A well-designed site structure is one of the most important factors that make the site perform well. It is shocking how most people still overlook the importance of a good structure even after getting bad reviews about their sites. Few people know how important it is to maintain a well-defined structure in order to improve SEO.
A balanced site structure helps get a better user experience. The structure can found behind all the images, colors, white spaces, fonts etc. The structure is the design you have created in the background. People, when looking for things, normally expect them to be in place where they are ought to be found for example the “logout” option would be found somewhere in one of the four corners of any site. This supports the fact that logic is important too so a logical and strong structure is important in order to make a site easy to use.
You should make sure you keep your site appealing to users, as this will, in various ways, improve its ranking. If the bounce rate is higher, the search engines will know that people do not find what they are looking for on your site. On the other hand, when people stay for longer on your site, the rank in the search engines is improved.
Many web crawlers including Googlebot will crawl your website’s structure to check its structure. It is done in order to use the content for search results. Therefore, it is important that your site’s structure is not complex. Search engines are still used to drive traffic to sites and are still considered the most important ways of improving websites. This is why a wise use of SEO is required so that you can get more traffic on your site and make your business popular and successful using various online marketing techniques.
There is a deep connection between search engines and a site’s structure. A search engine will only understand your site and its topics only if the structure is easy to understand and is created logically. A good structure can be used in many ways to promote the website and to increase rankings. A good structure will require you to:
- Plan out a hierarchy before creating the website
It is best to plan the structure of a website when you are starting it from scratch hence allowing better SEO. You can use different spreadsheet programs like Google Drive Spreadsheets or Excel, whiteboards, word processors or even OmniGraffle or Visio to make a plan or structure. You have to organize all the information about your website and whatever it is going to offer, all in a way that is easy and simple. This will not only help you design the website and know what content would be put where but would also help you with the URLs and navigation.
Applications like Visio or Excel would allow you to put all the pages and sections of your site in a tree-like format, which you can reassemble according to the changes required. The tree-like or pyramid structure of your site should be kept balanced. You should make sure that interrelated topics are near to each other and not on different parts or sections of the site, as this would not allow the readers to get complete information ultimately leading them to bounce off the site.
You can rearrange all the stuff in a logical manner and you can even use your desk or a wall or sticky notes to do the job. Once you have all the pages and content in front of you, start looking for irrelevant and unused ones. You can edit them if needed but deleting totally irrelevant pages from a site is helpful. You should also make the pages light as it will make your site easier to and faster to load. This can also be done by combining the “about us” page with other pages like “our mission” etc.
- Use a single domain or subdomain
You should make sure all your content and pages use the same domain as this will not only help your site become easier to use but you can also easily make changes whenever necessary. The content of your site would be much more helpful in improving the site’s ranking if all of it is under one single domain. You can also use subdomains for different categories of the content. This will also enhance the performance of the site.
- Make your structure shallow deep
It is important that you make use a shallow depth structure, as it makes easier for search engines to understand the structure. You do not want to put your ranking at risk by making a complex site structure by burying most pages deep within the site.
- Use keywords in the URLs
When the URLs contain the titles or show what the landing page is going to be about, it becomes much more attractive and eye-catching. For example, www.website.com/323page/001 would not attract as much people as www.website.com/11-historic-places-you-should-visit/323 would. It is not a big issue if the title is too long as you can always make it short in the URL. This tells the user about where the link is going to take him or her and what he/she would find in the landing page.
- Create a header
You should use a header that lists all your pages hence improving navigation. It would also make it easier for you to add or remove pages, as you would know which page is going to be found where. You can also add different elements such as images, blogs, articles, etc. to different pages easily. Be sure to avoid dropdown menus or other CSS effects as they would only beautify your site and would not improve SEO. Also avoid image-based navigational structures and use proper text links instead as those are better for increasing your site’s rank.