Without site structure, your pages can be disorganised, making it difficult for users to navigate your site. In this guide, we cover the best website structure to appeal to both humans and search engines.
Why site structure matters
Having the best website structure possible is crucial to help visitors find and use pages on your site. If structured well, it enables them to search for products and services with greater ease and also helps search engines to understand your site. Check out this article to see if your site is deemed high quality.
How it helps usability
Having a great site structure elevates the user experience; if visitors can find what they’re searching for without having to think too much, then your structure is done well. Categorise the content and items on your site so they’re easier to find and so that new visitors can instantly recognise what they’re looking at.
How it helps your SEO
A well-structured site helps to boost your page rank in the SERPS. Having a clean layout will help Google to understand where the most important pages are and what they are. Doing this will also allow for easier indexing of your pages. It’s not uncommon to have some posts that very similar in the topics they cover; ensure your taxonomy is structure well and internal links are used so that your pages don’t have to compete with one another.
So, how should your site be structured?
Here we’ll cover the essential points that will help you achieve the best website structure for your site.
Categorise your pages
Having your pages categorised into relevant and clear categories helps to keep them organised and easy to understand.
Structuring your internal links
Internal linking structure helps to indicate to search engines which pieces of content are related and your rank boosting potential. Picture your pages as pyramids; every individual pages should link to subpages below effectively making your top page a cornerstone piece. Doing this will make it easier for search engines to learn what these cornerstone content contains.
Add tags and ensure good taxonomy
Tags are an essential aspect to consider when working towards the best website structure possible, with them helping Google to better understand your site. The difference between tags and categories is that categories allow you to create sub-categories and so on, while tags don’t have this feature. Try not to overdo it with the tags; stick to a few, tag relevant content together, and use them more than once.
Cornerstone content are important pieces of content that all relevant articles should link to. When structuring your site, ensure that these pages are placed high with the keywords you want to ultimately rank for. A good rule of thumb for websites is to have at least two articles as cornerstones and no more than ten.
Tips to keep in mind
Websites change over time and your site structure should be designed to adapt to any changes. You should therefore ensure that you regularly review the structure to cater to any adjustments and keep your ever-growing collection of pages to get out of control.
Throw away bad pages
If you’re an eCommerce site, you may come across situations where your products will sell out. If you decide not to sell that type of product again, make sure you get rid of the page. Similarly, do throw away outdated and non-useful content.
Review your site menu
Business objectives may change overtime and your site structure should be ready to reflect this. You may come across pages in your menu that are unsuitable but still valuable; ensure they’re linked into your sitemap and on pages that are relevant. Doing this will help search engines and users to continue discover these pages.
Re-submit your sitemap
If you have decided to make changes to your site structure do remember to resubmit your sitemap to Google to keep things updated.
Having duplicate content on your site
Having duplicate content on your site could confuse search engines when deciding which of the two should be displayed in the search results. In some cases, there will be an imbalance when it comes to inbound links; you may gain a bunch for one URL and some will link to the other. The chance for better rank position, however, will be elevated for your keyword if they both point towards the same URL.
Though specific areas of improvement will vary from site to site, you should consider all of these aspects when optimising your website. You need to address each of the listed factors to ensure you really do achieve the best website structure possible.