The Importance of Website Structure for Search Engine Optimization
Re-building or re-designing a website from scratch can be daunting, but it also allows you to structure your website from the get-go with SEO in mind.
It’s vital to think of your structure and hierarchy as a way to organize the information you want to display on your website. This will also define your site navigation and URL structure. Finally, this methodology will require you to think about the type of content you want to create in the long run, as well as in the immediate future.
Here are a few tips to think about when you are getting ready to work through this process:
Simplicity is Better
One thing to avoid is to over-complicate your hierarchy. Simplicity is a key factor in building a seamless experience for your visitors and search engine crawlers.
Categories and Subcategories
Keep the number of categories low — between two and seven. If you have more than seven categories, consider rethinking your organization on your website. Too many categories can quickly feel overwhelming or confusing to visitors.
Create a balance within your categories, by having a comparable number of subcategories for each category. If one of your categories has three subcategories and another has more than double that, your site might look and feel unbalanced.
Your website’s navigation structure will naturally follow the hierarchy you have established. Make sure that important pages aren’t too difficult to find and easy to navigate too. Keep in mind; the best performing websites are those where every page is reachable within three or fewer clicks.
Establish URL Structure
With a hierarchy in place, the next step is to define a complementary keyword-rich URL structure. This is an effective technique to get better ranking positions will help you to secure better ranking positions for individual pages and help your users to navigate around your site with ease.
Architecting your URL structure can be cumbersome to correct if you haven’t planned ahead because you will be creating additional redirecting loops, which might impact performance or usability.
A few things to pay attention to when establishing your URL architecture:
- Integrate relevant keywords with moderation
- Design a structure with foresight for future developments
- Avoid superfluous words and characters
- Google will truncate all URLs that exceed 512 pixels
Ultimately, your URL structure should prioritize human readability; it should include relevant keywords and be consistent.