How an Organized Site Boosts SEO by Kirsten Thompson of Sweet Tea, LLC
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the secret sauce that, when used effectively, helps your site get found organically in search results. There are many steps you can take to improve your site’s overall SEO, but the organization of your site is not typically something many people associate with SEO.
HOW AN ORGANIZED SITE BOOSTS SEO
First, let me explain what I mean by an organized site. We’re talking about creating an intentional and well-thought-out path for both readers and search bots to follow using categories, tags, backlinks, and cornerstone content.
When you have an organized site structure, two main things happen:
- Readers have a better user experience because it’s easy to find whatever they need.
- Search bots can crawl your site a lot easier and find more of your content.
If you have an organized site structure, you are essentially giving readers paths to follow from one article or page on your site to another related piece of content. The more pages they click through in one visit, they lower your bounce rate becomes.
As your overall bounce rate goes down, your overall ranking in search potentially goes up.
Search bots and search algorithms use various factors to determine which pieces of content come up when someone types in a search term. If you have excellent content on your site related to that search term, but you have a really high bounce rate and very few links going into that piece of content, you most likely won’t show up on the first few pages of Google.
3 COMPONENTS OF AN ORGANIZED SITE
#1 – Categories
There are two distinct problems that I see in the blogging community in regards to categories. Either (a) bloggers use way too many categories or (b) they aren’t intentional about the categories they use.
At a glance, your categories should tell new readers what your blog is all about. The names of the categories should also tell search bots what your site is about. This helps Google, or other search engines, index your site properly, making it easier for people to find you online!
On average, you should have between 3 – 5 main categories, and the number of posts within each category should be balanced. (Basically try to avoid having an abundance of content in one or two categories, and only a few posts in others.)
#2 – Tags
There is a common misconception that tags are meant to describe your content. All too often, bloggers throw 30 or more adjectives in the tag box when creating a new post, and call it good.
Tags are NOT meant to describe your content. Tags are meant to link content together.
(Mind blown? Yea. Take a minute…)
Every time you create a new tag, it creates a new link, which is a path for search bots. If that link dead ends at one post, they stop crawling your site and miss other important content. If you have several related pieces of content related to sunflowers, for example, “sunflowers” could be the tag that connects them together, even if they are in different categories.
I feel like a lot of people just went, “AAAAHHHHH! I get it now!” You’re welcome.
#3 – Backlinks
Backlinks are links that take you to other pieces of content from within a blog post or on a page. Essentially, each piece of content should link to another related piece of content. Those links are called backlinks.
Each main category on your site should ultimately have one post or page (a written piece of content) that serves as an overall guide or resource for that category. You can check out mine for my Content Strategy category HERE.
Every other post I write about content strategy should link back to that page. That tells search bots it’s a super important page & I should rank high for “content strategy”.
Make sure these links are FOLLOW links, meaning both readers and search bots can follow them. (You’ll only use no-follow links if money is involved, like in a sponsored post when linking to the brand’s website, or using an affiliate link.)
And make sure you use anchor text with keywords in those backlinks. Anchor text is a fancy term for the text that’s linked to something. Just make sure the keyword for the content you’re linking TO is in the anchor text.
Now put it all together.
Outlining your categories, using tags properly to link content together, and including backlinks in your content all works together to lower your bounce rate, increase the time readers spend on your site and improves your overall SEO.
You can check out Kirsten’s YouTube channel here too!:
Post Written By: Kirsten Thompson of Sweet Tea LLC