Why does website architecture matter? Site architecture is important for both human visitors and search engines.By organizing your content logically using features such as sitemaps and breadcrumbs, make it easier for search engine robots to navigate the site, understand what it’s all about, and index all of your content.
Strong internal linking practices – another feature of the excellent website architecture – will also distribute page authority and distribute link juice more equitably. All in all, a good site architecture will give you more chances to rank and help each page rank higher.
Good website architecture also makes it easier for visitors to find what they need for your site, and this can affect conversions. According to Forrester, better UX can improve conversion rates by 400 percent.
Even if you have the best content in the world, poor architectural practices will send users running up the hills and into the hands of your competitors. This will result in a high rejection rate, which may affect your search ranking.
1. Use a simple navigation structure
According to a recent survey, poor site navigation is one of the top three reasons why a user leaves a website.
Ever been overwhelmed by the number of pages in a website’s navigation bar? Big clothing brands are famous for this and it can be a real headache to find certain pages.
This is the exact opposite of what a good navigation bar should be.
It is essential to have a clean and simple navigation bar. In fact, the vast majority of people (94%) believe that easy navigation is the most useful feature of the site.
2. Optimize your URL structure
The URL structure is one of the best ways to make sure your site stays organized. URLs show your site hierarchy to people and search bots, and help them see where each page belongs and how it links.
URL structure should be as clean and direct as possible. For example, suppose you are an e-commerce store that sells pens. Your homepage URL could be:
The following rules when creating URLs:
- Keep URLs below 130 characters (use this URL Length Checker).
- Separate words with hyphens.
- Avoid using numbers where possible.
- Make them descriptive.
- Try to include keywords, but don’t fill them in.
- Make them logical.
- Keep category names consistent
3. Reduce the number of clicks to the top pages
It doesn’t matter how many pages the sites have, Visitors should be able to move from your homepage to the most important pages on the site with just a few clicks.
Keep in mind that 47% of users leave a website after viewing a single page. In order to keep users on-site, need to not only create compelling content but also make it easier for visitors to click through important pages on your site.
A common general rule is a three-click rule. SEO Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jessie Stricchiola also recommend four clicks in their book, The Art of SEO. “For almost every site with less than 10,000 pages, all content should be accessible by up to four clicks from the homepage.”
This gives your site a flat site structure, rather than a deep site structure. A flat site structure means that users can visit any page on your site in just a few clicks. A deep site structure means that it may take five or more clicks to reach certain pages.
4. Use topic clusters
HubSpot recently experimented with topic groups for a group of topics they pre-selected. Here are the results:
- The field authority has gone from 40 to 60
- Weekly organic sessions increased by 13 percent weekly over the week
- SERP clicks on a target keyword increased by 1500 percent
If you want users or search engines to better understand your site, it helps to group similar pages. This is the idea behind the topic groups.
Creating topic groups and content silos is great for visitors who want to learn about a particular topic. They can also improve your site’s ranking. Creating groups of topics full of detailed articles signals your authority over search engines. With all these pages grouped together, it’s easy for Google to assess your authority on a topic and rank accordingly. This is called topical relevance
Creating your own topic groups is fairly straightforward:
Start by finding pages on your site that talk about the same topic.
Create a pillar page that links all the pages together and discusses the topic at a high level.
Add links on the pillar page to each of the more specific pages to form a group.
Go through each group page one by one and find natural ways to link to each of the other group pages and the pillar page.
5. Use category pages
Category pages are similar to Pillar pages but without the depth of content that makes Pillar pages such good link targets. These are most commonly found on e-commerce websites and blogs. They usually only contain links to products or blog posts with little or no additional copy.
Category pages help you keep your site’s architecture organized in the long run, no matter how big your site gets. With category pages, you don’t have to worry too much about where new pages are. fits into your existing structure. Simply choose the most relevant category.
6. Create a sitemap
A sitemap is a list of all crawled pages on your site. It is an essential part of your site architecture because it shows you the structure of your site in a format that both search engines, and people can read and crawl.
There are two types of sitemaps you should care about: HTML and XML.
HTML sitemaps are designed for both humans and search engines. These show the structure of your site, topic groups, and pages. You don’t have to include every page on your site map, just the most important ones
7. Create an internal linking strategy
Internal linking is the practice of linking pages to your site, which is a fundamental part of your site’s architecture. By linking pages together, you add context and relevance, allowing users and search engines to move freely across the site. and allow the juice of the links to pass between the pages.
See this case study by NinjaOutreach, for example. They managed to increase organic traffic by 40 percent through an internal linking campaign.
8. Use breadcrumbs
Forget about Hansel and Gretel for a moment. Breadcrumbs, as it relates to your site, are the links at the top of a page that indicate the place of that page in your site hierarchy.
Using breadcrumbs can help your site in many ways. In a recent case, a company called Equitable Mediation Services managed to break the top 10 results from Google’s SERPs in just a few months, using breadcrumbs and other local SEO strategies.
Frequently asked questions about website architecture?
Is Site Architecture Important For SEO?
Yes, site architecture is an essential part of on-page SEO. Good architecture makes Google crawl your site and index your pages more easily
Conclusion: Website architecture
The way you structure your site has a huge influence on your user experience and SEO. All things being equal, improve your site architecture and increase your conversion rate and ranking.
There are many ways to improve your site architecture. Even if you think you were successful when you built your site, there is probably room for improvement. Properly structuring URLs and adding topic groups are great places to start.
The most important rule of all, though, is to be simple. The easier you can keep your site architecture, the easier it will be to manage it as your site grows.