The Importance of Site Structure
As Google continues to evolve their search algorithm and make it easier for users to find the information they are looking, websites have to evolve their SEO techniques as well. One site element that continues to grow in importance and effect SEO more and more is site structure. The better your site is structured the better it will perform on search engines. Some sites are well structured and easy to navigate while others are disjointed and confusing to their users. If you create a streamlined site structure that is easy to navigate and makes sense to users you will see growth in your sites SEO.
Why Does Site Structure Matter?
Probably the best reason to have a well structured site is to provide the best possible experience to your users. Even if site structure had no effect on SEO you would still want to place an emphasis on it for your users sake. Someone visiting your site should be able to easily find the information or products they are looking for. A user should always know where they are on your website and where to go to find what they are looking for. Consider for a moment that you are visiting a hardware store for the first time, and none of the aisles were labelled and there was no one around to help you find what you need. Would you come back to this hardware store? Would you leave and just go to a competitor that could help you find what you need? Well your website is no different. Taking SEO out of the equation you should want proper site structure just to promote user interaction and to drive leads from your website. You do not want users leaving your site right away because they are confused.
Google Loves Good Site Structure
As Google continues to update their search algorithm they are placing more and more importance on user experience. Not only do you want to have a great site structure to increase your user experience for the sake of your users, you also want to improve it for the sake of your search engine rankings. If Google identifies your site as confusing or unfriendly to users you are going to experience a drop in your search engine rankings.
Making your site easier to crawl for Google is another reason to have a site structure that makes sense. The Googlebot crawls a website’s structure and indexes content that is returned in search results. The better your site is structured the easier it is for crawl bots to access and index your sites content. If you have poor site structure crawl bots may never find and index content that your business wants to be ranking for.
How to Create Strong Site Structure?
The first step is to plan your site hierarchy or sitemap before you develop your website. Before you start creating pages or working out a design, plan a site hierarchy that is SEO friendly and will make sense to users. Look at the content you will be including on your website and how that content can be categorized that will make sense to users. Make sure users who are first being introduced to your business would easily be able to locate the content they are looking for. Your hierarchy should be simple and make sense to you and any potential customers you may have. Once your hierarchy or sitemap is complete you will be using it to build your site navigation and URL structure.
Optimize your URL Structure
Another important factor in creating a site structure that makes sense is having properly structured URLs. If you have thoroughly thought out your site hierarchy creating properly structured URLs should be simple, as they will just follow your hierarchy. As an example let’s say you’re a plumber and you have built a page describing your shower repair services. You may have a section on your site called plumbing and then located in that section is your shower repair page, your URL should look like this www.example.com/plumbing/shower-repair/. This URL follows your site structure and as a result tells users and crawl bots exactly where they are on your site just by looking at the URL. This is also referred to as nesting your URLs, following this URL structure will improve your sites SEO.
Keep it Simple
Another factor to consider when developing or improving your site structure is keeping things simple. Do not use a navigation system that has a dropdown that goes into another dropdown that goes into another dropdown. Make as few steps as possible for a user to find the information they need. Also make sure your main content categories are located in your site header at the top of your main navigation. You want to direct users to your most important content as quickly and easily as possible. It is important to remember that your site is there to serve users and provide them with a simple experience.
If you feel like your website is suffering from poor site structure and it is having an impact on your user experience and your site SEO you may need help. At Konstruct Interactive we have experienced and knowledgeable SEO experts that have helped many businesses improve their site structure. If you are looking for help improving your website’s SEO then contact Konstruct Interactive at 587-316-1681.
Updated: August 1, 2017