Try your best to be objective. If you were coming to your website for the first time, what would you think of it? How does it make you feel? Irritated? Overwhelmed? Calm? Happy?
There are a lot of things that can contribute to these emotions, such as overall design, colors, fonts, navigation, and images.
Your goal — Take 30 minutes and jot down some things you notice. Consider:
- Where your eye goes to first
- If the company contact information is easily found
- If the site loads fast or slow
- If the product or service information is up to date
- Whether the navigation bar makes sense or not
- Broken links
There. That was easy. Now you have to decide what to do about it. I suggest asking a friend or perfect stranger to evaluate your site too. Someone who is honest and you trust. Because sometimes we think something looks good, but we’re wearing rose colored glasses.
Once you have a second or even third opinion, it may or may not be time for a re-design.
Navigation throughout the website should also be a main priority.
Look at the organization of the site’s pages and how easily customers can get from one part of the site to another. The number of clicks it takes to get to a desired location should be minimized.
Many sites find it to be convenient to build websites using a taxonomy hierarchy. Creating clear categories of pages can help websites organize their content while also reducing the number of steps that visitors must go through to adequately engage with the brand.
As you explore your site navigation, also verify how well the pages have been interlinked so that prospective customers engaging with one piece of content are easily led to other material that they will likely enjoy. Check also for orphan pages and other content that might be hard to find. The key to a strong site structure is to consider the user experience so that useful material can be found intuitively.
Things to do to ensure your site structure is optimized:
- Create a hierarchy that ensures important pages are 3 clicks from the home page or less
- Uncover orphan pages and either delete them or add them to the site hierarchy
- Check links for broken or redirects and repair them
Assessing URL Structure
Our URL has an underlining effect on the entire SEO campaign. The first aspect which needs to be taken care of is the existence or non-existence of extraneous characters— including the likes of #, @, % and a few more.
Having these characters in between the URL name reduces the overall focus on the existing keywords. In case, we need to use at least one or few of these characters— it is advisable to bring in dashes and underscores for highlighting a keyword phrase. This is turn is expected to improve SERP rankings.
The next important factor is the URL length. As mentioned, most of the successful streaming websites have smaller names which in turn makes it easier for users to pronounce or remember the same. If detailed reports are to be believed, the top 100 URLs have an average of 38 characters with the nominal limit being somewhere in the ballpark of 36 characters.
A perfectly structured website is probably the first step towards a successful SEO campaign. If we are to segregate the process of website creation, conceptualization will surely preside over other acts. Once we are done with planning, each of the five mentioned strategies needs to be applied in a step pronged manner.