If you are trying to improve your search engine ranking and results, and optimize your site, one of the first things you should look at is the wording of links within your site. This not only applies to your website’s navigation menu, but also any links you have on your site that link to other pages or information. More importantly if you can control how other websites link to you this is essential part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), make sure you get these incoming links (or backlinks) to use keywords and not just your business name.
Don’t Click Here!
The use of “click here” as the actual link to another page or info on your site will not produce good search engine results and you are wasting an opportuinty to add to your site’s SEO performance if you use this for internal (or external links) on your site.
Search engines treat a link’s text like a keyword, therefore you should make the actual text that is used as the link more descriptive. For example, if you have a page on your site with information about Gucci sunglasses, and you are creating a link to it from another page on your site, ideally the text in the link to the Gucci sunglasses page should be descriptive “keyword” type text.
So you could use something like: Gucci sunglasses – the newest range of Gucci sunglasses
This will mean a lot more to a search engine, and produce better results if people use these keywords in a search.
Your website navigation menu
The same applies to your navigation menu. If you can use descriptive wording on your site’s navigation menu, without getting too long, then you are vastly improving your site SEO. If we use our Gucci sunglasses sample again, on the site’s main navigation menu you might use the wording: Gucci sunglasses
This will again mean more to a search engine and the results to a person searching on sites like Google.
Say no to images
This brings us to another important topic when considering your site’s navigation menu. If you use images to create the navigation menu on your site, you will hurt your sites chances of gaining good search engine rankings. The text in an image based navigation button can not be read by a search engine when it crawls your site, and therefore can’t index the links based on the link text. Search engines are smart but they arent smart enough to read the text embedded inside an image (yet!)
The use of text based menu links is a much better way to gain good SEO for your site, and also means your site is more standards compliant as screen readers can read the links which helps vision impared visitors to your website.