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Your Website’s Structure affect its SEO

In fact, there are a number of different ways your website’s construction can weight its overall SEO authority, so be sure to brush up on the following site structure elements to make your website is as search-friendly as possible.

website structure

1] Website Navigation

At first glance, website navigation might seem like one of those things that happen organically. That is, you don’t plan out where you’ll place every page on your website; categories and hierarchies simply start to form on their own as the size and breadth of your website grows.

When it comes to SEO, though, this is a huge mistake! The structure of your website plays a tremendous role in its overall SEO authority, and the specific navigation elements you put into place deserve plenty of attention in this process.

Your first site navigation consideration should be to avoid using navigation types that make it difficult for the search engines to crawl through your pages. Particularly, steer clear of navigation structures that are built entirely in Flash or JavaScript. While these formats might look flashy to your visitors, they’re nearly impossible for the search engine spiders to parse and crawl.

Instead, stick with navigation schemes based in XHTML and CSS (or, if you must, images that use appropriate keywords in their ALT tags). These navigation structures are more easily read by the search engine spiders, making it more likely that your pages will be crawled, indexed, and displayed in the SERPs, where appropriate.

2] Internal Linking

If your website is large, controlling the depth of your website through your site’s navigation structure alone isn’t entirely feasible. If you have 100 total pages, for example, you’d need more than 30 separate categories to make all of your pages accessible within three clicks using navigation structures alone, which would almost certainly bog down your site’s appearance and functionality.

So, while structuring your navigation paths correctly from the start can help to improve your website’s SEO performance, you can also decrease your site’s depth through the use of internal linking.

In the world of SEO, there are two types of backlinks:

  • External backlinks, which are links that point to your website from an entirely separate site, and
  • Internal backlinks, which consist of connections between individual pages within your website.

Creating internal links between the pages on your website offers a number of different SEO advantages:

  • As mentioned above, internal links decrease the number of clicks required to access each page on your website, allowing the search engines to use their crawl budgets more effectively.
  • Internal links offer opportunities to use keyword-rich anchor texts throughout your pages (though you should be careful to only create internal links to relevant, useful pages, instead of using this as an opportunity to create keyword-stuffed links).
  • Internal links improve the user experience on your website by providing readers with additional materials that may pique their interests. As a result, both average time on site and average pages per visit go up, leading to potential SEO and conversion rate benefits.

Fortunately, unlike plotting out your website’s entire navigation structure, getting started with an internal linking plan is easy. Whenever you add a new page, article, or blog post to your website, take a second to see if the readers who are accessing this new content might be interested in other topics you’ve covered elsewhere on your site.

3] URL Structure
One final website structure element to consider is how your individual page URLs are built. As you might expect, there’s a potential SEO benefit to be had from integrating your company’s target keywords into this vital navigation area.

The specific steps you’ll need to take to set up an SEO-friendly URL structure depend on whether your site runs on HTML or a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla or Magento.

HTML websites

If you run an HTML-oriented website, your page URLs will be built according to the file names of every new HTML file you create and upload to your site.

For example, if you use a desktop website editing program like Dreamweaver to create a new article and save your file as “my-new-article.html,” the full URL of your article once uploaded to the root domain of your website will be “http://www.mydomain.com/my-new-article.html.”

Now, in this example, odds are you aren’t trying to get your website ranked for the keyword phrase “my new article.” So, instead of using generic file names, take the time to label each file with a descriptive name that includes your target keyword.

Be sure to separate multiple words with dashes, rather than underscores, as the search engine spiders may interpret words separated by underscores as a single word (as in, the file name “apple_pie” might be read as “applepie” to the search engines in some cases).

CMS websites

Typically, most CMS websites make it easy to create search-optimized page URLs, though you may need to tweak a few settings to get the greatest SEO benefit possible.

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