Whether you’re a SEO pro or beginner in training, executing some advanced on-site optimization techniques is a fairly straightforward process. The main idea is to be somewhat creative in how you use keywords throughout the content of your website. The trick to being effective is developing a cohesive structure of pages that are both keyword optimized and creatively organized with respect to your keyword targets.
The actual keyword optimization process involves how we use certain phrases in specific areas of the page, like the page title, meta description, headers, strong tags, body copy, etc. In this article, I am taking a step back to acknowledge the actual blueprints of the site, or the organization of optimized pages, that contribute to greater SEO performance.
Organizing Optimized Pages
The way in which you plan and structure the organization of your pages is a key aspect of SEO and on-site optimization. In a general sense, you want to focus the optimization of each page on only one precise keyword target and perhaps a couple variations. However, you can take the page-planning process a bit deeper by strategically creating an optimized architecture of keyword relevant pages.
Creative organization of your optimized pages can have a momentous effect on your SEO efforts. By this I mean structuring the pages of your site so they build upon your site’s contextual relevancy (or ‘keyword relevancy’.) Here’s an example:
Let’s say we’re optimizing a hair loss site for a new keyword category around ‘hair loss treatment.’ We will most likely create a new page that is optimized for that particular keyword; however, we can take the optimization one step further by building out a number of supportive pages.
Depending on the nature of our website, we may want to roll out additional pages that focus on hair loss treatments for men, for women, natural treatments, and so on. The idea is to establish optimal keyword relevancy by building out a new tier of pages that target more long-tail keyword variations.
Linking Optimized Pages
In addition to the way in which we organize our pages, we must also consider the manner in which we link our optimized pages. Proper linking of such pages can have a momentous SEO impact and sometimes lead to greater exposure in the search engine results.
The important thing to keep in mind is to ensure that linked pages are relevant to one another. For instance, if we optimize a page for ‘hair loss treatments’ we may include a link on in the content that points to other deeper pages, such as ‘natural treatments for hair loss’ and ‘hair loss treatments for men.” This is all good so long as the link makes sense in the content of the page (often in a paragraph that is somewhat related to the link.)
There are two forms of links in which you will want to consider when linking related optimized webpages on your site. They are:
contextual links: links that are built in the copy of a page, such as in a paragraph of text
crumb trail links: the links that represent the various page levels, often seen above the first header of a page (typically on all pages of the site)
The crumb trail links are pretty straightforward, and will often be integrated site-wide. Implementing crumb trail links is a great SEO move, for it ensures all relevant pages are linked together based on the user path or overall page depth of the site.
Contextual links must be built with users in mind. Before building a link in a paragraph of text, ask yourself if the link would make sense from a usability standpoint. This underscores the importance of contextual relevancy while building internal links. If the paragraph or block of content is about a certain topic, make sure that any links in that content are somewhat relevant to the text.
When you look at well-optimized websites, they are often very deep and rich with valuable content on numerous pages. Each page is often decently keyword optimized for a specific search term, and each page is often organized into a certain keyword category.
One of the best analogies for on-site optimization is building a textbook. The title or focus of the story is supported by numerous chapters, and each chapter is supported by numerous sections. The textbooks that are chosen for students are those that are well organized and offer a wealth information. Keep this in mind when organizing and optimizing the pages of your website.