I recently spoke to a friend about some of his internal site structure errors and figured it would be worth it to share some of the better tips I gave him with readers here.
Canonical URL Issues:
Flat Site Structure:
In an ideal case your internal site structure would not be the same for every page on your site, especially if you have different sections to your site.
- Create section related navigation that promotes other offers inside that section of your site, without heavily crossing over to other sections.
- Actively guide users from within the content area of your site. These links will drive conversions and help funnel PageRank through your site.
- Highlight featured content.
Many content management systems highlight recent content without placing much emphasis on your featured content. If you have important content make sure it is easy to access. Also use your site statistics to place more link weight on your most popular or most profitable content.
Content Duplication / Limited PageRank / Google's Supplemental Results
There are a near endless number of ways a site can waste link authority:
- printer friendly pages
- individual post pages in forums
- archive vs active content forum threads
- endless cross referencing heavy internal tagging and user generated tags
- other cross referencing content sections that create thousands of thin content pages
If you have thin content portions of a site or duplicate pages get rid of them or use robots.txt to prevent them from getting indexed.
If you have more pages than link equity you need to build links, but another thing you can do short term is publish more content per page and structure your internal links to place more link weight on your most important pages.
Two more things worth considering here are to limit template related duplication, and temporarily publish fewer pages until you build your link authority and clean up the supplemental index issues.
Sitewide Outbound Links:
If you minimize your number of sitewide outbound links that will keep more of your link equity flowing internally. For many sites it does make sense to link out to resources sitewide or sell links. If you are selling links try to price at a higher price point and sell fewer links. That will improve your internal to external link ratio, hold your PageRank up higher, and allow you to continue to charge higher rates.
Internal to External Link Ratio:
Make sure you have many internal links on each page. If you do not have many perhaps you can duplicate your header navigation in your site footer.
Isolate Noisy Pieces of Your Site:
One last consideration is to isolate the noisy pieces of your site. Use subdomains to divide your content by content types. For example, if you have a great blog and add a forum to it you are probably best off placing the forum on a subdomain.
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