The structure of a website is a crucial factor when it comes to SEO success. It is important to understand how website structure can affect SEO for your website to rank higher in search engine results.
SEO and website structure are deeply intertwined, as website structure can have a major impact on a website’s visibility and ranking. It is essential to have a well-structured website that is easily navigable to increase your website’s visibility and rank higher in search engine results.
Table Of Contents−
- What is website structure?
- Tips for designing and developing your website structure
A website with a solid structure can help to improve SEO by making it easier for search engine bots to crawl the website and index its content more efficiently. Proper website structure can also help to improve a website’s user experience by providing intuitive navigation and a clear hierarchy of content.
In this article, we will discuss the various ways in which website structure can affect SEO.
What is website structure?
Website structure describes how your site’s content is organized, how it is created, and how the pages relate to one another.
Poor website structure is among the leading cause of visitors’ departure. 73.1% of users reported leaving a non-responsively designed website, and 34.6% attributed this to poorly organized material.
Websites have limited time to make an impact before visitors move on. A decent website structure comprises many components, such as taxonomies, internal links, breadcrumbs, navigation, and schema.
Regarding website structure, one of the most crucial elements is the site’s crawlability. Search engines use the site structure as a guide. It aids them in locating important information and clarifies the purpose of your website. For search engines to crawl your website and understand the relationships between different pages, it helps to have a clear site structure.
The URL structure is a critical element of how website structure influences SEO. Additionally, URLs serve as the fundamental units of a successful site structure, transferring authority throughout your domain and guiding people to the locations they want. The ideal URL architectures should incorporate target queries to make them content-rich and straightforward for users and search engines to read.
Effective structures repeat logic throughout your entire website, and it also helps to provide search engines with an XML sitemap containing all of the critical URLs you want to rank for. Try to make URLs straightforward and avoid making them overly complicated with extra arguments.
Hierarchy of the website
Does your website have the necessary structure and organized pages in a specific order? You must plan if you want to maximize the SEO campaign. Both users and the website crew find a well-organized website appealing.
A website with simple navigation will prevail in the SEO race. Websites with disorganized layouts confound web crawlers. If a website is organized correctly, a search engine robot can navigate it. Internal links must be present on every website page to make navigating easier. If your website is wholly made crawlable, you gain from indexing. Streaming websites are the best instances of WebPages suitable for crawling.
HTTP, HTTPS, HTTP2
As Google continues to integrate it into the user experience, HTTPS secures the security of your website, and having a secure site can also help you rank higher. Because of this, HTTP is already being used by more than 50% of websites globally.
In addition to higher rankings, switching to HTTP provides many other advantages.
- Better user experience
- Information about your users is protected
- Implementing AMP is only practical with HTTP.
- Effectiveness of a PPC campaign
- Enhanced Google Analytics data
Google has begun indexing select websites on HTTP/2 as of November 2020.
Duplicate website pages
Google interprets redundant pages as spam. Because Google must choose which version to display when there are numerous versions of the same piece of content (page), the visibility of each duplicate is diminished. Utilize online resources like the Google Search Console to help get rid of duplicate pages.
Internal website links
Your users should have no trouble moving from one page to another. Make sure all the pages on the tremendous, multi-page websites are easily accessible with a few clicks. A decent rule of thumb is for a user to access any page on your website with three clicks or less. Internal linking works by incorporating keywords into your text and directing readers to further pertinent content on your website utilizing these keywords.
Speed & performance
Your SEO and financial performance will improve if the design and organization of your website facilitate a quick user experience.
All the hard work put out by developers, content authors, and SEO experts is damaged by slow site and page speeds, unresponsive sites, and anything else that “takes time” for the user.
In addition to a disgruntled user, a one-second delay in page load time might result in fewer page visits, traffic, and conversions.
To avoid high costs and costly mistakes, ensure you are working with your designers and IT teams to select the appropriate mobile design and website structure, such as responsive web design.
Key content and keywords
Since content and keyword research are crucial components of SEO, you should incorporate them into the design and organization of your website from the beginning.
By doing this, you can be confident that your website’s structure and layout reflect your understanding of your target demographic, search behavior, and competitive themes.
The finest websites ensure their most important material is at the center of the layout and is of the highest caliber to ensure they have offered a fantastic user and an excellent search engine-friendly experience.
Core web vitals
The introduction of Core Web Vitals and the Google page experience upgrade can impact SEO, especially when optimizing photos.
Website creators, web designers, and SEO specialists should focus on changing the emphasis on Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and evaluating content and content jumping as the images load.
In the future, Core Web Vitals may be one of Google’s ranking determinants, although now only about one-fourth of all websites fulfill the standard. Google has warned the SEOs and website owners to prepare for this update. Therefore, “now” will be a fantastic opportunity to act in advance.
Navigation and user experience
Today’s websites must adhere to far tighter usability criteria than those from the early days of the Internet. A visitor will refrain from engaging with a website that is poorly designed in the future.
Nobody wants to waste time on a website where they aren’t sure what to do next.
If visitors can’t locate the information they need on your website, they will look for it on a competitor’s website.
Additionally, poor user experience impacts SEO.
Google interprets user behavior on a website to determine future search results.
The bounce rate, time spent on the site, and click-through rate are all taken into account by the Google algorithm.
For Google, statistics showing a favorable experience verify the search results.
When statistics indicate an awful experience, Google knows the page might not be the most practical or relevant for that query and will change the search results to reflect this.
The fundamentals of offering a positive customer experience include the following:
- Matching expectations with click-through.
- Making it simple to locate desired information.
- Ensuring that navigation is intuitive and makes sense.
Tips for designing and developing your website structure
Optimize your site for people, not bots
The difference between website optimization best practices for humans and bots has shrunk more recently than ever. However, some website owners continue to prioritize optimizing for crawlers over users. Even though it’s never a bad idea, remember that your goal is to maintain user engagement to boost conversions.
If a website’s content or design is too unclear, about 40% of visitors will quit engaging.
Keep navigation depth shallow
In as few clicks as possible, your users should be able to find what they’re looking for. For SEO, click depth is more critical than URL structure. Although there isn’t a strict limit on how many clicks there should be, try to restrict the navigation depth to four clicks or less.
Keep links on any given page to a reasonable number
You must maintain the ratio of link engagements to on-page time. Users should be interested in the content on the current page, but you also want to entice them to explore more of your website. The secret to striking this balance is limiting the number of connections and ensuring each link is relevant to the issue at hand.
To begin with, a safe range to aim for is three to five links per 1,000 words. Avoiding cluttering each page is crucial.
Utilize heading hierarchy
Although the structure of individual web pages is equally as crucial as the entire website’s layout, using a heading hierarchy, you provide your web pages with a logical system that both people and robots can understand.
You can organize on-page material using a heading hierarchy and various heading elements (e.g., H1, H2, H3, H4). These components increase the readability of each page while being relatively easy to integrate and arrange.
Include schema markup
Consider employing structured data to advance your website architecture. Rich data developed by search engines, such as tags and JSON code, is an example of structured data. Google has advised using structured data since 2014. It can significantly increase website visibility, with some sites claiming an increase in rich organic traffic of up to 400 percent.
If you want the most impact, schema markup is the ideal place to start. This can be implemented relatively simply compared to JSON, and several schema markup tutorials are available to get you started.
Keep up on keyword search
A website’s content is as crucial as its framework. You must conduct keyword research at each development stage to ensure all pages are optimized if you want to create content that appeals to your audience.
Nearly 95% of all terms receive ten or fewer searches each month, claims Ahrefs. If you want traffic, you must pick the appropriate ones.
To select the appropriate terms, use a keyword engine like Ubersuggest. It provides in-depth keyword information, advice on how to increase traffic, and chances for backlinks.
Make sure to build your website in a way that is both appropriate and hierarchical for your audience and your brand to maximize the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and achieve the best results.
To make it searchable, make sure it is constructed well. Talk to your web designers as they create your website; don’t wait until everything is finished.
Thinking ahead when creating your website is essential, even in the early creative stages. To ensure that your SEO efforts start and conclude on a positive note, ensure that your website’s structure and design are compatible.
I've worked for WooRank, SEOptimer, and working on a cool SEO audit tool called SiteGuru.co. Now I have build Linkilo and SEO RANK SERP WordPress theme. I've been in the SEO industry for more than 5 years, learning from the ground up. I've worked on many startups, but also have my own affiliate sites.