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Make your site easier to navigate
Posted by Diana Rosca on 11 December 2012 06:12 PM

 

Make your site easier to navigate

 

Navigation is very important for search Engines

 

The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what  content the webmaster thinks is important.

Although Google's search results are provided at a page level, Google also likes to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of the site.

 

Plan out your navigation based on your homepage

 

All sites have a home or "root" page, which is usually the most frequented page on the site and the starting place of navigation for many  visitors. Unless your site has only a handful of pages, you should think about how visitors will go from a general page (your root page) to a page containing more specific content. Do you have enough pages around a specific topic area that it would make sense to create a page describing these related pages (e.g. root page -> related topic listing -> specific topic)? Do you have hundreds of different products that  need to be classified under multiple category and subcategory pages?


 

At Cabanova, you’re provided with a fully customizable navigation inserting a navigation menu into your Cabanova Website module,which is already SEO friendly. Click here to find out more about inserting a navigation menu into your Cabanova Website.

 

Ensure more convenience for users by using ‘breadcrumb lists’

 

A breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors to quickly navigate back to a previous section or the root page (1). Many breadcrumbs have the most general page (usually the root page) as the first, left-most link and list the more specific sections out to the right.

 

You can create your Breadcrumb List on your Cabanova Website by using the Internal Link fuction, which is available at the Cabanova  Sitebuilder level. Click here to find out how to create Internal Links on your Cabanova Website.

 

Prepare two sitemaps: one for users, one for search engines

 

A site map (lower-case) is a simple page on your site that displays the structure of your website, and usually consists of a hierarchical listing of the pages on your site. Visitors may visit this page if they are having problems finding pages on your site. While search engines will also  visit this page, getting good crawl coverage of the pages on your site, it's mainly aimed at human visitors.


An XML Sitemap (upper-case) file, which you can submit through Google's Webmaster Tools, makes it easier for Google to discover the  pages on your site. Using a Sitemap file is also one way (though not guaranteed) to tell Google which version of a URL you'd prefer as the  canonical one (e.g. http://brandonsbaseballcards.com/ or http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/; more on what's a preferred domain).

Google helped create the open source Sitemap Generator Script to help you create a Sitemap file for your site. To learn more about  Sitemaps, the Webmaster Help Center provides a useful guide to Sitemap files.


At Cabanova, the XML Sitemap is handled automatically, while site map for users can be created very easily. Click here for more info.

 

Making your Cabanova Website easier to navigate

 

1.Navigation:


At Cabanova, you’re provided with a fully customizable navigation module, which is already SEO friendly. You can insert it into you Website and customize it freely by following the instructions below:

- Edit your Website, go to the “Template” ribbon [a] and click on “Edit Template”[b]

 

 

- While you’re on the Template page, go to the “Insert” ribbon [a]  and hit “Navigation” [b]

 

 

At this point a navigation menu with the default layout will be inserted into the Template page of your Website and you can customize by following the instructions below.


The navigation module is fully customizable and the Navigation Panel gives you access to a bunch of settings which can be altered at your convenience.


You can access the Navigation Panel by left clicking on the inserted navigation menu [a] and hitting “Settings” [c] at the “Format” [b] ribbon level

 

 

You can fully customize the navigation menu by following the instructions on the navigation tutorial which is available in
our Help & Support Center

 

2.Creating a 'Breadcrumb List':

 

By inserting and customizing a navigation menu into your Website as detailed above, it will behave exactly as a Breadcrumb List, especially because the navigation menu is SEO friendly.

 

Alternatively, you can create your Breadcrumb List using the Internal Link fuction, which is available at the Cabanova Sitebuilder level.


To create Internal Links on your Website, please follow these instructions:

 

- Edit the text box containing the text you’d like to set as a link by left-clicking on it

 

- Using the mouse left-button, select the text which will be set as a link
  (The selected text can be the whole text, a sentence, a word or even just a letter!)

 

 

- Click on the ‘Link’ icon and the ‘Link type’ window will pop up

 


- Select ‘Link to page within this site’ from the ‘Link type’ window  [a]

- Left-click on the Webpage the link will be pointing to in order to select it  [b]

- If the page you’d like to link to is a subpage, click on + next to the main page containing then select it

- Hit ‘OK’ to validate

 

 

3.Sitemaps:

 

A. site map (lower-case):

 

You can create a site map for Users by creating a new page on your Website, inserting text fields into it then configuring each field with a page name as an Internal Link pointing to the corresonding page.


To set text as Internal Link, please refer to the instructions within the previous page.

 

B. Sitemap (Upper-case):

 

This part is handled automatically by our system. an XML dynamic Sitemap gets automatically generated and update for every Website built
with the Cabanova Sitebuilder.


Further on this guide, you'll find a detailed tutorials on to submit the XML Sitemap to Google for indexing using the Google Webmaster Tools.

 

Best Practices

 

Create a naturally flowing hierarchy

Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure.

 

Avoid:

- creating complex webs of navigation links, e.g. linking every page on your site to every other page

- going overboard with slicing and dicing your content (so that it takes twenty clicks)

 

Use mostly text for navigation

Controlling most of the navigation from page to page on your site through text links makes it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site. Many users also prefer this over other approaches, especially on some devices that might not handle Flash or JavaScript.

 

Avoid:

having a navigation based entirely on drop-down menus, images, or animations many, but not all, search engines can discover such links on a site, but if a user can reach all pages on a site via normal text links, this will improve the accessibility of your site; more on how Google deals with non-text files


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