More and more recently, we are seeing SEO clients who are utilizing non-SEO friendly menu systems for the primary navigation on their websites.  While the menu may perform great functions and/or be easy to create through Dreamweaver or some other website editing program, the effects of the menu on their organic search engine traffic could be devastating.  The worst part, is that the business/site owner has no idea that they are limiting their SEO capabilities by using the menu.

So how do you know if your menu is not search engine friendly?

Here are a couple quick checks you can do to make sure your internal link juice is flowing:

  • Does your menu utilize JavaScript and/or reside in an external file that is not indexed by search engines?  Examples of this might be a “menu.js” file within your site template where the menu should appear.  Others may just have the entire menu within a <script> tag on the page. If you have this on your site, change it ASAP to a more friendly format.  You could see almost immediate improvements in your search engine rankings as a result (assuming your site is positioned to rank well already).
  • Is your navigation comprised of a dropdown form, which requires the user to select the place on the site they want to go? Most dropdown forms are not SEO-friendly and would stop your link juice from flowing.
  • Does your menu contain standard HTML coding for links?
    By this, we just mean does it use standard syntax, e.g. <a href=”yourlinkhere”>text here</a>.If your links use any other formats, then you may need to reconsider how your menu is structured.

The problems you will see from poor site navigation, from an SEO perspective are many.  Your site won’t pass link juice for the keywords in your menu to the respective destination URLs, which means you could be leaking and/or mis-using your link juice.  Remember, link juice is something you should already have, especially when considering internal links.  How you use it is vital to maximizing your SEO rankings and overall results.

If you need help evaluating your menu system or navigation for SEO compatibility, submit a comment or contact us by phone for assistance.