One of the most overlooked areas of SEO strategy is having a search-friendly website structure. If search engines can’t crawl your site efficiently and understand how its content is organized, they won’t be able to rank it well for the right search terms. Here’s how to create a site structure for SEO.
How to Create a Site Structure for SEO
1. Plan your Site Hierarchy
Your site hierarchy should simple and look something like the following diagram, with the most important keywords & search terms at the top, and their long terms keywords (or more specific keywords) below them.
For example, you can imagine your most important page, the home page, at the top. The next layer will be your most important landing pages, or even your category pages. Finally, you can have the articles & products under each category.
Plan your site hierarchy even before you create your website.
2. Create a search-friendly URL structure
It’s important that your URL structure reflects your site hierarchy. This will help search engines understand where each page fits in your overall website. For example, if you are selling black shoes on your ecommerce website, your url may be something like:
It is clearly broken down into category->sub category->product making it easy for search engines to understand your web page content as well as easy for users to navigate.
3. Create a flat hierarchy
A flat hierarchy is one of the most important aspects of a good site structure for SEO. Make sure that every page on your website can be reached from your home page with just 3 clicks or less. This makes it easy for search engines to crawl your entire site, and rank it better for more keywords.
Also, this makes it easier for users to have a good experience. If users have difficulty finding what they want, they will abandon your website altogether. Also, it is unlikely that search engines will be able to find it either.
4. Add internal links
Internal links are internal connections between two pages of the same site. If you have hundreds of pages, it can become difficult to organize them into a flat hierarchy. In such cases, you can use internal links to help search engines and users navigate your site easily. This reduces the number of clicks required to crawl a page and improves their search rankings.
It also allows you to use keyword-rich anchor texts in your internal links.
Make sure that the internal links on a given page are relevant to the content on it. For example, if your web page is about shoes, linking to nike shoes, adidas shoes will improve seo of all 3 pages. However, if you add links to pink dresses, suede jackets then it might not be so relevant.
5. Distribute SEO weight
Site Navigation elements such as sidebars, menu bars, etc give search engines a good idea about the importance of your preferred pages. The pages present on site navigation are linked to by every page on your website. And internal links work the same way as external links. The more links to a page, the more important it is for search engines.
Your site has an overall domain authority. So if you put a page on site navigation, it will be assigned a fraction of this authority. So its important to include a reasonable number (3-7) of pages that you want to rank for in site navigation.
Site Structure for SEO is one of the most important yet overlooked aspect of SEO strategy. If you can make it easy for search engines to crawl, understand and rank your website, it can be really useful to implement further SEO strategies on top of it.