Did you know that the structure of your website plays a critical role in search engine optimization (SEO)? And it’s possible that the current structure of your website is holding you back from ranking in Google.
When I say structure, I’m not talking about the code and meta tags on your webpages. Yes, that’s important, but before you even consider optimizing a webpage for Google, you must first make sure you’re focusing on the right webpage.
Trying to optimize the wrong webpage for a given keyword is like my 15 month old daughter repeatedly jamming the pig puzzle piece into the goat cutout. No matter how hard she tries, and despite attempting all possible angles, she’s never going to get that pig to fit. The same is true when trying to optimize the wrong webpage.
And for some of the keywords you want to rank for, the right webpage may not already exist on your website. That means ranking in Google can often require you to restructure your website so you have the necessary pages.
Do You Have the Right Webpages for SEO?
To answer this question, you need to first find the relevant keywords for your product or service (aka keyword research). I recommend using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool to find all the relevant searches and then save them in a spreadsheet like Excel or Google Spreadsheets.
Note that everyone has access to keyword research tools, so your competitors are going to be able to compile a very similar list. Your competitive advantage is not in finding more keywords than your competitors, it’s in how you handle the next critical step: selecting the right webpage to optimize for each keyword.
For every keyword, or group of similar keyword phrases, you must create or edit the right webpage that perfectly matches the keyword. By matching the keyword, I mean your webpage’s content must be exactly what the searcher is looking for. Why? Because that’s exactly what Google wants to display in their search results!
Google Wants the Best Webpages for a Given Keyword
Let’s take a look at SEO from Google’s perspective. Whenever someone types in a keyword and clicks Search, then Google scours the Internet to find the best (most relevant and most authoritative) webpages. Their goal is to satisfy the searcher and show her the best available webpages.
So if you’re trying to rank for the keyword, “baby puzzles” then it goes without saying that you need to have a page that is truly the best webpage for someone searching for baby puzzles. If you don’t have a page that deserves to be #1, then you either have to create it, or accept that you’re not going to rank for that keyword. It’s as simple as that.
Let’s say you have a page that displays all of your puzzles, including a few that are for babies. Do you think that’s the best page for someone searching specifically for “baby puzzles”? No, a page dedicated to puzzles for babies is far superior, and that’s what Google is going to rank high in the search results.
What’s the big takeaway?
Create focused “SEO Landing Pages” for each topic or product or service that you’d like to rank for in Google.
That way, when someone is searching for one of these topics, products or services, your focused webpage will provide exactly what they’re looking for.
And as a result, Google will be much more likely to display your focused page in the search results instead of a more general page that only mentions the topic, product or service.