One of key reasons I attribute the success of my niche websites to is building an effective website structure following the Pyramid Model. In case you are wondering, the “Pyramid Model” is not a phrase commonly used in the web development community, at least not to my knowledge.
I have coined this method a pyramid because a website built with this method looks just like one. Hang with me and you will see why I say this, as well as why this method of building a website structure is so effective.
If you are wondering how a website can look like a pyramid, well….it can’t, not to the naked eye at least. The pyramid I am referring to is the underlying website structure, or what I call the design blueprint or infrastructure.
Just like architects first need to layout a blueprint for a house before building it, successful internet entrepreneurs who make money online from niche websites build out the website structure before putting together the actual website.
Laying out a website structure before embarking on development enables you to do a few key things:
1) It allows conceptualization of the website before it’s even done, therefore allowing you (the entrepreneur) to plan better. Planning can refer to your presentation, soft selling, call to action and implementation of your monetization method mix.
2) It allows you to line up keywords that are closely interrelated and benefit from relevant interlinking within your website. Interlinking passes page rank from one page to another. It is one of the most unknown, underestimated and underutilized on page SEO strategies. It is extremely effective in my experience of building successful niche websites.
3) It keeps your visitors on your site longer. Because of content relativity, your visitors are more likely to click the links within and stay on your website.
4) Most importantly, it allows you to strategically build your website in a way where the content pages that are focused on keywords that are easy to rank for collectively push your homepage up on search engine rankings. Because this is the primary benefit of an effective website structure, this post will mainly focus on what you can do to take advantage of this strategy.
You likely already know that effective keyword research is the most critical component of building a niche website. I won’t be focusing on keyword research in this post. If you are not familiar with this topic and terms such as keyword supply, demand and profitability, I highly recommend you read my post on keyword research before you continue reading this post.
For the purposes of this post, I will assume that you have already decided on a niche and have a set of keywords to work with from your keyword research initiative, including the main keyword of your website’s topic.
The main keyword, which I also refer to as your “website theme keyword” is what your website is all about. For example, in my niche site on Bamboo Plants, the main keyword or phrase is “bamboo plant care”.
Similarly, “paintball” is the main keyword of my niche site Paintball Tips. Why didn’t I provide this example first? Because one-word website theme keywords are typically very hard to rank high for and can take light years.
I don’t mean to discourage you. It is possible and I have done it repeatedly, but I wouldn’t recommend it for someone new to building niche websites. Targeting such keywords is a very ambitious approach, one that requires a lot of training, initiative and perseverance. The rewards can be mind blowing however as you can imagine. Save this project for later. For now, let’s focus on the low hanging fruit, the Bamboo website.
So assuming you have your main site keyword decided on (based on whatever method or strategy you are employing) and some relevant supplemental keywords to build your website around, the next thing you need to do is rank and re order the list of keywords in a structure that resembles a pyramid.
I want you to envision a pyramid and visualize its tip and its base. Imagine the tip as the home page of your website and imagine the base as the rest of the content of your website. We will call the tip Tier 1 or T1.
Notice how the area below the tip and above the base is larger than the tip but smaller than the base? This also represents content on your website, but because it is the middle layer, we will call this Tier 2 or T2 content. The base therefore is Tier 3 or T3 content. It is important to remember this analogy when reordering and organizing your keywords.
Now, think of each of your keywords as either a T1, T2 or a T3 keyword. You will be organizing your keywords in one of the three buckets. Your T1 keyword is your website’s main keyword, the keyword you are trying to rank on Page One for.
T2 keywords are all the relevant keywords to your main keyword that have a relatively healthy search demand (search queries entered in search engines), while T3 keywords are ones that have a relatively low demand compared to your T1 and T2 keywords. Often times, your T1 keyword will have the most search demand, but also the most competition (number of competing websites on the internet) and therefore the toughest to rank for on Page One.
This is what an effective website structure looks like when done. I use an excel spreadsheet, nothing fancy. As you can see, it involves some research, prep work and some brain power, however when you have your website structure ready in blueprint format, you have pretty much defined the structure of your website and are ready to build. Building the website is actually the easy part.
Using this website structure I am able to build the website infrastructure that is needed to get my website on page one of google for its main target or theme keyword.
I want to highlight a few things on this image (the blueprint). Each one of the keywords you see on this spreadsheet represents a single, individual webpage on my website. Notice how the keywords are grouped. They are grouped by relevancy, as well as according to the pyramid concept discussed above.
For example, notice the T3 keyword “how to grow bamboo” with a demand of 2,321 monthly searches. Notice how it is grouped with one other similar T3 keyword, both of which support the T2 keyword “growing bamboo”. There is a good reason for that which I will discuss below.
But before moving on, I want to show you how this looks on the website itself. Fire up the bamboo plant care website and notice the tab on the left hand navigation menu titled “Growing Bamboo”.
This webpage is optimized for the T2 keyword “growing bamboo” from the blueprint spreadsheet, hence it is one level away from the home page, which is optimized for the one and only T1 keyword of your selected niche.
Now go to the Growing Bamboo webpage and scroll to the bottom. Here you will a link linking this T2 page back to the T1 page or the home page. Notice how selected keywords are used as anchor texts in the link? I will discuss how to specifically interlink webpages further below.
Just as T2 pages are linked to the T1 page, all T3 pages should be linked to their relevant T2 pages. For example, go to the T3 webpage How to Grow Bamboo and scroll to the bottom.
Here you will notice two links, one linking back to the T2 webpage from which this T3 webpage stems, and another linking back to the T1 page or home page of the website. I will also discuss why we do this below.
There is a very specific rationale that explains why this methodology works. From studying keyword research, we know that a keyword demand represents the number of searches for that keyword and the supply represents the number of competing web pages on the Internet which are optimized for that keyword.
By targeting T3 keywords which are relatively lower in demand but much lower in supply, we are essentially going after those keywords which are the easiest to rank for in your selected niche. The entire premise of selecting low supply keywords as T3 web pages is to get the web pages indexed quickly on search engines. Not only that, but by properly optimizing these low supply web pages, you are pretty much guaranteeing your chances on ranking on Page One of search engines for these keywords.
What this does in turn is helps push the T2 pages that the T3 is linked to higher up on search engines. Because the T2 pages are targeted for keywords that have a healthier competition, the momentum of the underlying T3 pages linked to it will propel it higher in search engine listings.
You can imagine what this does to the home page. When you have several high demand and supply T2 web pages ranking for their respective key terms, they collectively push your main website keyword to the top of search engine listings.
The best metaphor I can describe this with is an ocean waive propelling a surfer higher as the waive generates momentum from underneath. This process works like clock-work. If executed correctly, the methodology is very powerful, one that results in heavy organic search engine traffic and as a result healthy profits for your niche website.
This post would not be complete if proper interlinking is not discussed. Interlinking is simply linking one webpage to another within your website. And although you can do this a variety of ways, the most effective way in my experience, and one that many successful webmasters recommend is as follows:
Ensure all T3 pages are linked to their relevant T2 pages, as well as the home page of your website. Also ensure that all T2 pages are linked to your home page. Finally, ensure that all T2 pages link to their respective T3 pages, and that your homepage links to at least all (or as many as possible) T2 pages of your website. When possible, link to as many T3 pages from your home page as well without making it look like one huge link farm.
You can navigate through my Bamboo site and observe how I have done this. You can also refer to the images above to see how I have concluded each page with some links on the bottom pointing to the respective home, T2 and T3 pages using the relevant anchor text.
This structure does a couple things. First, it ensures that page rank juice is flowing from one page to another in sequence up and down the pyramid chain. Your webpages will gain popularity and page rank over time as they are indexed in search engines, liked on Facebook, tweeted and re tweeted on Twitter, Dugg, Stumbleuponed, mentioned in blogs, forums and discussion boards, or one of several other ways.
Other resources essentially link back to them. And as webpages gain quality back links, their page rank increases. Because you never know which web page gets picked up or linked back to by a popular outside resource, linking all your pages internally ensures that the page rank effect will pass from the webpage linked to by the outside resource to the rest of your website. Remember the waive metaphor? That is exactly what is happening here.
Second, by tying all pages together and rolling them all up to the homepage, you will be ensuring that every single page of your website is “crawlable” by search engine robots or spiders. This ensures each of your webpages is indexed in search listings, giving you the maximum exposure to visitor traffic. Executing effective interlinking is a key strategy in making your website successful. Do not rush this step of the process.
There are a few other points to keep in mind as you execute this strategy. You will notice in the spreadsheet image above that the main website keyword is also listed as a T2 keyword (you can see this on row 20). The reason for this is that a website’s home page is always titled “index.html” and can be optimized for any keyword.
Proper on page SEO starts with the webpage URL (file name), and since the home page does not require a keyword rich URL, you can use thePrevious: Optimize Your Vehicle Deduction if You Own a Business & Get Money Back from Uncle Sam