Last month’s post included a list of posts that focus on SEO basics; these posts were to introduce people to search engine optimisation through the best resources that I know. I hope everyone reading these posts enjoyed the collection and were able to learn from them. This week we’re going to go a step further and start looking at various things that you need to take into account with your website right now.

Site Structure refers to the pages that exist on your website. For example, a tennis coach might have the following pages on his/her website:

  • Home Page
  • About Me Page
  • Services Page
  • Contact Page

This is a very simple site structure, and they naturally change depending on what sort of website is in question. An eCommerce website would be the opposite to this with potentially hundreds if not thousands of pages, but for this example I wanted to use something simple. Every page on a website consists of a title and a meta description. The title and meta description are what appear in the search results in Google. Below is an example, the blue text refers to the title and the black text is the meta description:

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 5.42.43 PM

There are two very important rules when it comes to titles and meta descriptions:

  1. They should be unique across the various pages, and
  2. They should be descriptive and accurate.

When I start auditing or working on a new website I open up a spreadsheet and write down the names of all the pages in rows and then alongside them I note down the current titles and meta descriptions (if they are available). I then look at all the pages and decide whether the titles and meta descriptions are unique as well as ensure that they are accurate and descriptive of the page they’re representing. I think create a 4th and 5th column and write down the new titles and new meta descriptions. Once I’ve done that I review it all again, once again making sure that they’re descriptive and accurate. In some instances you may need to change the writing on the pages in question to better suite what you are aiming for.

Another two less important things to take into account are:

  1. Try and keep your titles less than 55 characters long, and
  2. Try and keep your descriptions less than 160 characters long.

If you follow the 4 steps above, you’re putting your website into a very good position in the eyes of Google. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve updated titles, meta descriptions and the text on various pages of a website and seem a big increase in traffic. It’s important that these 3 elements all work well together and it’s even more important to ensure that you’re writing titles and meta descriptions for human beings and not search engines. The search engines are incredibly clever, they’ll figure things out, but when someone searches for “tennis academy” in Google you want to make sure that your title catches their eye, then the meta description gives them a brief overview and when they finally click, that they arrive on a page that follows on from the title and meta description – all leading a person down an accurate sales funnel.

Title -> Description -> Website Page

This is SEO 101, but it’s so incredibly important. If you have a website and you believe that it could do better, please do try this method. Block out 30 minutes, open a spreadsheet, write down the pages, work on the titles, meta descriptions and content.. you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

For the more advanced users who are familiar with the basics, you’ll know how important keyword research is and I appreciate it completely, but this is simply an introduction and perhaps next time I can work on something a little more advanced to assist with traffic predictions and competition levels.

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Get your site structure right!
Article Name
Get your site structure right!
Site Structure refers to the pages that exist on your website.