The Indiana Jones approach to SEO navigation

Posted on April 8, 2011

 

Deep in the jungle, a lone figure wends its wary way through long-forgotten paths. Ancient map in hand, the adventurer hacks and cuts their way to a forbidden temple deep within the jungle, seeking the treasure therein. Will they succeed? Or will they forever wander, doomed, tangled in the foliage?

This may sound like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie (and admittedly, it is), but it’s not that far off describing what happens in SEO. Adventures in a tangled forest aren’t exactly what you’d expect of people working in SEO, but sorting out twisted paths is precisely what a search engine optimisation consultant has to do when dealing with site navigation.

Site navigation is a surprisingly difficult thing to deal with. Business owners tend to create straightforward paths based around their own needs, not those of their site users. This leads to site users having to hack their way through several pages to get what they want.

When planning out your navigation, don’t think just in terms of straight paths. Think of the winding paths your site users may take, and make them as uncomplicated as possible. You can achieve this through offering multiple navigation options on each page, such as headers and sidebars, and also anticipating multiple pathways by highlighting important keywords with anchors within the text.

Indiana Jones is an exciting fantasy. When it comes to your site though, you should aim to provide your users with an experience more like strolling down a the high street of Chester.

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