4 A site structure for higher rankings
Blogs are spidered so easily due to their structure of categories, tags etc.: all articles are well linked, and usually the markup is nice and clean. However, all this comes at a price: your ranking strength is diluted. They’re diluted by one simple thing: comments. So let’s dive deeper on How your Site’s Structure affects the ranking of your site. We will explain also what everyone needs to correct in order to have higher rankings in search engines’ results.
4.1 Pages instead of posts
You’ve probably noticed by now, or you’re seeing now, that this WordPress SEO post is actually… not a post. It’s a page. Why? Well for several reasons. First of all, this article needed to be a “daughter”-page of our WordPress page, to be in the correct place on this blog. Secondly, to rank for the term [WordPress SEO], this article has to have the right keyword density. And that’s where things go wrong. Comments destroy your carefully constructed keyword density.
That’s why we decided to make our most important articles into pages. That way, you can easily update them and do a new post about what you’ve changed.
4.2 New wine in an old bottle
If a post on your blog becomes incredibly popular and starts to rank for a nice keyword, like this one did for WordPress SEO, you could do the following:
- create a new page with up to date and improved content
- change the slug of the old post to
- publish the new page under the old post’s URL, or redirect the old post’s URL to the new URL
- send an e-mail to everyone who linked to your old post that you’ve updated and improved on your old post
- wait for the links to come in, again;
- rank even higher for your desired term as you’ve now got:
- more control over the keyword density
- even more links pointing at the article
- the ability to keep updating the article as you see fit to improve on it’s content and ranking
Some among you will say: I could have 301 redirected the old post to the new one with the same effect. True. Except: you’d lose the comments on the old post, which is in our opinion a sign of disrespect to people who took the time to comment, and 301 redirects take quite a bit of time sometimes. Of course you should treat this technique with care, and not abuse it to rank other products, but we think it can be done in everyone’s benefit. For instance this article: if you came here through a social media site like Facebook, expecting an article about WordPress SEO, that’s exactly what you got!
4.3 Linking to related posts
One way of getting search engines to get to your older content a bit easier, thus increasing your WordPress SEO capabilites a LOT, is by using a related posts plugin. These plugins search through your posts database to find posts with the same subject, and add links to these posts.
There are quite a few related posts plugins but we tend to stick with custom code in our theme. A good alternative is a plugin which lets you manually pick related posts, like this one. This might cost a bit more time before you hit publish but might very well be worth your while.
There are also a lot of plugins that will automatically link certain keywords to certain posts. We do not like this at all as we find it to look very spammy.
4.4 Go easy on the tags
One of the most common issues we encounter on sites in our website reviews is the overuse of tags. Note that a tag in and of itself does not improve your SEO. The only way it improves your SEO is by relating one piece of content to another, and more specifically a group of posts to each other.
If your goal is really to achieve higher rankings, please take some time to read this very useful article on How to Create a Site Structure That Will Enhance SEO.