Is your site-type configured for optimal performance? If not, then how would you know? Before spending thousands of dollars each month on SEO to play catchup with savvy competitors, you should map out what the objectives of your website are from the start instead of biting off more than you can chew and not gaining significant progress.
Depending on the purpose and the amount of visibility your website needs, determines the depth of the infrastructure and amount of execution required for SEO to facilitate growth and website authority.
What is the Purpose of Your Website?
- Lead Generation
- Building an Online Presence
- A Central Hub to Conduct Split Testing on Offers
- A Social Media Interface to Build a Connection with Your Audience
Whatever it is, it has special needs in order to flourish. Choosing the most effective type of optimization to complement the type of website it is becomes critical for creating or evaluating short-term or long-term SEO performance.
If you are using the wrong optimization method on a robust website, like a strategy that is better suited on a mini site, then you may be cannibalizing your own sites performance from misdiagnosing its strengths and weaknesses.
Each type of site needs more nurturing or support to cross the tipping point. For example a larger site should employ breadcrumb navigation to strengthen internal linking and keyword co-occurrence, while a smaller site would be better served with footer links targeting the main keyword objective for the entire domain.
The Keywords Determine the Method:
Each keyword has an algorithmic fulcrum that weights its relevance against other webpages / entrants targeting the same search engine results; and the more demand it has, the denser the index is with information on the topic.
To surpass the semantic chatter and clutter already occupying the index, you will need to create content (either individually or in tandem) to exceed the keywords tipping point to facilitate those pages collectively rising to the top of search engine algorithms. This is more science than art if you understand what predicates relevance in search engines.
Search engines function under the “just tell me what it is” and I will see “if your page has it” and then ask around to “see what other websites say” as well; if it checks out, you’re golden and can crack the top 10 results.
So, by using logical naming conventions, enough content to overcome semantic inertia as well as enough deep links from other sites, you can sculpt the on page and off page attributes to be more conducive to the structures that inherently are rewarded by search algorithms.
Depending on (a) how many pages your website has (b) how well the internal linking implemented (c) the amount of deep links to individual pages and (d) the anchor text in those links affect how a page is positioned organically in the (non-sponsored) search engine result pages.
If you want to experiment with an entire topic and target multiple keywords, then a long tail content development strategy and silo’d site architecture would work well.
However, to optimize a narrower more competitive array of laser-like keywords would require a smaller site (such as 30-70 pages) using flat site architecture (using files in the root folder) and pushing more link flow and external link concentration to each page.
To avoid counter productive inertia or the lapse of relevance through entropy, give each page a function or redirect to consolidate rankings. This tactic applies more to a large content driven website who might be experiencing a plateau-like effect unable to get past the 30’s or 40’s for the keywords they want.
Keep in mind that the larger a site becomes, the more unique each page must be. Search engines have a natural or rather “programmed” tendency to ignore pages that are very similar and / or lack distinction.
This means that you could cannibalize your websites rankings from spreading the topics too thin and not supporting each page with enough internal or external links.
As a result, the site experiences turbulent or sporadic rankings as opposed to a laser-focused mini site which in a shorter period of time does not have to weed out relevance and can start the ascent up the search engine result pages for its desired keywords.
Pruning a Site Page by Page
When a site grows beyond the point where the pages are an asset and become a liability, sometimes you have to prune the prickly parts to give more vitality to more important pages in the hierarchy.
You can do this through managing which pages are indexed (such as using index, nofollow, index, follow or noindex, follow) then you are through the process of selection picking and choosing which pages will fly your marquis to the web.
The next step would be to use the legacy ranking factor of those pages by re-purposing them by implementing a 301 redirects. When you 301 redirect a page within your website to another page; the target page takes on the algorithmic characteristics and / or “the memory” of the page being redirected.
This means that you can consolidate pages that were originally optimized for dozens prominent keywords to a well groomed category page or site within your site.
Remedying Performance Cannibalization
It’s not to difficult to cannibalize performance by overshooting the target or targeting too many keywords without the necessary follow-through required.
Keep in mind that on page SEO accounts for over 60% of the ranking factor, so, don’t assume that links alone or random content will conquer competitive keyword verticals without relevance and collective coherence.
You’ll need to initially map out what the objectives of your website are and create corresponding categories to provide thematic support to your site will need to flourish.
Site Resources for SEO Implementation:
- SEO for Large Websites Part I, II and III
- How to Develop Domain Authority
- SEO Rankings and How to Create Them
- How to Optimize your Website for Multiple Keywords
In closing, the links above are to posts that provide insight to the application of optimization such as how to cultivate domain authority, structure internal links or build a mammoth website to occupy thousands of keywords simultaneously.