An SEO-friendly site structure is an area that training resources often look over, but it’s actually one integral part of your SEO strategy. A website could be streamlined and efficient, with pages that are well-categorized and highly-organized; or it suddenly blew out of proportion organically despite the intangible and scattered pages.

If your website belongs to the latter, you’re lucky a number of people stumbled upon it. However, if you want the real essence of SEO success, making your site SEO-friendly is the way to go.

Below are the important factors you need to take note of.

1. Keywords

Perhaps the most important step to making a website SEO-friendly is effective keyword integration. Keywords are the ones responsible for ranking your site in search engines and allow people to see your content quicker.

When identifying keywords, put yourself in the shoes of a reader: what terms are you likely to type on Google when looking for a specific product or service? If you already know your keyword, place it strategically in the title, headings, permalink, meta description, in your tags, in the alt text of images, and try to use it organically throughout your article. Do not stuff your keyword though. Know the right density according to the length of your article for it to look as natural as possible.

2. Readable, High-Quality Content

While a click-worthy headline attracts readers first, make sure your content is as attractive as well. Your content has a great impact to your website because search engines index it too, so it will show up in search results.

Keywords should be inserted all throughout your article, but don’t force them in your article. Write what you should discuss first, and insert your keywords later where it’s fitting. You should write something that makes sense and is informative as it is engaging. Make sure there is not duplicate content, too, or you will end up getting penalized, which will negatively affect your ranking.

3. Images

Not a lot of bloggers and online writers think about changing the file name of their images, thinking it doesn’t really affect a site’s SEO-friendliness. The truth is, an optimized description is the reason why your images end up in search engine image searches, which in turn will expose your website to new audiences and direct them to it. Also, it’s also unattractive to have a file name that says ‘image645.jpg’ when the image you’re trying to show is of a girl in the beaches of Miami. A little awkward, don’t you think?

4. Internal Linking

If you find your site getting bigger by the moment, you should consider internal linking. It’s hard for huge websites to be as shallow as possible — which Google loves — as they require more clicks for readers to get to a page they want. With internal linking, an instant connection between two pages within site is automatically established, so that readers won’t have to find one page manually. For a website to be SEO-friendly, you should be looking to make it 3-clicks deep or less. Google will love you even more, and your site visitors will do, too.

5. Social Media

Linking your site to social media platforms is one way of generating more views, drive traffic, and get your content shared to everyone around the world. It is said that social media is not a direct factor of Google’s rank algorithm, but the benefits you can get from social media use are way too valuable to ignore. Find your niche and use hashtags on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also try sharing your work on LinkedIn and Google+, and explore other sites that allow you to share your content. The bigger your audience is, the more SEO-friendly your site becomes.