A well planned site structure improves your chances of ranking well in Google’s search results. A good structure of your website will also help your visitors to find the information they need faster and easier.
An important role in the structure of your website is occupied by the navigation menu.
Website navigation is important both for search engines but also for your visitors. Through the website menu, you are showcasing the location of the most important pages of your website.
A good navigation improves user experience and also lowers the bounce rate.
Just as you can optimize other aspects of the site for search engines, so you can also optimize your website’s navigation menu. By doing so, you are not helping only users, but in the same time, you are helping search engines to easily find these pages.
In this post, I will give you few tips that should help you to build a SEO friendly menu for your website.
Building A SEO friendly Menu
Links from a website menu are usually internal links. Internal links are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain.
For SEO purpose, each time you create a new page that you want to be indexed by search engines, make sure that at least one page from your website is linking to that page.
Your primary menu should list out only your main pages. Including any other menu items apart from your most important pages can become distracting and confusing for visitors. Do not overload your main menu with unnecessary links!
So, keep your main menu short, and therefore simple to understand. Also, make sure to create a logical menu link structure using dropdown menus when appropriate ( example: group subcategories links under the parent category ).
Do not use very long anchor text for menu links! This will only mislead users and will make your website look unprofessional. Keep them to 1-2 words.
Do not display a “Home” tab in your main menu if the logo is linked back to your homepage. Placing a “home” link in your main menu will only waste space and will draw visitor’s attention away from your content.
The main menu of the website should be at the top of the page, or in a position easily visible. Also, do not use hidden menus that display on mouse click or other effects that can make the menu hard to find.
Display menu links in a correct order based on the importance of each page for visitors. You can use a secondary (footer menu) to display less important pages as FAQ, About, Contact, Policy, etc.
Don’t use HTML < button > tag to create menu tabs! Instead, use unordered list tags and style those with CSS.
These are just few tips that will allow you to build a SEO friendly and at the same time, a user friendly navigation menu for your website.
In the next post I will talk about URL canonicalization.