For as long as I can remember I had that belief that who cares about how your website structure or your website load speed is. But eventually, I realized that I was wrong these things play a vital role in Search Engine Optimization.
Think about it in another way, you went to the library to find a book about marketing. But the problem with this library is that the librarian hasn’t organized their bookshelves. They have placed books randomly and haven’t given them any orders.
How hard would it be for you to find the book of your desires when there isn’t any genre or category option and you have to check each book to find out whether it’s a marketing book or a romantic fiction. Soul-Sucking at least!
It works the same for the search engine to analyze a website. When a user types a search query and the search engine starts to find the required information on your website, but there is no proper structure of the website to tell the search engine which way to go. And you know what the search engine is going to do next. The search engine would leave your site marking that there is no information on this website for this specific search term.
This can downgrade your search rankings. As a Blog or website owner, you wouldn’t like to lose the traffic you want the traffic. In simple and easy words:
What Is a Website Structure?
Site Structure or Website Structure is properly organizing a website to make it easier for search engine crawlers to read and understand a website and its content.
The site structure has a direct impact on your site rankings, if your site structure is better your rankings will automatically be higher. SITE STRUCTURE = HIGHER RANKINGS
In this article, I will be trying to give my best to you, so that you can learn to give your site the best structure you can.
Why Website Structure Is Important
I’ve seen blogs that have many categories added in their navigation. But when you click on one of them you will see that they are giving you 50-70% same content as their other categories. It means if you search in their blogs “Milk” they will give you the same content, and if you search “Alchohol” the results will be the same.
It’s not a clever idea for getting more clicks, actually, it’s a bad decision that can destroy your reputation. The website structuring isn’t just important for higher rankings it’s also important for user experience.
In my honest opinion, if you want to rank higher and wanna get that reputation, just optimize your website’s user experience. If the user loves a site, then the Search Engines will ultimately love it too. The ultimate goal of optimizing your website structure would be to make it easier for readers to understand your website content without scratching their heads or reading the whole terms to understand what’s on this Webpage.
You can never rank a site without a proper structuring plan. And when I say website structuring, it directly means your categories, your site footer, your site’s navigation menu, and all the individual pages of your site.
On the one side, the website structure is something that’s a lot more important than other ranking factors, but I’m pumped when I look at blogs and website owners who advertise themselves as experts but don’t even understand what a structured website means.
Below I’m going to discuss a few points why a structured site is important and then I would be giving the exact steps to make your own SEO-Friendly website structure.
- A Good Website Structure Always Means A Great User Experience
As I described earlier, a website structure isn’t good enough until it’s a great user experience. The only thing that makes the website structure more SEO-Friendly is the user experience. When optimizing your website structure make sure it’s also optimized for user experience.
- A Good Website Structure Rewards Your Site With Sitelinks
Sitelinks are listings of your most important and optimized pages. And Google will reward your site with Sitelinks on SERPs that will show your main pages. You have probably seen them before.
I love Google’s Sitelinks and you know why. Because you can’t get them by filling a form or adding some links on Google Search Console. You have to make your site worthy of Sitelinks to get them. And the way you do that is by optimizing your website structure.
- A good Website structure means better crawling
Search engine crawlers love sites with optimized structures. Because it helps them too. It makes their work easier and faster to complete. And what you get by helping Google’s Bots? Well, they will index your site and your posts faster and faster.
Now we know what is website structure and why it’s so important to enhance a website’s SEO. Below I’m going to share some Website Structure Optimization steps with you.
Plan A Better Hierarchy For Your Site Structure
This is a step that you have to plan before actually developing your website. But if you have a running blog/website then don’t worry still you can plan your site hierarchy. Your hierarchy is more than just organizing your pages and site theme. Your hierarchy will also become your navigation and your URL structure so it’s an important step to consider for an SEO-Friendly website.
Generally, Hierarchy means an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being “above”, “below”, or “at the same level as” one another. Wikipedia
But a website hierarchy isn’t similar to organizing items or peoples of an organization. Generally, a site hierarchy looks like this:
In other words, your home page or menu bar will direct users to your key page (like your blog page, shop page, resources page, etc.). And then those key pages will make it easier to find something by showing users some sort of categories (e.g. Your blog page shows categories like SEO, On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, and your Shop page will show Books, Courses, Printables, etc.). And then finally (if it’s necessary) adding sub-categories will make it easier to reach the specific page of your website.
When planning your website hierarchy structure, keep these key principles in mind:
- Don’t overcomplicate this process, keep your hierarchy logical
- Keep the number of items in your navigation menu between 2 to 7
- Try to keep a balance in the number of sub-categories
I always recommend keeping your navigations very simple and minimalistic. Unless you are amazon or Walmart, don’t add many categories or items in your navigation menu.
The same minimalistic approach can be seen in their footer area. There are just 6 items in the footer section.
Create a URL Structure
The URL structure is very similar to the hierarchy structure. In fact, it does contain the same structure as your hierarchy. If you have already planned and designed a hierarchy structure for your site, then this step is going to be way easier for you. Let’s assume your site hierarchy looks like this:
So, the URL structure for Nob Hill would look like this:
And the URL structure for Chinatown would be this:
Use Your Navigations Correctly
When creating your navigations make sure that your navigations aren’t much complicated to understand. And also it’s important to add your important pages in your navigations only. Don’t just add any random page. Add key resources, important pages, or cornerstone blog posts. In this way, the site crawlers and also users would interact better with your site and with your content.
Sites which require three (or even fewer) clicks to reach deep pages are more preferable and successful than sites that require clicks over clicks to reach any important page.
Develop An Internal Linking Structure
Internal linking is so important for your SEO-friendly structure, it literally gives life to your site. Moz.com published an informational guide about internal linking which you can read here, Moz Internal linking article. Internal Linking has 3 huge advantages:
- Internal linking allows users to navigate a site easily
- It helps establish an information hierarchy for the website
- It spreads link juice around websites which help in SEO
But the truth is, you don’t have to spend hours planning the internal linking structure. Just keep in mind that every post or every page should have to link to your other pages as well. It’s simple as that!
The site structure isn’t anything artistic or creative, it’s not even technical but it’s humor. When using site structure to improve your site’s SEO, just think, how the users are going to use this site and how can you make it easy for them?
Keep the points that I shared in this article and don’t hesitate to change something in your own way. Just you have to make it simple. If you have any suggestions or questions you can reach out to me. Contact Me