A good website structure facilitates user navigation and is good for SEO. On the other hand, without a good structure, your website will look messy and difficult to navigate. Google will also have a hard time distinguishing which content is important and which is not.
So, how do you create an SEO friendly website structure?
Relax, in this article we will explain everything. So, you have a greater chance of being ranked at the top of search engines. Okay, let’s get started!
What is Website Structure?
Website structure is the arrangement of important pages on the website. Usually, the structure or architecture of this website will be seen from the main navigation or menu.
A good website structure makes the various pages on your website interconnected. That way, visitors can feel a good user experience. This is because visitors can easily find the information they need.
However, website structure is not only important from the user’s point of view. It is also important for SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Because, with a good website structure, Google bots will find it easier to browse your website pages. This also affects the ranking of website pages on search engines.
Why is website structure important?
There are at least five reasons why you must pay attention to website structure. Here is the explanation:
1. Can Affect User Experience (UX)
As we mentioned earlier, a good website architecture will greatly affect the user experience of your website visitors. Besides being easy to navigate, visitors will also find it easier to find the content or products they need.
It’s different when visitors find it difficult to find the page they are looking for. It’s possible that without thinking, visitors will leave your website. Very detrimental, right?
2. Facilitates Crawling
A good website structure can not only help users find the content they need. But it also helps web crawlers to access and find relationships between the content you create. From there, web crawlers will find it easier to index your content in search engines.
3. Can Provide Sitelinks
With a good website structure, you can get sitelinks for your website. Sitelinks are a unique display in Google’s search results. It shows the homepage link along with important pages below it.
Creating sitelinks is very beneficial for your website’s on-page SEO. Some of the benefits include:
- Improves brand reputation.
- Increases customer trust.
- Helps you dominate search results.
- Increases click rates.
- Accelerates conversion.
4. Avoid Content Competition from the Same Website
Website structure avoids the possibility of competing content (cannibal content). This kind of competition is very detrimental because it reduces the traffic that each content gets.
The competition may occur when you have several similar blog posts. For example, let’s say you have several articles about WordPress errors and use the same keywords for them.
The similar content makes it difficult for Google to decide which content is the most important. As a result, your content competes with each other to be at the top of Google.
The solution is to create a good taxonomy and internal link structure. So the content is more clearly related and does not compete with each other.
Different Types of Website Structure
Many people think that there is only one type of website structure. In fact, there are four types of website structures that you can use. What are they?
- Hierarchy. This type of website structure is the most common and preferred. The pages are organized in a tree-like structure. Parent pages with more general/extensive information are at the top of the structure. The parent page is then categorized into several child pages with more detailed information.
- Linear. The sequence-type website structure is the simplest. All information is organized in a linear fashion. It can be from the most general to the most specific. It can also be alphabetical. This structure is suitable for educational or training websites.
- Matrix. The matrix type website structure provides many relevant links for the user. With various sets of topics. Users are free to choose which link or page they want to visit next.
- Network. This type of website structure is more dynamic than the others. With this type of structure, users can freely decide what link or page they want to visit next. Users can have their own search experience by utilizing the search feature.
How to Create SEO Friendly Website Structure?
There are several steps you need to take to create an SEO friendly website structure, namely:
1. Make a Plan First
Try to write down all the content ideas that you want to include on your website. Then, group all the content into more general categories. Then organize everything until they are interconnected.
2. Pay attention to Page Links on the Homepage
The homepage is at the very top of the website structure. That means, the homepage is the first page that visitors access before going to other pages.
You need to link some of the most important page links to the homepage. That way, the chances of visitors to open important pages are greater. They will also find information more easily.
3. Create Clear Navigation
To have a well-structured homepage, you need to create a clear navigation. There are two types of navigation that you can add to your website: menus and breadcrumbs.
Many people use the menu to display category pages that contain a lot of content. In addition, the menu can also be used to link to landing pages or contact pages.
Breadcrumbs help visitors know where they are on your website. Here is an example of a breadcrumbs trail on a website.
4. Use Taxonomy
To make your navigation more organized, try using the taxonomies system in WordPress or any other CMS. Taxonomies are used to group content by category or tag. This makes it easier for visitors to find other topical articles.
5. Don’t Forget Internal Links!
You may already understand that website structure is related to content categorization and links to related content. Therefore, it’s time to learn how to use internal links.
Internal link is a term for connecting content on your website. These internal links cannot be done carelessly. The two pages that are connected must have related topics.
Here is a further discussion about internal links for two kinds of websites:
Internal Links for Blogs
For blogs, it’s the same as setting up a category hierarchy earlier. You have to write some topics that are more general or broad in scope first. Then you create various posts from those main topics. If so, you can provide internal links in content that is still interrelated to the topic.
For example, our blog post with the topic of frameworks will have internal links to the topics of various frameworks (for example: Laravel, Codeigniter, VueJs), and how to install the framework. So, that way visitors can learn more and in-depth about framework-related topics.
Try to provide many relevant internal links to your important blog posts. So, visitors will not only stop at your important page, but also at other related pages.
6. Manage your website structure
Even after the structure of your website has been created, your task is not necessarily finished. You still have to do maintenance. You have to keep an eye on the website structure, when adding new content.