Your Complete Guide To Site Structure And Its Importance For SEO

Your Complete Guide To Site Structure And Its Importance For SEO

Any business which has a website that it relies upon for generating leads and customers can either pay for traffic using online advertising such as Pay Per Click or generate organic traffic from search engines thanks to an SEO campaign.

For an SEO campaign to be successful, there is a long list of tasks that must be undertaken, most of which relate to the website. One such task is to ensure that the website’s site structure is optimised, but, unfortunately, many business owners are unaware of what site structure is, let alone how it should be implemented.

To take a step towards correcting this, we have outlined below an explanation of what site structure is, its importance for SEO, and how it should be optimised so that it plays a positive role in achieving better rankings on search engines.

What Is Site Structure?

The most basic definition of site structure is that it is how everything on your website, especially the content, is organised. It also includes the internal linking structure as well as the website’s navigation system.

A website with a well-optimised site structure is easy to navigate and has simple, clear menus, with logically categorised content which all help to make the user experience a positive one. Conversely, a poor user experience will result from a poor site structure that has no menu, or if one exists, a confusing one, and content that has no clear categorisation.

Site Structure’s Importance For SEO

There are three main reasons why site structure is important for SEO.

Reason #1 – User Experience: As mentioned in the previous section, an optimised site structure helps make the user experience (UX) of visitors to your website a positive one. As UX is now one of the top priorities for Google, it stands to reason that the better UX your website produces thanks to its site structure, the more favourably Google will look upon your website when calculating its rankings.

Reason #2 – Helps Search Engines Understand Your Website’s Content: Being indexed and ranking well on search engines such as Google requires the content on your website to be created and structured in a way that helps search engines understand what keywords you are trying to rank for. An optimised site structure achieves this as it is clear what the relevance of pages is via categories, titles, sub-headings, and page URLs.

Reason #3 – It Allows The Search Engines To Interpret Page Importance: An effective site structure is required to ensure that, when your website is crawled by search engines, it is clear what the relevant importance of each page is. The main way this can be achieved is via your internal linking structure. Within this, the most important pages on your website will be linked to more often than the less important ones which help your main pages gain higher rankings.

Optimising Site Structure For SEO

Below we have highlighted the main ways in which an optimised site structure can be created.

Plan Your Site Structure: As a first step, you must plan your site structure, taking into account your business objectives, your target audience, and the types of content you expect to publish on your website.

Use A Hierarchical Structure: You can conceptualise a hierarchical structure like a tree’s structure with large and small branches spreading out from the tree’s trunk. Within your website, you should create a structure with clearly defined categories and smaller sub-categories so that all your content is easily identifiable by the search engines.

Use Descriptive URLs: Remember that it is you that creates the URLs within your website for each new page. As such, create them using keywords, and make them descriptive so that there is no doubt what content can be found on a specific page based on its URL.

Create A Sitemap: A sitemap is akin to the index you find at the back of a textbook. It is extremely useful in helping search engines index and crawl your website more efficiently and accurately.

Use Internal Linking: Internal linking is essential for site structure and thus SEO. Your internal links help to show the relevance of pages to each other as well as telling the search engines what pages are the most important when they are determining rankings. When creating links use relevant keywords as anchor text.

Simplify Your Website’s Navigation: It is crucial that you ensure the navigation throughout your website is simple and user-friendly. This involves creating easy menus which leave no room for confusion among your visitors.

Optimise For Mobile: Always remember it is likely that the majority of visits to your website come via mobile devices rather than desktop PCs and laptops. This means ensuring every page within your website is optimised for mobile, including adaptive pages which adjust to display properly on smaller screens.

Monitor And Update Your Site Structure: You should regard your site structure as an ongoing process rather than set and forget. Check your site structure regularly, especially if you are adding new pages for the new content you publish, and make the necessary improvements where needed.

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