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Thread: Lesson 7: Optimizing Your Navigation Menu for Better Rankings

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    IM GreenHorn
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    Arrow Lesson 7: Optimizing Your Navigation Menu for Better Rankings

    Hi this is SEOKiller

    Thanks again for joining me for another SEO lesson. This week I'll give you very specific ways to optimize your navigation menu on your site. This is one of the most overlooked and under used places to do SEO.

    We touched on one aspect of this last lesson when I showed you how I optimize navigation menu buttons that are made of graphics using the ALT tag.

    What's so important here is to make sure that your navigation menu links or buttons use your primary keyword phrases for the pages they link to. But there's also a few more things you can do to really get some more optimization juice out of your navigation menu.

    Let me show you a quick example...

    Say that you are linking to the page on your model boat site about wooden model boats. And you've chosen as your primary keyword phrase for this page "wooden model boats". All you need to do then when linking to the page is use "Wooden Model Boats".

    Here's how the HTML of your link to this page would look:

    <A href="my-page-about-boats.html">Wooden Model Boats</A>

    Here's another example using a full navigation menu...

    Your main navigation links in this example are as follows:


    • All About Cookie Home
    • Baking Cookies
    • Baking Bread
    • Baking Accessories
    • Contact Us
    • About Us


    Note that Baking Cookies, Baking Bread, and Baking Accessories all will link to main sections of your site. Within those sections you'll probably create more pages with more detailed information about these topics. This means they will link to a page which then has links to the sub pages. So for example Baking Cookies will link to a page that has links to your Baking Cookies articles which might include Baking Sugar Cookies, Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies, Holiday Cookies.


    Note: It's best to place all of your pages on a similar topic into their own directory (or virtual directory), and name that directory with your primary keyword phrase for that section.

    So here's how your main navigation links might look:

    <A href="/index.html">All About Cookies Home</A>
    <A href="/baking-cookies/index.html">Baking Cookies</A>
    <A href="/baking-bread/index.html">Baking Bread</A>
    <A href="/baking-accessories/index.html">Baking Accessories</A>
    <A href="/contact-us.html" rel="nofollow">Contact Us</A>
    <A href="/about-us.html" rel="nofollow">>About Us</A>


    A Few Important Things to Notice


    Notice how baking cookies, baking bread, and baking accessories, are all in their own directory? Within these directories you'll also store all of your other pages for that topic. So for example in the baking-cookies directory you might also have a page called "bakingsugarcookies.html" and on that page you'll have your sugar cookies content--just make sure each page is well optimized using all the techniques you're learning in these SEO lessons!

    Did you also notice how some links have a "rel=nofollow" in them? Good. Here's why...

    You should use a no-follow attribute on the main navigation links which link to pages that aren't relevant to your site's overall theme. In this case Contact Us and About Us. Technically speaking this will redistribute page rank to other more important pages of the site and reduce the number of irrelevant links on the internal pages of your site.

    If you don't know what I mean by that don't worry. Just use the no-follow on those pages that don't really contain important content, but are more or less helper pages. Privacy Policy, and Terms and Services would also be good examples of these kinds of pages.

    Dividing your content using sub directories and using your keywords as the clickable copy in your navigation links (or using alt tags if you're navigation menu is made of images) is key to clarifying to the search engines what your content is all about. It's simple to do, but powerful.

    I hope you've learned a lot about on-page search engine optimization. Next week we'll begin to take a look at building links to your site. And before our lessons are over you'll also learn the best and easiest ways to track your search engine rankings and progress over time.

    See you next week with "Lesson 8: Is there Such a Thing as a Perfect Link to Your Site?"


    Last edited by seokiller; 09-12-2012 at 09:40 PM.

  2. #2
    IM GreenHorn
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    Thanks a ton for this informative post. I am glad.

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