There’s nothing worse than wasting time trying to find products or information on a cluttered, disorganized website. Statistics back up this sentiment, with nearly 75% of people reporting they give up on non-responsive sites and half that number stating poor content as their reason for leaving.
Fortunately, with the right SEO structuring practices, you can dramatically improve your site’s search engine results page (SERP) rankings and make it easier for customers to find what they need.
If you’re asking yourself, “what is SEO structure,” this is the place for you. In this article, you’ll learn the best practices for SEO structuring that will help you improve your SERP rankings and increase customer satisfaction. Not to mention boost conversions and, ultimately, drive more profits!
Start learning how to optimize your site now and ensure it stands out from the competition.
What Is SEO Structure?
Think of your site as a foreign land that potential customers and web crawlers want to visit. Your structure (sometimes called architecture) is the map you create to direct them to their desired destination. SEO structure is how you organize and format your site to maximize its visibility in SERPs.
Your structure is about creating a clear hierarchy of web pages and making sure that each page has a purpose. Your customers should be able to easily navigate your website, while search engine spiders can easily understand and index it.
Why Is Your Site Structure Important?
Your site structure is important for many reasons. First, a clean, easy-to-navigate site structure is vital for housekeeping as your website grows and evolves over time. It helps ensure visitors find the pages they’re looking for quickly, and it makes it easier to add new pages into the mix if needed.
Next, a well-thought-out site structure can also create a better user experience (UX), making them more likely to engage with your site.
Finally, having a well-structured site is essential to improve your website’s ranking on search engine results pages. Here are some critical ways that site structure affects SEO:
- It helps search engines understand the relationship between different pages, which allows them to better index and rank your content
- Site structure affects how quickly webpages can be crawled and indexed by search engine bots, which can also impact rankings.
- Your architecture also impacts how internal links are distributed throughout your site, which can help boost rankings for specific keywords and pages.
Properly structuring a website with the right SEO best practices will help ensure that it ranks higher in search results, resulting in more visibility and increased website traffic.
How Many Types of Website Structures are There?
When it comes to SEO, there are a few main types of website structures that can help you improve your SERP rankings. Understanding the differences between these structures and how they work will help you make the most effective choices when deciding how to organize your site’s content.
Also called tree structure, hierarchical site structure is the most common type of website organization. It consists of a “home” page, with links to other sections making up the rest of your website. These sections are further divided into sub-pages, and so on until you reach individual content pages.
This type of structure allows users to quickly find information based on their level within the hierarchy, starting from the home page and working their way down through sub-pages.
As it sounds, sequential site structure follows a specific order – starting with the homepage, then transitioning to category pages, and finally, individual product or blog posts.
Also called linear structure, this type of site structure is often used by eCommerce sites that want to showcase their products in an organized manner. It’s also great for creating a clean user experience because visitors can easily navigate through the different levels of your website without feeling overwhelmed.
Database structure is the most complex type of site architecture, as it involves multiple layers and components that need to be optimized for search engine bots to understand.
These configurations can contain various elements such as tables, hierarchies, and relationships between fields. To optimize these elements for SEO purposes, you’ll want to ensure that all pages are accessible from the homepage or main navigation menu in as few clicks as possible.
Additionally, make sure your database structures have descriptive titles so they can easily be found by search engines when users are looking for information. Finally, create a sitemap to ensure that all of your website’s pages are indexed by search engines.
As the oldest type of structure, the webbed – also called the matrix and network – style is based on the idea that each page should be linked to all other pages, forming a web-like pattern.
For example, your homepage might link to various sections of your website, such as ‘About,’ ‘Services,’ and ‘Contact.’ Each of these sections will then have further links within them, creating an interconnected set of pages.
This allows users to navigate the website easily, and search engines can crawl deeper into it without getting lost in a maze of dead ends or broken links.
10 Best SEO Structuring Practices
Structuring the content on your website correctly can help you improve your SERP rankings and get more eyes on your site. Here are some best practices for optimizing your website’s structure with SEO in mind.
1. Use Your Structure to Guide Google
If you want to rank higher on SERPs, you must make sure Google knows what your website is all about. That’s where SEO structuring comes in: it helps Google understand the structure of your site and guide its crawlers through it.
When Google crawls a website, it looks for certain elements that help it understand how the site works. These include internal links, external links, the hierarchy of content, keywords used throughout the page or blog post, and other factors like meta tags and titles.
Google needs to follow these elements to understand the purpose of your site and give you a better SERP ranking. Here’s how you can use your website structure to help Google crawl more efficiently:
- Make sure all internal links point to relevant content pages and blog posts.
- Link out externally when it makes sense, but remember that too many external links will confuse Google’s crawlers.
- Create a hierarchy for your content so visitors and search engines can easily navigate it. This could include organizing blog posts into categories or creating a sitemap with easy-to-follow links.
- Include relevant keywords throughout your content, and ensure they appear in titles and meta tags to help Google understand the purpose of your page or blog post.
- Optimize page loading speed by compressing images, caching pages, and using a content delivery network (CDN).
By taking these steps to improve the structure of your website, you’ll be able to boost your SERP rankings and attract more organic traffic from search engines like Google.
2. Create a Flat Site Architecture
Flat site architecture is all about efficient crawling, indexing, and ranking of pages on your website by search engines. Depth refers to the number of clicks needed from any page on your website to reach another page.
If it takes four clicks or more, you have a deep hierarchy instead of a flat one, which can be difficult for search engines (and users) to navigate. Crawl depth refers to how deeply search engine crawlers travel into a website before giving up and moving on to the next one.
The fewer clicks needed to get from one page to another, the better. Having a flat site architecture not only improves user experience but also increases conversions by helping search engine crawlers easily find and index pages on your website.
The flatter the crawl depth of your website, the more likely it is that users will be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. This can lead to more leads or sales as visitors are likely to stick around if they don’t have to search too hard for what they need.
3. Design an Easy-to-Follow Navigation Menu
Navigation is the most crucial part of any website; it’s the foundation on which all other elements are built. Without it, your visitors would be lost in a maze of pages and unable to quickly find the information they need.
Navigation menus make this possible by providing an organized structure that connects different pages through links. A good menu should be easy to use and intuitive for users – they should not have to think too hard about how to navigate your site or where they need to go next.
It should also take no more than three clicks from one page on your website to another, regardless of content type. There are a few types of menus that work best for SEO purposes.
Dropdown menus, horizontal menus, and mega-menus are all great options if you want to categorize your website content and make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for quickly.
4. Optimize Your Site’s URLs
Optimizing your site’s URLs is an important part of improving your SERP rankings with SEO. It involves making sure the URLs you use for each page on your website are clear and concise so that search engine crawlers can easily understand them.
This helps search engines determine the content on a particular page and index it accordingly, increasing its chances of appearing in relevant searches. Here are some tips to help you optimize your site’s URLs:
- Keep them short. Try to keep all URLs under 100 characters.
- Include keywords. Adding relevant keywords to your URL will help users in their search and search engine crawlers.
- Avoid using special characters. Keep URLs simple, without symbols or punctuation.
- Use hyphens to separate words. This helps search engines distinguish between words and understand the URL better.
- Make sure they are unique. Each page on your site should have a unique URL to help you avoid duplicate content issues.
By following these tips, you can ensure your website’s URLs are optimized for SEO purposes.
5. Utilize Heading Hierarchy
Heading hierarchy is an essential SEO structuring best practice that helps organize individual pages of a website. It uses HTML heading elements (H1-H6) to structure and differentiate the content on a page by its importance. This allows search engines to easily read, interpret, and index the content for better SERP rankings.
Including headings in your web page’s HTML code helps search engine crawlers understand what topics each page covers and how relevant it is for specific queries.
Additionally, headings serve as visual cues for visitors by breaking up text into more readable sections, making them easier to navigate.
6. Keep Up on Keyword Research
Keyword research helps you to understand what language users are searching for when they type in their queries into a search engine. Knowing the right keywords to target can help you rank higher in SERP rankings, so it is essential to keep up on keyword research as part of your SEO structuring best practices.
Many online tools can help with keyword research, such as Google Ads Keyword Planner or Ahrefs Keywords Explorer. These tools will show you how much competition there is for a particular phrase, which words have more search volume, and other related keywords.
You can also use them to track the performance of your SEO efforts over time. Though it is an integral part of SEO, keyword research is an ongoing process. As user interests change and new trends emerge, adjusting your keyword strategy accordingly is vital to maintain high SERP rankings.
7. Show Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are a navigation aid used to help visitors and search engines understand the structure of your website. They provide links back to each page’s parent pages, assisting visitors to quickly go up one level in the site hierarchy.
For example, if you view a product description page on an e-commerce store, the breadcrumb trail might look like Home > Clothing > Shirts > Men’s Shirts. Using breadcrumbs can improve SERP rankings by allowing search engine crawlers to navigate your website and index content more efficiently.
Breadcrumbs also make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for, increasing their chances of staying on your site longer and engaging with more content. This improved user experience can also help boost SERP rankings.
To implement breadcrumbs on your website, you must ensure that each page is linked back to its parent pages in a consistent hierarchy. You should also consider adding an anchor text description to make it easier for users to understand what the links are leading to.
Finally, don’t forget about using schema markup so that search engines know how your website is structured and can index it better – this will help improve SERP rankings even further!
8. HTTP, HTTPS, HTTP2
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the protocol used to transfer data between your web server and a browser. HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an upgrade of this protocol that adds an extra layer of security, making it harder for malicious actors to intercept the transferred data.
HTTP2 is the latest version of HTTP, and it’s designed to make websites faster by utilizing multiplexing – sending multiple requests at once with one connection. Having an SSL certificate on your website will boost its SERP rankings because search engines prefer secure sites over non-secure ones.
The same goes for using HTTP2: websites that utilize this protocol tend to have faster loading times, which is considered a positive ranking signal by search engines. Ultimately, having an HTTPS certificate and using HTTP2 can improve your SERP rankings by making your website more secure and faster.
9. Optimize Your Site for People, Not Bots
Take extra steps to make sure that the content you create is easy to read and understand by human readers. This includes using simple language, avoiding jargon, adding visuals or multimedia elements like videos or images when appropriate, and ensuring that pages are easily navigable.
Doing these things will help visitors find what they’re looking for quickly and easily – which can lead to more engagement on your pages. Additionally, search engine algorithms consider user experience when ranking websites in SERPs – so optimizing for people can also help you improve your SERP rankings.
10. Use Internal Linking Strategically
When used strategically, internal linking can make it easier for search engine crawlers to find and index your web pages in the right order. Here are some tips on using internal linking effectively:
- Make sure you link relevant content together. Linking similar topics together will give context and relevance to each page, boosting SEO rankings.
- Utilize anchor text. Anchor text helps define a link, so be sure to choose descriptive words that accurately describe the page you are linking to.
- Make it easy to navigate. Internal links should be used to create a logical flow from one page to another, so make sure your website is easy for visitors and search engines alike.
- Don’t overdo it. Too many internal links can confuse readers and search engine crawlers, so only link when necessary.
- Monitor your results. Track how internal links affect your SERP rankings by using analytics tools like Google Search Console or Semrush.
By following these best practices for using internal linking strategically, you can help boost your SERP rankings and improve your SEO.
Now that you know the answer to the question “what is SEO structure,” it’s time to take your newfound knowledge and apply it. By following the best practices for SEO structuring outlined in this article, you can improve your SERP rankings and get more visibility on the web.
Take advantage of these techniques to ensure that your website is structured correctly and optimized for search engines, so it ranks higher in SERPs. Having a well-structured site with quality content will help establish a robust online presence and ensure that people see what you offer.
Don’t wait any longer – start implementing SEO structure best practices today to boost your website’s visibility!