In this article, you’ll learn about the importance of sentence structure for search engine optimisation and the different ways you can optimise it.
Many SEO enthusiasts encourage using distinct content and eye-catching images to help their search engine ranking efforts. Still, several forget another vital aspect – the sentence and overall text structure.
The sentence structure is fundamental to both readers and search engines as it enables them to understand the message your content is trying to pass.
Undermining the importance of structuring your sentences in your blog or web page will harm your search ranking more than doing it any good.
For example, clearly-structured content will rank higher than poorly-structured content on Google.
So, let’s get right to it.
Importance of Sentence structure for SEO
Both humans and search engines scan content to determine whether it is worth it, and this is where SEO comes in.
There are different reasons why sentence structure is essential for SEO; some are highlighted below.
· Search Engine Ranking
As mentioned before, search engines like Google scan content to deduce where it will rank, using sentence and text structure factors for these rankings. Some examples of these factors include:
- Semantic Closeness – this term refers to the proximity of similar words on a page while accounting for the structure. Google uses this to understand the search intent of the users. Identical words in proximity in your blog post will help your content rank as it uses query content, search intent, and word relationships to offer the most accurate search results. Plus, your content structure must be clear for you to be able to understand this factor.
- Headings Structure – Google scans for keywords in headings to see if they are related to the page topic. This is why it is crucial to use useful headings and significant keywords to help the search rankings of your page.
- Use of Synonyms– Google has become better at recognising synonyms. Using them will make your content more readable and enable search engines to identify your site as one of the most relevant ones that answer users’ queries, thereby boosting your search rankings.
- Clearly-written Content – Clearly structured content keeps readers engaged, thereby reducing your bounce rates. Plus, good quality content increases your engagement on social media platforms, adding to your search engine rankings.
Apart from these factors, you must also develop a good content structure to enable search engines like Google to scan and analyse your content effectively.
- Readability and User Experience
People tend to scan content or web pages before deciding whether or not it is worth it to continue reading.
The content structure is one of the significant determinants of whether they remain on your page or not. You must ensure that your page or content structure is simple, as poor quality content structure leads users back to Google.
With a good sentence structure, your content will be easier to understand, and the user experience will be much better.
This is actually what Google wants us to pay attention to and in their podcast Search Off The Record, Lizzy Sassman, Tech Writer at Google, explains what reading level is. This is essentially writing for 8th-grade students in a way that is clear even with technical terms and jargon included.
- User Intent
Linked to the clarification of text and sentences we also find user intent, which is the primary goal users have when searching for something on the web. Often, SEOs are lacking the right tools for understanding what searchers want. They use gut feeling and experience based on what they saw working before.
But how do you nail search engines when you don’t know the topic and the industry?
Currently, the only way for categorizing search intent is via transactional, commercial, informational and navigational intents.
At InLinks we have recently developed a revolutionary tool that extracts the verbs behind the search. You can learn more about it in this guide.
- Audience Trust
A good and precise content structure is vital for building trust with your audience, as your users will be more eager to read what you write than an interesting blog with poor structure.
Improving your content structure will also help establish you as an authority in your field.
How to set up your Sentence Structure
Before we talk about how you can optimise your sentence and content structure, let’s discuss the different ways you can set it up.
Highlighted below are the three major steps you can use:
- List Creation
After doing keyword research and collecting all the information needed for your content, you need to begin structuring. You can make a complete list of all the topics your content will address.
Plus, they should be related to the main keyword to enable Google and Bing to understand the post or page.
- Topic Grouping
After you have listed all the topics, you need to group them. Also known as topic clustering, this process will enable you to create headings and subheadings later on.
- Topic ordering
Grouping the topics will enable you to decide how you want to present them.
You can order the topics thematically, didactically, or chronologically. You can start creating your headings, subheading, and content summary once the topics are in order.
Tips on Optimising Your Sentence Structure
Once you have set up the content structure, you can look for different ways to optimise it.
Highlighted below are major elements you need to pay attention to if you want to improve your text structure.
Paragraphs enable readers to understand the meaning of a post by finding the connection between the topics presented. They make content easier to read for both readers and search engines. Paragraphs should also be made visible by using whitespace. Therefore, your first paragraph must inform readers about the post, as it is the first thing readers scan after the title.
If your first paragraph doesn’t pick readers’ interest, they will go back to Google and search for a better site. The can cause users’ frustration and increase pogo-sticking, i.e. the practice by which users jump back and forth on search results looking for the best information available.
There is a big debate whether pogo-sticking is actually a ranking factor, but this is a topic we can discuss in another article.
Additionally, ensure the first paragraph contains the focus keyword(s) and answers the title directly, increasing user experience and search engine ranking.
Use of Headings
Headings are an essential part of content structuring as they help in the organisation and readability of text for both users and search engines. Your headings must include keywords to inform readers and search engines about its content. This way, search engine ranking can increase.
Headings should also be descriptive and clearly state the paragraph content below it. HTML heading tags like H1, H2, and H3 are important.
Plus, your headings must follow a logical structure with subheadings discussing precise details.
The core sentence is the first sentence of every paragraph, which is very important to the content structure because it is one of the few sentences readers scan through.
Your core sentence should contain critical information, including keywords, and talk about what the paragraph is addressing.
Besides, users will not stick around to read the rest of the content if your core sentence is poorly written.
Use of Transition Words
Transition words are just as important to sentence structure as synonyms as they give your readers direction.
These words, also known as signal words, let your readers know whether you are enumerating, explaining, comparing, emphasising, or concluding your sentence.
They also show readers the connections between different sentences and paragraphs. Some examples of transition words include because, same, hence, maybe, in addition, etc.
Before you write your blog post or web page content, you should set up a clear structure, as this will help you increase your readability, user experience, and search engine ranking.
You also need to ensure that both readers and search engines understand the message you are trying to pass across, with the best sense of clarity and without complicating sentences too much. And the best way you can do this is by optimising your content structure.