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10 day SEO Guide to Supercharge your Online Business - Navigation

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Written on 12:07 AM by Mrudula

A good navigation is more important that search spiders have plenty of basic links to follow & it also helps visitors navigate through the website efficiently in as few clicks as possible.  Search engine spiders will index the text on your homepage, then attempt to follow links from there to other pages in your site.  These are the basics to getting your site indexed within search engines.

It is important to note that site navigation is not just about allowing spiders to index, but also to improve theme and relevance of other website pages.  Navigation menus and text links help optimize the internal linking structure of your website and allow pages to rank better in search engines, since all the web pages are interconnected and tell the engines what those pages are about within the links.

Lastly, within the site navigation - either on the left navigation or within the content copy of site pages, it is also crucial to use keyword rich anchor text links to bring the page relevance and page reputation to the internal linking structure that search engines use to help in higher rankings and Page Rank.

Key Considerations When Developing Your Site Navigation

    * Search Engines traverse a site by following both internal and external links.  If a page is not accessible by a link from somewhere, it won’t be ‘seen’ by the search engines.
    * Using keyword anchor text links in a left navigation provides page relevance and internal link reputation - in addition, all those keyword links will travel from page to page because they are in the left navigation panel.
    * Using JavaScript menus is one way to confuse search engine spiders. Most spiders aren’t able to execute client side code such as JavaScript. As such, they aren’t able to ‘see’ links imbedded in JavaScript code, like the links in many of the commonly used JavaScript menus that expand when a user rolls over a link.
    * As a general rule, if the links to your other pages aren’t simple HREF tags, then the search engines may not recognize it as a link to follow.
    * Internal linking, and especially link anchor text, is a very important factor in pages showing up and ranking in search engines.  Use targeted keywords within your anchor text to increase relevancy and improve positioning.
    * In many cases, especially in a large site, the only links to certain pages are internal. That’s why it’s very important to make sure all pages have visibility through a hard coded link.  A simple way to accomplish this is through a site map.
    * Links are also how Google determines how to pass Page Rank.  Although Page Rank is not the deciding factor in where a page ranks in the organic results for a particular key phrase, it is an important component of Google’s ranking algorithm.  Typically, the internal pages of a site will have the same Page Rank as the home page, or at least be within two variations.  If this is not occurring, more optimization is needed.

There are several solutions that allow web sites to develop robust internal linking networks while at the same time not overcrowding pages with hard-coded links. The following are just a few examples:

    * Site Map – a page that has a hard coded link to every page in the site. Make sure a link to the site map is hard-coded onto every page, usually in the footer.  On the site map page itself, also use keyword rich anchor text links to help the page relevance and page reputation.
    * Convert navigation menus from JavaScript to CSS layering in combination with JavaScript instead of pure JavaScript to replicate the fold out menu experience for the user.
    * Convert navigation menus from GIF images to CSS layering in tables or JavaScript combination to ensure that anchor text exist within href link coding.
    * JavaScript can be used to hide or show layers on the page. These layers contain hard-coded links. Even though these layers aren’t seen by a visitor until he or she clicks, they are visible to search engine spiders.
    * A robust and properly done site navigation system will include internal cross linking and will facilitate search engine crawling, indexing, and ranking all pages in the site.
    * Navigation can also be in the form of embedded links within the page content.  When using embedded links within content copy, keep in mind to use keyword anchor text for reputation.

- Munnu

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