SEO Tips for Developers : Site Structure

Continuing in this series of tips for improving your search engine goodness, we’re going to take a look at some tips to designing the structure of your site so that it is friendly for our robot/spider friends.

Easy to Read URLs

This might be obvious to some, but maybe not others. URLs such as http://www.lostechies.com/blogs.aspx?blog=52&post=12923 do not have any meaning at face value; I can’t figure out what is on that page unless I click. People don’t like these and the bots don’t either. Strive for URLs like http://www.lostechies.com/blog/chris-missal/seo-tips-for-developers-site-structure or something similar. Given some certain situations, these aren’t always easy to come by. However, if you’re designing a site from scratch, give this high priority!

Good Hyperlinks

Give your users the ability to navigate your site no matter what page they’re on. Dead-end pages and the required usage of the back button is frustrating. You want actual links too, not JavaScript links or the “post-back links” that ASP.NET WebForms provides. Not only are they good for human users, but the spiders will follow them better too.

Ensure that links pointing back to users’ personal sites or other hyperlinks of which you don’t have immediate control, take advantage of the rel=”nofollow” attribute. This encourages search engines to treat the link with little or no weight towards that page. This helps keep your page’s importance higher. If the link is relevant to the content of the page, keep it normal (without the attribute). In other words, do good deeds and don’t try to “game” the system.

Your Site Template

Based on some of my experience, here’s a few pointers I can share on how to template and build your pages.

  1. Every page that has unique content should have a unique title. Avoid missing or duplicate titles on your pages. This can be tricky when you have lots and lots of overlapping, dynamic content results.
  2. Make use of the important elements: h1-h6, title, strong, a. These should be used appropriately for the content they’re describing and linking to. These elements carry the highest values of importance across your page. Do your best to connect them to the structure of words that describe your data.
  3. Similar to point #1, keep your content canonical. This means there should be one location to access that information, not many. By producing one “true location” to the source of the data, you’ll make that page the most relevant place to go and less diluted. Produce canonical or normalized URLs. (see <link rel=”canonical” />)

It may sound a little hokey, but done correctly, these tips can be huge game-changers for you site. Bumping your pages up to the front page of Google gives you far more exposure than the second page and it only gets worse as you go further down the page list.

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About Chris Missal

Oh hey, I'm a Senior Consultant for Headspring in Austin, TX. I've been working in software professionally since 2006 and I really, really love it. I'm mostly in the Microsoft world, but enjoy building computer things of all sorts (to be vague). When I'm not slinging code, I'm probably out and about slinging discs, bowling balls, or good beer with great friends.
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  • http://codistic.wordpress.com/ Asad Ali Butt

    Nice tips mate, your url tip is good news for those usingAsp.Net MVC over Asp.Net WebForms!!!

  • http://www.lostechies.com/members/chrismissal/default.aspx Chris Missal

    @Asad

    While I prefer using MVC over WebForms, you can still do routing via WebForms with some codeplex code: http://www.codeplex.com/aspnet/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=13576

  • http://codistic.wordpress.com Asad Ali Butt

    It means, using MVC to develop your our application will automatically optimize it for search engines as well. Great

  • Anonymous

     Thanks for sharing the information regarding site structure. I really like your post. I am glad to visited here and come to know about site templates and all  the procedure about site..

  • Anonymous

    Well, this one is extremely looking the best of source to get the incredible SEO tips. And the existing SEO tips of this post are really looking most promising about the best of link building. And they are really looking pretty helpful to get the best rank for our site. This one is extremely mind blowing. Thanks for sharing some exceptional information about it.

  • Anonymous

    those are such helpful tips, i will surely consider following your tips.

    New York SEO

  • http://cuttingedgeprojects.co.uk/seo/ seo consultants

    Nice tips you have shared. Try to follow all of them.

  • http://twitter.com/itsmenowsee itsmenowsee

    Every developer should know the details of the
    website optimisation