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Category: Sitemap

Keyword structure counts

There are two ways to look at structure in the SEO world, and both can have a massive effect on your page authority.

Big-picture structure refers to the overall structure and navigation of your site. If your site is easy to navigate, your users will have an easier time finding the information they want, and Google will reward you for such user accommodation. Title your pages appropriately, use a header bar to make your site easy to navigate,

Also make sure there’s a crawlable site-map that lays out your site as a whole. It’s also a good idea to interlink your internal content by connecting many of your internal pages to one another — the shorter the path from any one page to any other page, the more authority you’ll gain in your site, regardless of keywords.

Small-picture structure is more about how each of your pages are laid out.

If you adhere to Google’s traditional structure of having a header, body, sidebars, and footer, and you place appropriate content for each section, Google will have an easier time scanning your page. And it will be able to derive the accurate meaning behind your site without you worrying about including specific keyword phrases.

Your Competitors Do Better than You On The Internet

This is one factor that’s easy to overlook. You can easily rank lower in search results than your competitors because their SEO efforts are better than yours. Put simply, your links may be good, but their links are even better.

That’s why you should run regular back-link profile audits of competitor sites. This won’t take much time, but will provide enough details to adjust your link building strategy.

To analyze back-link profiles of competitor sites, you can use tools like:

  • Ahrefs
  • Majestic SEO
  • Moz
  • SEMrush
  • SEO Spyglass
  • Raven Tools

Specifically, you should dig deeper into the number of external backspins, referring domains, referring pages, referring IPs, referring subnets, types of links (dofollow, nofollow, text, image, etc.), back-link history, and so on.

This way you will:

  • Learn more about the industry.
  • Sift out sites that are major link providers.
  • Understand your competitors and their strategies better.

You will also identify why they rank higher than you. Maybe their links are of higher quality. Maybe they craft the best content in the niche, and Google naturally loves it. Maybe it is a combination of factors like user experience, site speed, technical issues, etc. But you will get the answer.

If your links aren’t boosting your organic search rankings, then your competitors may be to blame. Never start revising your entire link building strategy before you run a detailed analysis of competitor sites.

Create an XML Website Google Friendly Sitemap

You’ll want to make sure search engines know what’s going on with your website. That’s where sitemaps come in handy — particularly XML sitemaps.

What is a WordPress XML Sitemap?

Sitemap is a list of pages on a website that is accessible to all users. An XML sitemap is a way for website owners to tell search engines about all the pages that exist on their website. WordPress XML sitemap also tells search engines which links on your website are more important than others and how frequently you update your website. While sitemaps do not boost your search rankings, it allows search engines to better crawl your website.

Why You Need an XML Sitemap

From a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) point of view sitemaps are extremely important. First we would like to clearly state that adding a sitemap does not affect search rankings. However, if there is some page on your site that is not indexed, then sitemap provide you a way to let search engines know about that page, so it can be indexed properly.

Sitemaps are very useful for new websites and blogs. As most new blogs usually don’t get many backlinks to their individual posts, it becomes harder for search engines to discover all of their posts and pages. Sitemaps allow those websites to help search engines crawl their sites more efficiently.

For popular websites, sitemaps allow your website to interact with search engines more effectively. Search engines can guess how often your site is updated, which parts of your website are more frequently updated than others, set crawl rate for your site, etc. This improves the overall visibility of your site to search engines.

An XML Sitemap is not to be confused with the HTML sitemap. The former is for the search engines, while the latter is mostly designed for human users (although it has other uses t00).

XML Sitemap serves two purposes:

  1. This helps search engines find your site’s pages more easily.
  2. Search engines can use the sitemap as a reference when choosing canonical URLs on your site.

Picking a preferred (canonical) URL becomes necessary when search engines see duplicate pages on your site, as we saw above.

So, as they don’t want any duplicates in the search results, search engines use a special algorithm to identify duplicate pages and pick just one URL to represent the group in the search results. Other web pages just get filtered out.

Now, back to sitemaps. One of the criteria search engines may use to pick a canonical URL for the group of web pages is whether this URL is mentioned in the website’s sitemap.

So, what web pages should be included in your sitemap? For purely SEO reasons, it’s recommended to include only the web pages you’d like to show up in search. You should include a more comprehensive account of your site’s URLs within the HTML sitemap.