Lesson 11: The structure of your website – SEO for beginners training
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Lesson 11: The structure of your website – SEO for beginners training

A good site structure helps both your
visitors and Google navigate your site. In this video, I’m going to explain to you
why site structure is important for SEO and the basics of how to set up
the structure of your site. Structuring your website is crucial
for both usability and findability. Many sites lack a sound structure to guide
visitors to the product they’re looking for. You need to make sure your visitors get
to where you want them to go. Having a clear site structure also leads to better understanding
of your site by Google, so it’s incredibly important for your SEO. Let’s take a closer look at why structure
is so important for your website. The structure of your website has a significant impact
on its User eXperience (UX). If visitors can find the products and
information they’re looking for, it’s more likely they’ll become customers. In other words, you should help them
navigate your site and a good site structure
will help with this. Let’s look at our own site, for example. Our navigation menu is made up
of no more than five items: Home, Yoast SEO plugin,
SEO courses, SEO blog and support. Everything we have to offer
falls under one of these five categories. This keeps our menu
clear and easy to grasp. Navigating should be easy. You need to categorize
your posts and products so they are easy to find and new visitors instantly understand
what you’re writing about, or selling. That’s why right below
our navigation menu, you can see our most important products,
followed by recent posts on our blog. You should really take your visitors
by the hand and guide them. Secondly, site structure
is also of great importance for SEO. A solid site structure vastly improves
your chances of ranking in search engines. We think there are
three main reasons for this. First of all,
it helps Google ‘understand’ your site. The way you structure your site will give Google vital clues about where
to find the most valuable content. Your site’s structure determines whether a search engine can understand
what your site is about and what you’re selling. It also determines how quickly
a search engine will find and index products. In our case, our product pages,
our most important blogs, and our main support pages
are featured clearly, so Google should be able to understand that our plugins and courses
are important products for us. And the better Google
understands your goal, the more likely it is that it thinks
you can do a good job of helping your potential customers. A good structure should, in conclusion,
lead to a higher ranking in Google. Thirdly, it prevents you
from competing with yourself. On your site, you might have blog posts
that are quite similar. If, for example, you write a lot about SEO, you could have multiple blog posts
about site structure, each covering a different aspect. Consequently, Google won’t be able to tell
which of these pages is the most important, so you’ll be competing with your own
content for a high ranking in Google. You should let Google know which page
you think is most important. Therefore, we have created
an “ultimate guide to site structure”, which we link to
from all our individual posts, making sure that Google knows
that that’s a page we value a lot. Generally, the more you link to an article,
the more important it is. You need a good internal linking
and taxonomy structure to do this, so all those pages can work for you,
instead of against you. And lastly, site structure is important
when dealing with changes on your website. The products you sell in your shop
will likely evolve over time. So could the content you’re writing. You will probably add new product lines
as old stock sells out. Or perhaps you think
the information in old blog posts shouldn’t be on your site any more. You don’t want Google to show
outdated products or deleted blog posts, so you’ll need to deal with these kinds
of changes in the structure of your site. You can use categories and tags in WordPress to make your site clearer to users
and search engines. If you’ve not yet divided the blog posts or
product pages on your site into categories, you should – right away. Make sure you add these categories
to the main menu of your site. Each category should be
about the same size. Adding tags will also help
your site structure. They are similar to categories,
but there is one key difference. Categories are hierarchical; you can have subcategories
and sub-subcategories, while tags have no hierarchy. Let’s look at an example. The “ultimate guide to site structure”
falls under the category of “content SEO”. This is because site structure is an element
of content SEO, just like keyword research, and copywriting. But the article has tags too, for example
“internal linking” and “site structure”. These aren’t categories: site structure does not fall
under “internal linking”. But they are important SEO terms, and someone looking for these terms
will definitely be interested in this article. So we need to be able to connect
that term to this article. That’s why we tag the article with them. Try not to create too many tags. If you add a new unique tag
to every post or article, you’re not structuring anything. Make sure each tag is used at least twice, and that your tags group articles
that genuinely belong together. Another important aspect of site structure
is internal linking. Your link structure has a direct impact
on your site. Your most important articles,
so-called cornerstone articles, should link to related posts, and vice versa. Cornerstone articles should be the articles
you link to from many of your blog posts. But more on these cornerstone articles
in the next video. Because you’re linking from pages that are
closely related to each other content-wise, you’re increasing your site’s chance
of ranking. Linking this way will help search engines
figure out what’s important by showing them
what’s related and what isn’t. So let’s review our key takeaways: 1. Site structure is important
for navigation. 2. Site structure helps Google
make sense of your site. 3. Site structure is important to tell the
search engines which articles are important. 4. Site structure helps you deal
with old content. 5. You should use categories and tags
to structure your site. 6. Internal linking helps search engines understand what pages on your site
are important.


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