Table of Contents
- Importance of good site structure
- Determining factors for SEO site architecture
- Tips to improve website architecture SEO
The success of your online blog or business relies heavily on its ability to be discovered by the intended consumers. SEO is crucial for a high SERP rating on search engines.
But a high-quality website architecture SEO helps your business achieve its goals, whether it is about increasing brand awareness, generating leads, driving sales, or improving customer service.
A site that performs well in search engines is also likely to attract more traffic and generate more leads for your business. If you want your website to be successful, it needs to be visible on the internet and easily crawlable by search engines.
SEO site architecture is critical for ranking on Google and other search engines, as it helps crawlers understand the content of each page!
This article will outline the main factors affecting SEO site architecture. We will also discuss the best practices to help you optimize your site for maximum visibility in search results.
Importance of Good Site Structure
Site architecture refers to how a website is structured and how its pages are linked. It is an essential part of the structure of a website and one of the most significant factors that influence the SEO and SERP rating of a website. A proper site architecture enables search engines to crawl and understand the content on your website.
A well-organized, easy-to-navigate site will help your users move through the pages without difficulty, which results in a better user experience. And you know that the user experience is one of the most critical factors in SEO.
If website visitors cannot find what they are looking for on your site, they will leave. And this can result in a high bounce rate that can hurt your site’s search engine ranking.
There are four main types of website structure:
- Flat website structure
- Hierarchical website structure
- Linear website structure
- Database-driven website structure
1. Flat website structure
This is the simplest form of website architecture. The entire website consists of a single HTML page that contains all the content for the site. It is also known as a single-page website structure and does not have any internal linking.
It is simple to create, easy to maintain, and extremely fast to load. However, it is not too search engine friendly because a search engine crawler cannot follow any links on your site.
2. Hierarchical website structure
This is the most common type of website structure and includes two or more levels of categories within your site, organized hierarchically. Lower levels contain more specific information, while higher levels contain broader information.
The hierarchy starts with the home page at level 1, followed by category pages at level 2, then subcategory pages at level 3, and likewise. Each level can have multiple pages.
3. Linear or sequential website structure
You move through content in a particular order. One page is linked to another in a sequence, and each page contains a link retracing the sequence. You can create additional links, if required, between the opening page to allow users to jump in and out of it. Nonetheless, the fundamental structure is linear.
4. Database-driven website structure
This is a dynamic site with the best SEO site architecture. It contains content generated on the fly using information stored in a database. Its database is connected to a web server, and whenever a user requests a page, the server reads the database and generates an HTML page which it then sends to your browser.
The dynamic nature of this site makes it flexible, powerful, and easy to update. For example, you can use the same template for all pages on your website so that when you want to make changes (such as adding new navigation links), you only need to change one file instead of every single webpage on your site.
Determining Factors for SEO Site Architecture
The performance of a website SEO depends on several factors.
A successful SEO strategy begins with a URL structure. It is vital for both crawlers and visitors, and it should be simple. Visitors can scan the page easily by looking at the URLs, making it shareable.
Search engines look for URLs that are easy to categorize, so the URL structure should be logical from the search engine’s point of view.
- Breadcrumb navigation
It is an essential part of SEO because it allows Google Bots to crawl through your site easily. Breadcrumbs make your website more crawlable by search engine spiders.
If a bot crawls through multiple pages of your site without finding a breadcrumb menu, it would have a hard time indexing those pages in search engines. But you make your website more crawlable by providing internal links to help spiders reach and index deeper content in your website. Search engines reward websites that take care of their users.
- Keywords in URL
Keywords are primary to good SEO because they tell Google about the page. Otherwise, Google will not be able to pick up keywords from your URL. It will have a difficult time ranking that page for relevant searches.
- Page classification and organization
Categories, tags, and subcategories allow Google bots to organize content into specific topics. It creates a better user experience because they allow people to sift through the website in an organized, orderly manner.
It also enables Google to surface content that people seek on a topic at any moment.
- Page optimization
Every page on your site should have a title tag, a meta description, and an H1 tag if you want to rank well in search engines.
A title tag is a clickable headline for a typed result that shows in SERPs. A meta description is a short blurb that appears underneath the title tag on SERPs. The H1 tag is the main headline on your page.
The title tag, meta description, and H1 tags must include relevant keywords telling people what your content is about. These tags are also essential for site architecture SEO and should be optimized for the search engines to read them properly.
Think about including long-tail keywords in content categories and subcategories for better SEO.
Tips to Improve Website Architecture SEO
If you want to optimize your website for better ranking, you should follow these tips:
1. Choose your information architecture
Is your site primarily informational or transactional? Is it an e-commerce site or a personal blog? The type of website you need has a significant impact on how you decide to organize your information architecture.
For example, an eCommerce site may want to create a “store” section in its main navigation bar. Users can easily find all the store pages. A news site may have multiple navigational menus for different categories of articles (sports, politics, business, etc.). Try to keep it orderly, logical, and simple such that you can open any webpage within three clicks.
2. Include a sitemap to avoid duplicate content
Duplicate content is something that can make your website lose its credibility. Search engines like Google and Bing also punish duplicate content because it makes it difficult for crawlers to find specific pages within your site.
You can use canonical tags if you have several articles or product categories under one topic or title.
3. Incorporate breadcrumbs
Navigation through breadcrumbs improves site structure SEO and helps users navigate throughout your website without getting lost or confused. You can do this by adding links to the footer section of each page that leads to the previous or next page in the navigation menu.
If you use a content management system like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, you can find plugins for breadcrumbs. They can automatically add breadcrumbs throughout your site based on the page hierarchy you set up in your CMS settings.
4. Use keywords in URLs
URLs make search engines identify what you are trying to say about your site or a topic. Search engines use these keywords to help improve their rankings.
Do not overstuff your URL. Clean and straightforward URLs perform better. Use lowercase keywords separated by a hyphen without space.
5. Mobile-friendly site structure
Most users use mobile devices to access websites, so you must create a mobile-first experience.
Your content should be easy to read, and all images should load properly on all devices and platforms equally.
6. Optimize website speed
Visitors will not spare more than a second if a website takes more time to load. We have short attention spans, and they do not want to wait around while pages load slowly.
Ideally, your site should load in under three seconds. If it takes any longer, you should improve your website architecture. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to identify areas where your site needs improvement.
Besides abiding by SEO technicalities in your content marketing, ensure your webpage is designed and developed according to an SEO site structure. It is essential for raking in more leads, high conversions, and achieving your business targets.
Website architecture SEO helps you provide exceptional user experience, easy page navigation, and thrive in humongous competition. It facilitates crawling and indexing by search engines, thus enhancing sales.
- To optimize your site for search engines, the structure of your website must also be clear and logical.
- Ensure that all the important pages are easily accessible from any part of the site via one or two clicks.
- Use a flat website architecture. The fewer clicks you need to get from one page to another, the better.
- Make sure that every link on your site is working appropriately.
- Most users rely on mobile devices to access websites, so you must create a mobile-first experience.
- A database-driven website structure is best for SEO because all your content is stored in one location (the database) that allows easy editing.
The visual hierarchy of your website structure guides users to the most relevant information. It directly affects SEO, usability, and the design of your website.
Simple and organized content that follows a logical hierarchy is the best site structure seen in a linear website structure
1. Optimize your URL with keywords
2. Categorize pages in an orderly manner
3. Employ breadcrumb navigation
4. Add metadata
5. Use canonical tags to avoid duplicate content
You can have as many categories as you need if you keep the website architecture straightforward.