Whether you’ve created a new eCommerce site or simply a company website, all of your hard work will be for nothing if potential customers can’t find you via search engine. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a big part in the success of your site. But in order to optimize your site for search engines, you first need to understand spiders.
We’re not talking eight-legged arachnids here. Spiders are the programs that search engines like Google use to archive the internet. These automated robots move between links in order to take information from a site’s code and store it in their databases. The best way to make sure your site is optimized for search is to ensure that these spiders can access all of the content on your site and it can be indexed appropriately.
This article by AJ Hearn at Entrepreneur covers five tips for making your site easy to access for spiders, thus upping your site’s SEO. Below are two of those tips, but be sure to check out the full article for the rest of this helpful information.
Deep vs. Shallow Navigation
As we mentioned before, spiders index your site by moving between links in order to see all of the content on your site. It’s important to keep that movement as simple as possible to ensure that all of that content is seen.
As Hearn says in his article, “If your navigation structure is deep, meaning certain pages can be accessed only after a long string of sequential clicks, you run the risk that the spiders won’t penetrate deeply enough into your site to index all of your pages appropriately.”
To avoid this, make sure that every single page on your site is accessible by both spiders and human visitors in just two to three clicks. You may need to make some changes to your navigation structure and introduce subcategories, but the increased SEO of your site will be worth it.
So, let’s say that you have reorganized your site’s navigation in order to provide better access for spiders and site visitors, or you have even moved your entire site to a new hosting account or URL. You will need to set up 301 redirects to make sure that users and search engines alike can access the correct page.
If these 301 redirects are set up incorrectly, however, it can lead to indexing errors. If links no longer lead to valid pages, your site will lose all of the benefits of your acquired backlinks and bring your hard-earned SEO down. Be sure to implement any necessary 301 redirects correctly to ensure that your site’s content is still accessible by search engine spiders.
By avoiding the above mistakes, you have a great start towards creating a search-friendly site. You can find the rest of the tips for optimizing your site for search in the article from Entrepreneur.