How to Improve Organic Rankings and Traffic on Your Website
Our websites have a simple purpose. We want people to visit them, engage with the content, and return because your website has built trust with the user. They know where to go for their needs and turn to you to fulfill them. This is the ultimate relationship we want to build with our users and clients. But what happens when your website isn’t producing these results? What if the traffic to your site remains low despite your best optimization efforts? Perhaps engagement is down, and you are not achieving the conversion rates you need to successfully grow your client base and business. What can you do to fix the underlying issues while you improve organic rankings and traffic?
There are many options to optimize your website, but when you are looking to implement fundamental changes to achieve lasting results, the most efficient option is restructuring your website entirely. Here are a few things to consider throughout your efforts.
What Site Flaws Lead to Poor Rankings and Traffic?
Before restructuring, it’s essential to understand what isn’t working on your site. We need to understand what leads to poor rankings and traffic in the first place and how to fix them. It can look like:
- Confusing site structure that doesn’t allow users to navigate or search for content quickly. This is especially important for site crawlers as well.
- Lack of parent categories.
- You have old content on your site that is no longer relevant and may be confusing to your users.
- You lack good organic content.
- Your site isn’t optimized for mobile users.
- Your navigation menu has too many unnecessary pages without a purpose.
- You aren’t utilizing breadcrumbs (quick navigation menus).
- You haven’t optimized your site for voice-based searches.
Your Site’s Structure is Disorganized and Not Optimized for Users or SEO
A website’s layout is crucial, especially for both SEO and user purposes. For users, a well-thought-out site that is easy to navigate keeps them engaged and makes for longer site-browsing sessions.
Search engines like Google use bots to crawl your website to see how user-friendly it is and inspect it for other important SEO details. How do we improve organic rankings and traffic? By getting search engines to rank us higher. To accomplish this, your site needs to be optimized to meet search engine standards so their bots can crawl through the site correctly. This is why having a great site structure is important. Site crawlers need a simple site that is like a map, guiding all to the information in a logical way.
If the current structure you are employing isn’t leading Google to rank you as high as you would like, it may be time to restructure your website. How do you do this? It is all about prioritization. You need to ensure the key pages and content have good organization and a clear roadmap to get there.
Your current structure may be confusing for both site crawlers and users alike, which in turn affects your traffic. Google considers whether your website is user-friendly or not. The easier it is to use, the higher you turn up in search data.
You Aren’t Utilizing Parent Categories
Perhaps when you first built your website, you had limited content. But your company has continued to grow and so has the information available on your website. By default, all content is assigned to the Home Page. So, if you don’t assign content to a parent category, you can end up with hundreds or thousands of pages allocated to the Home Page.
This will destroy your chances of ranking high with Google. Without assigned parent categories, Google crawlers won’t have a way of figuring out which information is the most important. Visitors to your site will also have difficulty finding the correct information. All of this leads to fewer chances of gaining any traffic through search engines. Every page and post should have an assigned parent for the most optimized website structure.
You Haven’t Cleared Away Old Irrelevant Information
When did you launch your website? If your organization is several years old and you haven’t restructured your site, it is likely suffering. Simply deleting old content that is no longer relevant to your organization can increase traffic and rankings all on its own.
For one thing, when you remove old files, you boost your page speed. Increasing speed improves organic performance and often leads to increased conversions. This is extremely important for eCommerce websites that are selling products.
Google’s bots may accidentally scan older products, which are sometimes ones that are no longer relevant to your brand. This will affect your rankings if you haven’t deleted older products that you no longer sell or need.
You Don’t Have Good Organic Content to Attract Users
SEO is vital to everyone trying to compete on the internet, but nothing is more important than having good content. Content that is well-written with proper keywords, articles, and utilizes the right internal linking strategies weighs the most in a website’s success.
When you begin to think of how you can restructure a website to employ technical SEO, you should first examine the content you are providing. Compelling and well-researched information is the best way to draw in new users and to get them to return later. The content itself is also weighed heavily in Google’s rankings algorithm. There is always a balance between optimizing your site for users and optimizing it for SEO purposes. By having good quality content, you are creating the best user experience. A good user experience leads to lower bounce rates, which ultimately leads to higher rankings.
Your Site Isn’t Optimized for Mobile Users
On a global scale, most of us view websites on our phones. This is more common in populations where they need to choose between the cost of a smartphone or a computer. A smartphone gives users the ability to access anything on the web just as they would on a computer screen. People worldwide spend more time playing on their phones than they do anything else, no matter where they are from or how much money they make. The smartphone is the new computer.
Google has taken this into account when they rank a website, and as of 2020, they have a mobile-first model. If you haven’t optimized your website for mobile users, this could be affecting your traffic and rankings.
Restructuring your website can allow you to make your website mobile-friendly, opening you up to new users. By redesigning pop-ups for mobile devices and compressing your images to improve loading time on smartphones, your website will become more user-friendly.
Your Navigation Menu Needs Optimizing
Your navigation menu is one of the first things users see on your Home Page. It’s important for both user experience and site crawlers. If the items in your navigation menu aren’t necessary pieces of the user journey, it may be time to get rid of them.
The items on your menu should drive traffic and engage visitors, and if they aren’t, it is a big problem. Main menu items are also one of the first things search engines look at when ranking your website. Removing unnecessary pages from the navigation bar can increase conversions and engagement all on its own. The more essential pages present on your website, the greater the chance Google bots will recognize them and enable you to rank higher in the future.
You Haven’t Included Breadcrumbs in Your Website
Search engines use hierarchy to rank the importance of each page. This makes having a solid hierarchy present extremely important. When you have an order in place, it is easier to implement breadcrumbs. These are separate navigation menus on pages outside of the homepage that helps a user move throughout your site.
By adding breadcrumbs during a site restructure, you benefit yourself in two ways. The breadcrumbs give site crawlers easy access to explore your site, which improves your SEO. Secondly, breadcrumbs allow users to find the information they are looking for easily. This leads to increased satisfaction. When users spend more time on your site and leave satisfied, this helps both your rankings and your traffic in the future.
You Didn’t Consider Voice-Based Searches
As technology evolves, so should our websites. We need to adapt to the newer technology that is involved when it comes to search engine rankings. The latest technological development that affects rankings is voice-based searches. Around the world, voice-based command platforms like Alexa have taken over. More than half of online searches are voice-based in today’s market. And if you aren’t addressing these changes, you need to.
You can restructure to address this issue by adding things like a FAQ section. This will optimize your site to rank higher in voice-based searches.
Restructuring your website does more than improve organic rankings and traffic. When you restructure, you can improve user experience across the entire website. A great user experience means better rankings, more satisfied customers, and improved projections in every category. If you haven’t considered restructuring your site to optimize your SEO, now is an excellent time to start.
Creating a user-friendly successful website that can improve organic rankings and traffic while catering to customers can be challenging. Whether you’re a startup or a seasoned marketing veteran, there is a lot to learn and a lot to understand when building your business online.
Thankfully, our team of marketing experts at Joseph Studios is here to help. We offer all of your digital marketing needs on a subscription-based membership, including content and social media marketing, SEO, and email marketing.
If you’re interested in growing your business or learning more about our services, contact our team today, and let’s chat.