neglected sometimes. In SEO, breadcrumbs show search engines how pages fit into your site structure and make it easier for users to navigate it.
Most blog hosting sites, like WordPress, have plugins available that can add the breadcrumbs for you, which ensures that no mistakes are made in the process.
Not Creating Internal Links
Since you cannot link every page to your homepage, you can instead create an internal linking structure. Oftentimes, you might not think to link a new blog to a related blog you wrote last year; this is a common occurrence. However, not linking your blogs together can harm your SEO and make it harder for older posts to continue being helpful to you.
Creating an internal linking structure between parent and child pages makes it easier for your visitors to read more about a specific topic and help search engines understand your structure better when they crawl your site.
Adding tags to your posts is a good way of keeping them organized, and while you can create new tags for your posts, you should be mindful of how many unique tags you are creating for every post. If almost every post has one or more unique tags on it, you are probably overdoing it. Too many unique tags means that your posts will not be getting organized properly and will not be incorporated into a larger structure for your site.
This is a mistake that is easy enough to fix. Make sure that you are using tags multiple times, grouping related articles together so that visitors to your site can read more about a specific topic and find these posts with ease. You will want to make sure that the tags are somewhere that readers can see too; the bottom of your article is the best place for it, so they can click on them after reading the blog they are currently looking at.
Not only does proper tagging help your visitors, but it also helps search engines when they crawl your site. It is important for your SEO to not over-tag posts and not create too many unique tags for posts.
Your site structure is a crucial part of your SEO strategy. It is what shows search engines what pages are articles are the most important so that they can be ranked accordingly. It also makes it easier for site visitors to navigate your site. Contact Seattle Software Developers today to go over your website structure.