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Navigation For Seo


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Hootie

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:20 PM

Hello,

 

I'm building a new real estate website and need some pointers on navigation placement.  This will be a large website that serves several counties in my area, so there will be a lot of pages to try to rank.  The code and structure of the site is built in such a way that it has the capability to rank well with proper content and SEO, so my question is this.

 

The navigation on this website comes with a 7 tab top menu and a full right column navigation menu that will carry from page to page.  My initial thought was to link all the pages I want to rank from the top drop down menu for visibility purposes, but on the other hand, it seems if I do this that the search engines will have to run through all those pages linked to the top nav before getting to the contents of any given page, thus watering down the keywords and content for each page I'm trying to rank.

 

For this reason, it seems a better SEO plan to keep the top nav pretty light on page links and instead run the other pages I want to rank down the right column nav, which would then be read by the search engines "after" reading the page content for any given page I'm trying to rank.  Can anyone tell me if this is a good SEO plan or not?  My concern in putting all the pages I'd like to rank in the right column nav is that it will make those pages more difficult to rank because they are now the very last thing on every page that the search engines will read.  If I put them in the top drop down nav, they would be the first thing the search engines read.

 

Thank you :)

 

 



#2 chrishirst

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:45 PM

 

Can anyone tell me if this is a good SEO plan or not? 

It ain't a plan at all  full stop! (period for the merry cans)

 

That kind of drivel wasn't even true when people thought it was a fact.

 

Search engines simply don't "read" 'pages' from left to right, top to bottom.



#3 Hootie

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 06:52 PM

The reply wasn't helpful.  I do not have the same knowledge that many of you do, which is why I visited your forum.  The code for the right nav bar falls at the bottom of the page of HTML code when viewing source code, so to me that would mean it would be read last by the search engines.  If this is an incorrect assumption, then it would help to know why as well as an opinion of whether it would be better SEO to link the most important pages through the top drop down menu or the right column.

 

Thank you.



#4 chrishirst

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:10 AM

The simple answer is.

 

 

 

It doesn't work .... never has ... never will do and is absolutely nothing at all to do with SEO.

 

 

 

whether it would be better SEO to link the most important pages through the top drop down menu or the right column.

Neither.

 

 

 

Start reading HERE to learn what SEO really is.


Edited by chrishirst, 02 August 2014 - 08:12 AM.


#5 Jill

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:25 AM

 My concern in putting all the pages I'd like to rank in the right column nav is that it will make those pages more difficult to rank because they are now the very last thing on every page that the search engines will read.  If I put them in the top drop down nav, they would be the first thing the search engines read.

 

 

That's completely incorrect. Not sure where in the world you could have ever come up with that one.

 

Don't worry about it. 



#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 05:45 PM

The more navigational links you put on a page the more difficult it becomes for the search engine to understand what your site is supposed to be doing.

Use a brief, tiered, hierarchical structure for large Websites. Break your site into sections so that each section has its own second-level navigational structure.

If necessary, create third-tier secondary navigational structures for deeper sections of the Website.

Every page on a Website potentially acts as a landing page, meaning it can receive visitors just like the home page (root URL) of the site. You want your visitors to be able to reach the most relevant content possible for their need with as few clicks as possible. That means if they land on a page that is buried five folders deep and it's not quite the page they need, the page they need is more likely to be buried five pages deep than at the root level of the Website.

This is more true of a site that uses a topic-oriented hierarchical navigational structure. A site that uses a date-ordered primary navigational structure needs one or more secondary navigational systems that sort the content by topic.

On large sites people are more likely to turn to HTML Sitemaps and/or site search tools to find what they are looking for if they land on a page that is completely foreign to their needs.

#7 Hootie

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 02:49 PM

Michael,

 

Thank you.  You nailed my concern, which is I have about five counties, thirteen cities and well over 50 subdivisions I would like to market and having them all accessible from the home page, which would contain content about only about one of those cities, could water down the search engines understanding of my home page and therefore I assume, potentially cause it not to rank so well.

 

The heirachy menu structure is a good suggestion, but I don't know if this will work with the nature of real estate.  And the reason being, is that you cannot assume that folks initially Googling search terms for one county, may not end up in another and look at three separate counties before they actually buy.  This happens a lot in my area and especially when the buyer is from out of town and has not done their research yet to know where they want to live and has a broad home search criteria.

 

So, in the case of a heirachy menu structure, I am concerned that these kind of buyers would not be able to find what they are looking for within my website if they land on a particular county page they have searched for, but that page does not also have links to the other two counties and/or their cities and subdivisions that they may also want to consider.  I saw a local real estate website laid out like this and found it confusing.  I was only able to locate her internal pages by either her site map or by just happening to find some of them in the rankings and I would lose customers this way.

 

What my initial post suggested is to have a city, county and subdivision tab in the top menu nav and each drop down tab would then contain all of the cities, counties and subdivisions I want to market as mentioned above.  But by putting them in the top nav, I am assuming the search engines would have to run through all of those seventy some pages before they got to the content on the home page that I was trying to rank, thus watering it down, as you said.  So my question was, would it be better for ranking the home page to put all these nav links in the right column nav, so the search engines can read the home page content first?

 

If I did it that way, the folks that come to my website would be able to clearly see from page to page what areas I service, because the top and right column navigation set up for this particular website carries from page to page  I should ad that although I'm sure you've guessed this is not a website I'm building from scratch, it is not really a WYSIWYG website either.  I will be purchasing the shell of this website from a company whose Realtor sites actually rank quite well and then add my content and SEO to it.  I did this with my current website and it ranks really well and I get most of my business from it, but things have changed much since I built it several years ago so I'm on an SEO learning curve again :)



#8 Michael Martinez

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:15 AM

Search engine optimization can only support the business decision.  It cannot BE the business decision.  But let me try to summarize your options.

 

If you make the business decision to put all that stuff in your navigation, you are DEoptimizing your site.  You may still get the traffic you want; not every site has to be perfectly symmetrical in SEO terms.

 

If you make the business decision to improve your site's search-visibility, you can focus on bringing more relevant prospects to the appropriate landing pages.  You may get more interested traffic that way but no one can honestly guarantee you anything.

 

On any site with more than a dozen pages it's extremely important to include a reliable site search tool because people quickly move away from onsite navigation to onsite search.

 

My advice is to not think of your Website as being all about the root URL.  Your home page is only as important as you force it to be; which means you're sacrificing tons of opportunity traffic if you do that.


Edited by Michael Martinez, 05 August 2014 - 10:16 AM.





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