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How Your Web Site’s Navigation Helps with SEO

Your Web Site’s Main Navigation Links

A web site’s navigation needs to be set-up in a way that is easy for the search engines to read, follow, and determine subject matter.  Embedding navigation links in images make it virtually impossible for search engines to read.  Javascript navigation structures, especially those that call external javascript files, aren’t easily read by search engines either.  Flash-based menus also are difficult for the search engines to read and they may not find their way through the menus.

It’s best to use plain old HTML for your navigation menus.  If your site’s menus do use javascript or Flash, make sure to add a list of text links to the bottom of each page like this one from ProBlogger’s web site.

Navigation Menu Example

Links Within the Content and Web Page

Links within your site provide navigational structure to a web site.  They also let search engines know what the web pages are all about.  For this reason, the words in text links are thought to be given a lot of weight by search engines.

When using text links within the content of a web page, don’t use “To learn more about choosing the right running shoe for you, click here“.  Instead, have it read: “Click here to view more info on choosing the right running shoes  for you.”  Doing so optimizes the keywords “running shoes” and gives the search engines valuable information about the context of the web page.

Make sure the keywords in the text links (“the right running shoes for you” in this example)  match up with the keywords on the page they are linking to.  So, the url, title tag, description tag, main heading, and content on the linked page should also include the keywords: “running shoes”.

Also, add numerous text links to a web page that include your keywords to help optimize it fully for the search engines.  This can be done in many creative ways.  It can be a list of related products in a box titled “You May Also Like”.  It could be in a list or text block in the footer or sidebar of the web page.

Related posts:

How Web Page Content is Seen by the Search Engines
How to Create a Google Places Account
5 Steps to Beat Your Competition at SEO

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