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Proper Website Structure and How It Benefits Your SEO and AdWords

White Shark Media

11 years ago



A lot of the early Clients we started out with in White Shark Media were very hard to get off the ground with their campaigns.

Starting an online agency with little to no influence in a country you haven’t formally worked in before is a challenge on very many levels.

We could therefore not be picky with the Clients we had on board, initially which was a curse and a blessing at the same time.

Personally, I got to see a lot of the issues that you tend to forget about when working in a high-end ad agency. You stop seeing the basic mistakes on websites, the small things that limit a website’s advertising performance, etc.

Proper Website Structure is Essential for SEO and AdWords

One of the recurring questions I used to get when managing our PPC department was whether one should start with SEO or AdWords.

Even though I would have liked to say AdWords is the best starting point, following basic SEO practices is really the best way to start off any website at the end of the day.

Building a website with SEO in mind will bring gains to your AdWords performance as many of the same rules apply for both platforms.

Furthermore, what defines an SEO website is also often the same aspects that go into delivering a good user experience. By taking the time to implement basic website structure to increase your “SEO score”, you will gain significantly from all advertising efforts in future as a result, as well.

I’ve listed 6 good points to follow that will help you build a proper website for SEO.

What Makes a Proper Website When It Comes to SEO and AdWords?

1) Page Load Speed

Page load speed has been one of the most talked about subjects of the last year when it comes to site optimization.

Studies have shown that for every second beyond 2 seconds that users have to wait, your conversion rate decreases by 10-20%. These are big numbers to swallow for any organization.

Google’s latest introduction of their page Speed Universe, has also made a big impact. If Google launches a website based on one single factor on the web, then it must be important.

Depending on your website and what you’re selling, your website pages should load in under 3 seconds. If you don’t know where to start, then look to your most frequented landing pages in AdWords and from Google.

Tip: If you’re battling with slow load times, then try to reduce the amount of images on your landing page. It might be those 4 huge images (or 10-piece image slider) of your product that is taking a long time to load.

2) Navigation

Making sure that users can easily navigate on your website is of the outmost importance. If a new user can’t easily see where to go next for a certain piece of information, then you still have improvements to make.

One of the most severe mistakes that I’ve seen isn’t a lack of information. It’s the sheer amount of information that sometimes can be found in random navigations that are completely overwhelming.

Organizing your website in an intuitive way is a surprisingly time-consuming task, but it’s time well spent.

Don’t Hide Important Information Deep in Your Website

Putting your product that has never been sold on your site or adding the policy about how Tsunami-proof your product is when you’re located in Iowa is perfectly fine.

However, don’t hide important products deep in your site. The rule is that your most important content should be reached within 1-2 clicks, no matter where the user is on your website.

Try it out. Can you quickly get to the most important pieces of information/products/services on your website within 1-2 clicks?

3) Easy Access to Related Services, Products and Information

The need for information changes depending on where on your website the user is. If a user lands on a page about lawn moving equipment, then he doesn’t need to quickly find your sprinkler repair service.

He will be interested in related information about where he is. A big part of ensuring great SEO is to make sure your website’s content is closely inter-connected.

If you make sure to put links to things related to the page, the likelihood of the user reaching these pages will increase substantially.

Some good ways to increase relevancy is to include links to relevant information in places like:

  • Sidebars
  • In-Content Links
  • Navigation
  • Related Products/Services Box

4) Bounce Rate is Already, or Soon To Be, a Factor in Both AdWords and SEO

Make sure to analyze your bounce rate for your most important landing pages from Google (organic and paid).

Bounce rate (the percent of users only seeing one page on your website) is monitored by Google. I haven’t seen any reports that it’s officially being used as a ranking signal as of yet, but it’s believed to be.

If users click on your ad or search result, just to go directly back to Google quickly, they will not have found what they were searching for.

You can have a relatively-high bounce rate even for users that are actually finding what they were looking for on your website.

If you’re seeing that you have a high bounce rate, then try different tactics to decrease it.

a) Don’t put all the information on the same page, but instead, spread it out on 2-3 pages. This way, you’ll force users to click further into your website.

b) If you have a lead generation box, then send users to a thank you page after filling out the form. Keeping the user on the page might look nice, but you can artificially decrease your bounce rate by assuring a 2nd page view this way.

c) Use a ‘related information’ box that’s large. Making sure that users find other interesting information on your website prior to leaving can be essential for lowering your bounce rate.

Even though that blog post you wrote on how to oil up your lawn mower for winter is amazing, you’ll still have a high bounce rate if no one navigates further on your site.

This further helps your business goals, as there’s not much need on your end for a ‘user’ who solely reads up on your stories in your website.

5) H1, H2, H3 Titles

This is an oldie, but a goodie.

I highly recommend structuring your website with H1, H2, H3 tags. These are used for headlines and sub-headlines.

Each sub-page on your website should have one H1 tag. This is your main headline and you can only have one main headline.

The H2 and H3 tags can be distributed as you like through the page, but stick to only one H1 tag.

At the same time, this is also a good lesson in keeping the focus on your page to one thing at a time.

6) Don’t Rely on Images, but Instead, Use Real Text

In the 90’s and early 2000’s, images were still heavily used on the web. They could be styled a lot prettier than on your average website.

This is no longer viable with the introduction of HTML5 and CSS3.

You can create amazing looking websites with only using HTML5 and CSS3 these days. Google has yet to find a good approach for reading text in images. If you therefore rely on putting text inside your images, Google will never be able to take that text into consideration when ranking your website.

Building a Proper Website Structure is More Than Just Basic Stuff

The basics are great when building a website and should be heavily utilized, but relying solely on the basics is not enough.

You need to go deeper and find out what your users need. From there you can try to build the best website possible for your users.

If you build a website that is amazing for your customers while following best practices for web development, then you will build a website that is amazing for SEO and AdWords – even without over-paying attention to it!

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