Abstract: A look at the home page navigation tab and link source ordering website design issues targeted towards small businesses, organizations and sole traders.
Intended Audience: Small Business Owners/webmasters and anyone new to the world of web design and search engine optimization (SEO) particularly those working with small businesses, organizations and sole traders.
Home Page Navigation Tab
During the construction of some recent websites our clients have asked us why we don’t call the first navigation tab on their website the “home” page. We thought it would be worth providing an explanation for this:
When indexing a website Google looks at a website’s navigation links to figure out what a particular page is about i.e. establish a theme for that web page. On most websites the first link on the index page (aka home page) is usually a link (tab) called “home”. As the 1st link is also considered (by Google etc.) to be the most important link on your website you are actually informing Google that this page is about “home”. Unless you are selling houses this is unlikely to be the case!
The best alternative is to name your home page after your primary keyword or key-phrase as shown below:
Original Navigation Links
Home | Products | Services | About Us | Contact Us
Revised Navigation Links
Interior Design | Products | Services | About Us | Contact Us
If it’s not possible to use a keyword or key-phrase then consider using your company name but avoid using the word “home”.
Link Source Ordering
As outlined above care should be given to the allocation of the first link on your website’s home page. You should also be vigilant to ensure that no links appear above navigation structure or those links will take precedent when search engines like Google index your website. Sometimes links are added to a logo header which sits above the navigation structure on a website page layout and these types of links will cause problems with your search engine ranking and should be avoided.
As well as deciding on a suitable name for the first link in your website’s navigation structure you need to order the links in your navigation structure in order of importance. If using horizontal navigation then the priority should be top to bottom while vertical navigation should be ordered left to right in order of importance.
When we use the term importance we mean which web pages you want to rank highest in terms search engine results pages. Pages such as Terms and Conditions are important but they don’t need to found using search engines so they can appear at the bottom of a navigation structure.