SEO Strategies mostly revolve around the On-page and off-page factors of a website, but the most overlooked factor in any SEO Optimization process is the site structure. We know that each site is different, and each website may have a different website architecture, but the rules of the game are same for all websites as far its structure is concerned. In this article, we look into some of the crucial factors for creating a better SEO site structure and higher search engine rankings.
Why SEO Site Structure is Important for SEO
You may have all the right ingredients needed for a great website, but if your site lacks in its structure and architecture, you can be sure that your website would be found at the bottom of the search rankings. A well-structured website is important both for a user as well as for a search engine. Loosely structured sites will provide a bad user experience which will result in increased bounce rate and low dwell time for your site. An ill-structured website is difficult for a search engine to understand and crawl which may directly impact your search rankings.
How can we know that our website is Crawler Friendly?
Better our website structure, better the Google crawler understands and crawls our website. We can easily understand if Google can understand and crawl our site through our website sitelinks . Sitelinks lists our most important website pages and gives an indication as to how well Google understands our site structure. Apart from crawling, Sitelinks provides great SEO benefits with increased branding, improved navigation and increased CTR for our website, all of which plays a major role in Google SERP.
How to create a Site Structure for Better SEO
Here are some of the major guiding factors for creating a user-friendly and crawler-friendly website structure for better SEO:
Simple and Logical Website Hierarchy
It is always wise to develop your hierarchy based on SEO best practices rather than restructuring it later. A site Hierarchy is the logical way of arranging your website. The most Recommended SEO site Structure is the Silo site structure i.e. categorizing the website into independent main categories and sub categories. The basic rule for a logical structure is to create a hierarchy that is simple and understandable by creating not more than 2- 7 main categories and balancing the number of sub categories within the main categories.
URL Structure following the Website Navigation Hierarchy
The URL Structure should match the navigation hierarchy of a website. A Good URL Structure should be descriptive and user-friendly. It should easily convey the position of the page on the site to the user as well as to the search engine. It should include hyphens instead of underscores and should not include characters like a percentage or the dollar sign. The most important thing to remember while structuring your URL is that its length should not exceed a prescribed limit. Shorter URL’s usually rank well in Google SERP. A limit of 45 Characters or 2-5 words is considered a good URL.
An Example of Good navigation structure can be seen below:
In the above example, flowers is the main category, further branching out into a subcategory for roses and then a final category for red roses.
Below screenshot shows a case of website URL hierarchy in Google SERP:
Shallow Depth Navigation Structure
Your Navigation Structure should be such that it takes not more than 2-3 clicks to reach the innermost pages. All the pages should be easily accessible to the user, especially the main pages of the website.
Header and Footer Navigation Structure
The Header should contain the main navigation pages. The header tabs should be uniform and accessible from all the pages within the website.
Similarly, the footer section should be provided with links to important website pages, including pages mentioned in the header section.
Extensive Internal Linking Structure
The Internal Links should be placed in a way such that the user can easily navigate the website and can explore related topics.
By implementing the above structural factors, one can be sure that their website will achieve a higher ranking in Google SERP and stay there for a long time. It is often said that “Better your Structure, Better your Chances for Ranking in Google SERP.” In other words, a well-structured website lays the foundation for a top ranking website.If the above structural factors proved helpful for your site's ranking then do share your experience with us in our comment section below.
This resource was published by Ranjit Venugopal27 December 2016
Ranjit is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Webdura Technologies . He is Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and Hubspot Certified . He loves digital space and helps businesses increase their returns through digital strategies.