Ever since the recent Google Panda updates were released, on-site SEO has become even more important when it comes to staying on top of the SEO game. Small mistakes that could be overlooked by simply doing a bit of off-site optimization have now become critical reasons for rank drops.
The real problem that a number of websites have is in their structure. Their url format, their site navigation and, arguably most importantly, their internal linking structure all leave something to be desired. Today, you'll learn the best practices for site structure and hopefully be on your way to making your website's SEO better.
Many websites have URLs that are subpar. They don't tell search engines anything about the content listed on there, nor do they have a set of keywords in the URL. It doesn't matter if you have a plain HTML website, a CMS or a blog that runs WordPress. Your pages should each have their purpose in their URL.
There are two important things to note. One is that you should replace spaces with dashes, not underscores. The latter can cause issues with search engines pushing words together for the wrong keywords. The second is that you can go back and fix your URL structures regardless of how established your website is. Just make sure to put a 301 redirect for any page you change in your .htaccess file.
An added bonus of a shallow structure is that it increases your website's user friendliness, which can decrease your website's bounce rate and increase your SEO rankings. Sothink DHTML Menu is one tool that can be used to organize menus and create a shallow structure.
This is one often neglected element that is absolutely vital to on-site SEO success in a world where semantic searches will become more commonplace than they already are. Internal links used keyword-rich places within your text content to link to other relevant pages in your website. This allows search engines to quickly and easily figure out what your other pages are about. They can also be used to decrease page depth and make it easier for users to find related content.
The reason that internal links are so important is because of the increasing value search engines are putting on them. Some SEO experts have gone so far to say that semantic web searches could one day completely eliminate the need for off-site optimization, though this isn't quite the case just yet.