SEO: Basic Link Structure

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Link Structure
Link Structure

Link Structure is probably the most obvious, but certainly one of the most overlooked aspects of search engine optimization. Link Structure helps to make sure that search engine spiders can actually find (crawl) all of your site’s pages. But if they can not find them, then they won’t get spidered, and this means that they won’t get indexed. In fact, no amount of search engine optimization you try will help.

Below are some points that should be taken note of in respect of link structure for your site:

Spiders can not see links which are accomplished by JavaScript. This is because, as far as search engines will be concerned, they do not exist. So if you want spiders to follow the links on your site, do not use JavaScript. In fact, you will find that Google will not spider any URL if it looks like it has a session ID in it. So any URL’s that have a longish number or odd characters (such as a question mark) in them should be avoided (these are often dynamic URL’s).

It is important that you make sure that all pages link to at least one other page. Pages which do not link out are known as “dangling links”. It is important that you structure the internal links so that targeted search terms are reinforced. So make sure that you organize your links so that your topic’s sub topic pages are linked to it (ensuring that you use the right link text that is specific to the page being linked to) and vice versa.

Link Text (<a href=”url”>some link text</a>

This is one of the 2 most important elements to ensure good rankings for a site. It can either be on pages within the site, or on other sites’ pages. But which ever way you do it, it is important that it is included. It is vital that you include the target page’s main search term in the link text. Also, whenever possible, do not use identical text for every link that links to a page. But if you can include the target page’s main search term in the link text instead.  In fact, links will carry more weight with search engines if the text around them is concerned with the target page’s topic and search term(s).

Title Tag <title>some title words</title>

This is probably second most important element in order to get good rankings for a site. It is important that you make sure the page’s search term is contained within this tag. So place it as near to the front as possible while ensuring that the title reads well. In fact, there is nothing wrong with you placing the search term up front on its own and then follow it with a period such as “Page Rank. Google Page Rank and how do I make the most of it?”

As you can see, the target search term here is of course “Page Rank”. But what you should obviously do is make sure that each page’s title tag is different from the title tags on your site’s other pages.

Description Tag <meta name=”description” content=”a nice description”>

You will find that some search engines, such as Google no longer display the description like they use to. But no matter what, you should include this on each page for those search engines that do. There are even the odd times when Google will actually display them. So it is vital that you write a description that is appealing and incorporates the page’s search term into it at least once but preferably twice is better. So if you can, place one at the start or as near to the start of the description as possible.

Keywords Tag <meta=”keywords” content=”some keywords”>

It is important to remember that the keywords tag is never actually treated by search engines as keywords. They will be treated as text on a page. Although this tag is not effective as it used to be, there is no reason to leave it out. Instead, make sure that you put in plenty of relevant keywords and include the search term once at the front of the tag. Also, you do not need to separate keywords or key phrases with commas (as is often done) as search engines ignore these.

H Tag <Hn>some heading words</Hn>

The “n” in this tag represents a number from 1 to 6. The biggest heading is represented by 1. You will find that H tags are given more weight than ordinary text in a page, and so the bigger the H size, the more weight it will have. So it is important that you include your target search term in the H tags at least once on the page, but if possible two or three times is even better. Also place your first H Tag as near to the top of the site page as possible.

Bold Text

This gives more weight to a page than ordinary text, but not as much as an H Tag does. So where ever possible, enclose the search term in bold tags occasionally where it appears on the page.

Normal Text

Whenever possible, use the search term as often as you can on the pages of your site. But ensure that they do not detract from how the page actually reads. Ensure that you use the term once or twice in the very early pages of the body text, and then as often as possible throughout. If you need to, reword small parts and add sentences to ensure that the search term is well represented in the text for good search engine optimization.

But you will probably find that each word you have in your search term will be found separately on the page. So, if you need to, add a few of them throughout the page.

Alt Text <img src=”url” alt=”some alt text which is displayed or mouseover”>

Include your search term in the alt text of all images on your pages. It is important to remember that some systems, such as those used by Braille readers and speech synthesizers, use the alt text. So it may be advisable to make them usable while including the search term.

So in summary what you need to do is as follows:-

  • Select the main search terms you wish to use.
  • Allocate these search terms to a suitable existing page, and if you need to, split pages.
  • Organize your internal links, and then link text, to suit the target search terms and their pages.
  • If you can, organize those links from other pages to suit the target search terms and their pages also.
  • Now organize all the on page elements in order that they suit each page’s target search term.
  • Finally, now sit back and watch your site’s page rankings begin to improve.

 

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