You know that bar across the top of your blog? It’s actually kind of important! What you include, how you organize it and what you call each menu page can drastically affect the user-ability of your blog. How effortlessly your readers can navigate your blog is the most important factor, but did you know that it can also play a role in SEO?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and it’s a topic will get to later on in the challenge, but for now think of it as “how Google perceives and ranks your blog”. Good SEO would mean when someone Googles something and your post appears on the first page of search links. Bad SEO would mean you end up buried on page 24.
Your menu can actually play a role in your SEO, in that if there’s too many pages in your menu (this includes sub-headings too!) it will require Google to index extra pages, slowing down your load time. Slow load time will affect your SEO. It’s not the most important factor, but it definitely plays a role.
This means that if there’s 10 things in your menu and each has 5 sub-headings and then some of those are broken down into more sub-headings, you may be adversely affecting your SEO.
But instead of dwelling on the negative affects, let’s focus on the positive. Here are some things you can do to improve your menu:
1) Limit the number of pages you include – you don’t need every single topic you blog about in your menu. Stick to your main blog themes or what you’re best known for. I blog about food so of course you will find recipes in my menu. I also blog a lot about travel and lifestyle so those are there too. While I touch on fitness and DIYs, it’s not frequent enough to justify a menu item.
2) Include an “About Page” – people want to know who you are so make it easy for them to learn more! Include an about page as one of the first menu items.
3) Offer your services– if you have a service to offer (consulting, brand ambassadorship, photography etc…), don’t make potential clients search for your list of services. Some bloggers choose to hide their press, partnership or “work with me” page in an obscure corner of their blog, but making a client’s experience on your blog user-friendly is as important as it is for your readers. If you don’t want it to stand out too much then place it at the end of your menu
4) Keep it all on one line! If your menu is over one line then you’re including too much. This may work for major publications but for a blog, keep it simple.
5) Minimize your sub-headings – Like I mentioned above, too many sub-headings (think recipe –> dinner –> gluten-free) can negatively affect your SEO. It’s totally fine to have some sub-headings, but too many will lag your load time.
New Bloggers – decide on your menu topics and create them! You don’t to have them all filled out right away but it’s important to strategize on how you want the layout of your blog to look. Share your final look over on the TBP Community!
Experienced Bloggers – assess your menu and decide where you might want to make some changes. Maybe you have too many, or not enough? Maybe you need to shuffle the wording or the sub-headings. There’s always room for improvement. Let us know what changes you made over on the TBP Community!