The PurpleInternet Marketing Series: The Ten Biggest Search Engine Optimisation Mistakes – No.10: No Text Navigation

The final one of the ten biggest search engine optimisation mistakes can effect whether or not search engines find every page on your website, how they interpret the relevance of each page, and how they rate the value of each page.

Navigation is the way your users can find their way around your website. Generally, website have their navigation links to the top or side of each web page – and each web page has the same navigational look and feel.

Unfortunately, many website navigation menus are image-based. This means that search engines often won’t ‘spider’ the linked pages as reliably as they do with text-based menu links.

You can get around this by some degree by adding ‘alt tags’ to your images as previously discussed, but it’s never quite as predictable for effective search engine spidering as plain old text.

What if I Don’t Like the Look of Text Navigational Menus?

It doesn’t matter if you want to keep your existing image or ‘flash’-based navigational menus, though. The secret for appealing to both your users and search engines is to use both navigational methods. But they don’t have to be next to each other. Your text-based menus can be at the bottom of each page – your website users don’t have to use them.

If you have a look at the website,, you will see that all the pages can be accessed by using the drop-down menus on the home page. Those are the navigational links that the users will tend to use. However, the 28 business article genres also all have text links at the bottom of each page. This makes these pages very easy to be found by search engines.

Question: What text should your text based navigational links contain?

Answer: The keyword-phrase for the page that you’re linking to.

For example, on the website, one of the text links at the bottom of each page is linking to using the keyword phrase, ‘Entrepreneur Articles’.

As mentioned above, you don’t have to have your text-based navigational links near the top of the page for your website users. This is probably a good thing because then the people using your website won’t get confused by having to click on lengthy text links in order to find their way around your website.

This is another good example of ensuring that your website is designed with both physical users and search engines in mind. It also demonstrates that both purposes can live together at ease if a reasonable amount of thought is spent on the design process.

Future website design has to evolve. It is crazy that most people who order the design of a website are simply left with a physical product. Buyers need to be a lot more in control of the website design process in the future. Designers have to ensure that this is the case by having the ability to consult on their client’s current and future business strategy instead of just offering an ‘out of the box’ solution. Only then will search engine optimisation after the completion of the website design be a thing of the past.

Contact David Bain at

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