Website Structural Optimization is another necessity in the field of SEO. Making sure that your website, sitemap, and overall format are optimized to their fullest will positively affect your search engine rankings. Off-site optimization alone usually isn’t enough to make the most significant impact on your rankings. Hence, why Structural Optimization is so important.
Most of our layout and physical format issues will be discussed in Code Optimization. First and foremost, if you’re using a content management system like WordPress, then it’s highly recommended that you enable permalinks (sometimes referred to as clean URLs in similar systems). These will turn your complex, number-based URLs into clean, easy to read, SEO friendly word-based URLs. For example, if one of your page URLs was yoursite.com/page-151, your permalink may look like yoursite.com/article-or-page-title-here instead. In addition, permalinks can be customized in almost any structure that you’d like, giving you the power to structure your site in a way that best suits you.
Another primary component to structural optimization is the site’s sitemap. These usually consist of an XML file that neatly lists all of the pages within the website in a tree like format. This makes it easy for search engines to find what they’re looking for, or to detect what they should be looking for. Sitemaps can also contain suggestions for level of importance, how often a page should be crawled, and other factors that can be tweaked just right to get the most out of the search engines. Do a Google search for an XML sitemap generator, you will find plenty to suit your needs.
Using Website Auditor
Website Auditor shows the user exactly how their site is laid out, on a page by page basis. It gives a very detailed view of the structure of our internal linking system in a neat tree type format. This allows the user to see their site structure exactly as the search engines see it, and allows for any corrections.
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Website Auditor will show you information relating to:
- Pages using Frames
- URL Length (Under 115 characters?)
- Page Size (Under 150 kB?)
- robots.txt restrictions
- Permalink Structure
When using Website Auditor, pay attention to these items within the reporting section. Fix any and all items that Website Auditor flags as a problem, then rerun your audit to be sure all problems are fixed. Even the smallest of errors can result in a penalty from Google.