Why Does Site Structure Matter for Search Engine Optimization?
In search engine optimization campaigns, website structure is very often overlooked. Generally, it is viewed as an important aspect of a website’s ranking in search engine results. However not all website owners and webmasters know what an effective site structure represents.
Imagine any website and start peeling away the images, graphics, fonts, colors, the white space — what is left is the bare skeleton of the website, which is its structure. Structure is important because humans have a tendency for logical patterns and finding what they are searching for with ease. An effective website structure is an intuitive map for the users. The user will find items on your website where he would expect them to find.
Just like the skeleton in a body, the structure holds and connects all of vital information on a website. It might seem like a trivial aspect of a website, but is the foundation of a well-functioning site. Just like a body’s skeleton, it enables the functioning of the body; however when the skeleton has issues, it cannot be patched up on the surface. Similarly, appealing visuals will never be enough to improve user experience if the website structure is poor. As such, site structure is one of the basis layers of a website and should be properly designed.
Search Engines Are Also Looking
Sometimes it is not straightforward that the more appealing a website is to users, the more appealing it will be to search engines as well. Search engines like Google use highly complex algorithms to determine whether a website is appealing to its users. They track time spent on a page, click through rates, bounce rates among others, which then flow into the final score for search engine rankings. Hence, a well designed site structure will keep the visitor engaged and contribute to a better reputation in the eyes of search engines. This is a self-reinforcing mechanism and the website will be served to more users over time.
Moreover, a strong website structure will also contain site links. These are a listing format in the search engine results page that show a website’s main page along with a few internal links below it. These improve site navigation for your users and can also positively impact your SEO efforts. Site links will also improve the click through rate, shorten the conversion funnel and propel the website in search engine results pages. Site links in search results are generally decided on by Google and only websites with a well designed structure have a shot of getting them.