How to Optimize Your Message with Website Navigation: The Four Pillars of SEO Part III
3rd of a 4 part series by Chris Horton at Synecore. Good stuff and getting better!
Earlier in this series, we showed the importance of building great site content in order to generate leads online and increase website conversion. So your website has great content. Now what?
You need to build up your website’s trust and authority, marketing your message to users and search engines alike.
1. How do you get search engines to find your site and index content?
2. How do you prioritize some pages above others?
3. How do you optimize pathways through your site for users and search engines?
Start with Links
Links are a sign of trust and a vote of confidence. For a search engine, links from one site to another are like a vote of confidence and trust. If a page on Site A links to a page on Site B, the page on Site B can be said to be “a trusted resource” of value to visitors of Site A.
Search engines index the Internet by following links to webpages and crawling each page’s content. Search engines have a harder time finding brand new pages because there aren’t any links pointing at them. New pages without links are largely isolated from search engines.
As search engines index the web, they count on inbound links coming to each page, because they show site authority. Pages with more links are considered authoritative because other individual sites trust their content resources.¹
Importance of Site Navigation to SEO
A clear site structure and navigation allows visitors and search engines to easily move through your site. This gives you a chance to frame your message to both prospects and web crawlers. Make sure to organize your site structure and navigation around the content that best sells your message. If you don’t do this, visitors and search engines will come to their own conclusions (which may not be good).
Ideally, your site navigation should drive visitors to pages with higher authority. Your homepage should have more authority than any page on your site- use it to link to deeper content to focus the attention of users and search engines. Smart navigation pays attention to context-it should suite customers’ needs and distribute authority.¹
Links will help search engines and visitors more easily discover your website. Once at your site, a clear navigational structure will help users and search engines digest your content. Your site navigation should focus search engines and visitors on content that sells your message, addresses customer needs, and bolsters your authority with both groups.
A well-designed site structure will not only drive your message, but also increase website conversion.