April 16, 2022 Mark Acornley

21 Tips for Building Your Website Architecture For SEO

Ever struggled to navigate a website that feels like a labyrinth?

Finding yourself lost in a maze of confusing menus and dead-end links?

Building a website that’s easy to navigate is crucial for user experience, but it’s also essential for SEO.

How can you optimise website architecture for SEO, designing for both users and search engines seamlessly?

Get ready to unravel the mysteries of website architecture with our 17 expert tips.

 

What is website architecture?

When you think of website architecture, think of the following;

  • Internal linking
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Structure of URL
  • Cluster pages

On a lot of websites, the information is just put on without much thought to how it fits into the website overall.

It’s vital to consider your website architecture for SEO.

You want a clear structure, where your home page is the top page then like a tree splits off into many different branches.

A bad website architecture makes it harder for users to navigate your site.

The site structure reflects a hierarchy, it’s a structure of internal links.

Your website design needs to be simple to use and helps search engines understand the relationship.

Your site structure is crucial to retain the customer base and increasing the conversion rate.

Implementation of a web structure will assist in designing a website for user experience.

Why is website architecture for SEO so important?

It’s all about two things;

  • Making your website easy to navigate for the user
  • Making your website search engine friendly

The most important thing in SEO is the user.

Ultimately, if you can satisfy them you’ll have a successful SEO campaign of growth, whereas if they can’t find the pages they need, they are likely to bounce back to the search engines for better results.

A properly designed website transforms an otherwise chaotic website into a useful and user-friendly one.

But also, the website architecture should be search engine friendly.

When search engines crawl your website you need the pages to be easy to crawl.

One benefit of internal linking is that it helps search engines navigate pages of your website, helping them to find things easier.

What are the SEO benefits of website architecture?

  • Improved Crawlability: A well-structured website architecture ensures that search engine crawlers can easily navigate and index all the pages on your site.
  • Enhanced Indexation: A clear website structure with logical hierarchies and internal linking ensures that all pages are indexed properly by search engines.
  • Better User Experience: A user-friendly website architecture makes it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently.
  • Improved Keyword Targeting: Organising your website content into thematic categories and subcategories allows for better keyword targeting.
  • Optimised URL Structure: A well-designed website architecture often results in clean and descriptive URL structures.
  • Enhanced Internal Linking: An organised website architecture facilitates strategic internal linking, allowing you to distribute link equity throughout your site.
  • Faster Page Load Times: A streamlined website architecture can contribute to faster page load times, which is a crucial ranking factor for search engines.

The 4 types of website structure

Website design depends greatly upon your site type. Regardless of how your site is designed, you must pick a structure which matches your goals and what visitors are expected to see on the site.

For websites which have much information and are clear on the topic, then hierarchy or database structure is your best option.

When delivering small amounts of information chronologically sequentially is a good option than sequential structures can be easily implemented.

Generally speaking, the best method to achieve the matrix structure should be using the Wiki style.

Below are the four main web structure types used today and the use cases of each.

  • Hierarchical Model: If you’ve got a large website, you’ll likely need to group up all the pages in a strategic way, this is the hierarchical model.
  • Sequential Model: Think of service or product websites where they want you to land on one page and then lead you on a step-by-step process to signing up.
  • Matrix Model: Often, these types of sites are so large that there’s no clear structure and the users find the information they want either by searching or by clicking on internal links.
  • Database model: The database model is a logical structure of a database which can depend on the data the designers use.

21 Tips for Designing and Developing Your Website Structure for SEO

We are going to touch on some details about designing and building websites.

It should be viewed in terms of user interaction.

Understand Your Audience

Before designing your website structure, delve deep into your target audience’s preferences, behaviour, and search intent.

Tailoring your architecture to meet their needs will enhance user experience and boost SEO.

Conduct thorough market research, analyse demographic data, and gather insights from user surveys to gain a comprehensive understanding of your audience’s needs and preferences.

Use this information to inform your website structure, content strategy, and navigation design, ensuring that every element of your site is optimised to resonate with your target audience.

Prioritise User Experience (UX)

A seamless and intuitive user experience is paramount for both users and search engines.

Design your website structure with clear navigation, logical hierarchy, and easy access to information to keep visitors engaged and encourage exploration.

Conduct usability testing and gather feedback from real users to identify pain points and areas for improvement in your website’s navigation and user interface.

Continuously iterate and refine your website structure based on user feedback and behavioural data to create a frictionless browsing experience that delights visitors and enhances SEO performance.

Organise Content Hierarchically

Structure your website’s content hierarchically, with broad categories leading to more specific subcategories.

This hierarchical organisation helps users and search engines understand the relationship between different pages and prioritise important content.

Conduct keyword research to identify the topics and themes that are relevant to your target audience, and organise your content into logical categories and subcategories based on these keywords.

Use descriptive headings, subheadings, and navigation labels to guide users through your site and help search engines crawl and index your content effectively.

 

 

Optimise URL Structure

Create clean, descriptive, and keyword-rich URLs that reflect the content of each page.

Short, readable URLs improve usability and make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site.

Include relevant keywords in your URLs to provide additional context to search engines and users about the content of your pages.

Avoid using generic or cryptic URLs that provide little information about the page’s content, and instead, create URLs that are concise, descriptive, and representative of the page’s topic or theme.

Implement Internal Linking

Use internal links strategically to connect related pages within your website.

Internal linking helps distribute link equity, improves navigation, and encourages deeper exploration of your content by both users and search engines.

Identify key pages and topics within your website that you want to prioritise in search engine rankings, and strategically link to these pages from other relevant pages on your site.

Use descriptive anchor text that includes relevant keywords to provide additional context to search engines about the linked page’s content and improve its visibility in search results.

Mobile-First Design

With the majority of internet traffic coming from mobile devices, ensure your website structure is optimised for mobile responsiveness.

A mobile-friendly design not only enhances user experience but also improves SEO, as Google prioritises mobile-friendly websites in search results.

Use responsive design techniques to create a website that adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes and devices, providing users with a consistent and accessible experience across desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

Test your website on various mobile devices and browsers to identify and address any issues that may impact usability or performance on mobile platforms.

Speed Optimisation

Page loading speed is a critical factor for both user experience and SEO. Optimise your website’s structure and assets to minimise loading times, ensuring fast and seamless browsing across all devices.

Minimise HTTP requests, optimise images and multimedia content, and leverage browser caching and compression techniques to reduce page load times and improve performance.

Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix to identify and address performance issues, and regularly monitor your website’s speed to ensure optimal performance over time.

Create an XML Sitemap

Generate an XML sitemap to provide search engines with a comprehensive map of your website’s structure and content.

Submitting your sitemap to search engines helps them crawl and index your site more efficiently, ensuring that all of your pages are discovered and ranked appropriately in search results.

Include all relevant pages and content types in your XML sitemap, including web pages, blog posts, product pages, and media files.

Update your sitemap regularly to reflect changes to your website’s structure and content, and monitor search engine console tools for any errors or issues with your sitemap submission.

Utilise HTML Sitemaps

In addition to XML sitemaps, include an HTML sitemap on your website to aid navigation for users and search engine crawlers.

An HTML sitemap provides a clickable overview of your site’s structure and facilitates the discovery of deeper pages that may not be easily accessible from your main navigation menu.

Organise your HTML sitemap into logical categories and subcategories, and use descriptive anchor text to help users understand the content of each linked page.

Update your HTML sitemap regularly to reflect changes to your website’s structure and content, and ensure that it remains accessible and easy to navigate for users and search engines alike.

Optimise Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

Craft unique, descriptive, and keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions for each page.

Optimised meta tags improve click-through rates in search results and provide search engines with valuable context about your content.

Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords and phrases for each page, and incorporate them strategically into your page titles and meta descriptions.

Use compelling language and calls-to-action to entice users to click on your search listings, and ensure that your titles and descriptions accurately reflect the content of your pages to avoid misleading users or search engines.

Canonical Tags

Implement canonical tags to indicate the preferred version of duplicate or similar content.

Canonical tags consolidate link equity and prevent duplicate content issues, improving SEO performance.

Identify instances of duplicate or similar content within your website, such as product variants, paginated pages, or printer-friendly versions of pages, and use canonical tags to specify the canonical (preferred) URL for each set of duplicate content.

This helps search engines understand which version of the content to index and display in search results, reducing the risk of duplicate content penalties and ensuring that your website ranks higher for relevant search queries.

Schema Markup

Incorporate schema markup to provide search engines with additional context about your content.

Schema markup enhances rich snippets in search results, increasing visibility and click-through rates.

Identify the types of structured data that are relevant to your website’s content, such as product reviews, recipes, events, or local business information, and use schema markup to mark up this content accordingly.

Implement schema markup using JSON-LD or microdata formats, and test your markup using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure that it is implemented correctly and is eligible for rich snippets in search results.

Optimise Images

Optimise images for SEO by using descriptive filenames, alt tags, and captions.

Properly optimised images improve accessibility, enhance user experience, and contribute to higher rankings in image search results.

Use descriptive filenames that include relevant keywords to provide search engines with additional context about the content of your images.

Write informative alt tags that accurately describe the content and purpose of each image, and include relevant keywords where appropriate.

Use captions to provide additional context or information about your images, and ensure that they are formatted correctly and displayed prominently on your web pages.

Regularly Update

Content: Maintain a consistent schedule of content updates and additions to keep your website fresh and relevant.

Fresh content signals to search engines that your site is active and authoritative, boosting SEO performance.

Develop a content strategy that includes regular updates to your blog, news section, or resources pages, and create a content calendar to plan and schedule your content releases in advance.

Monitor industry trends, news, and events for opportunities to create timely and relevant content that resonates with your target audience and aligns with your SEO objectives.

Monitor Website Analytics

Regularly monitor website analytics to track user behaviour, identify traffic trends, and measure the effectiveness of your website structure.

Analytical insights provide valuable feedback for ongoing optimisation efforts, helping you identify areas of improvement and opportunities for growth.

Use tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other web analytics platforms to track key performance indicators such as traffic sources, user engagement, conversion rates, and search engine rankings.

Analyse your website’s performance data regularly, and use it to inform your SEO strategy and make data-driven decisions about your website structure and content.

Address 404 Errors

Identify and fix 404 errors promptly to ensure a smooth user experience and prevent negative SEO impacts. Implement 301 redirects for broken links to redirect users and preserve link equity.

Use tools like Google Search Console or third-party website crawlers to identify broken links and 404 errors on your website, and create redirects to redirect users from outdated or non-existent URLs to relevant, active pages on your site.

Monitor your website regularly for new 404 errors and broken links, and address them promptly to maintain a positive user experience and avoid negative impacts on your SEO performance.

Secure Your Website

Implement HTTPS encryption to secure your website and protect user data.

HTTPS is a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm and improves trust and credibility with both users and search engines.

Purchase an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority and configure your website to use HTTPS encryption by default.

Update all internal links and resources to use HTTPS URLs, and ensure that your website’s security certificate is valid and up-to-date.

Monitor your website for security vulnerabilities and potential security threats, and take proactive measures to protect your website and safeguard sensitive information from unauthorised access or malicious attacks.

Consider Voice Search Optimisation

With the rise of voice search, consider optimising your website structure and content for voice queries.

Use natural language, long-tail keywords, and structured data to improve visibility in voice search results.

Analyse the types of voice queries that are relevant to your target audience, such as informational queries, local search queries, or transactional queries, and optimise your website content to provide concise, relevant answers to these queries.

Use conversational language and question-and-answer formats to align with the way users interact with voice search assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa, and ensure that your website is optimised for voice search across all devices and platforms.

Local SEO Optimisation

If your business serves a local audience, optimise your website structure for local SEO.

Include location-specific keywords, create dedicated location pages, and leverage Google My Business for increased local visibility.

Conduct keyword research to identify location-specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business and target audience, and incorporate them strategically into your website content, metadata, and URLs.

Create dedicated location pages for each of your business locations, and include detailed information about each location, such as address, phone number, hours of operation, and directions.

Verify your business on Google My Business and optimise your listing with accurate and up-to-date information, photos, and reviews to improve visibility in local search results and attract local customers to your business.

Regular Technical Audits

Conduct regular technical audits to identify and resolve issues that may impact SEO performance.

Address crawl errors, site speed issues, and mobile usability issues to maintain optimal website health.

Use tools like Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, or SEMrush to conduct technical audits of your website and identify any issues that may be impacting SEO performance.

Check for crawl errors, broken links, duplicate content, and other technical issues that may be preventing search engines from properly crawling and indexing your site.

Address these issues promptly to ensure that your website is accessible, user-friendly, and optimised for search engine visibility.

Stay Updated

Stay abreast of the latest SEO trends, algorithm updates, and best practices to ensure your website structure remains aligned with current industry standards.

Continuously adapt and refine your approach to maintain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving world of SEO.

Subscribe to industry publications, blogs, and forums to stay informed about the latest developments in SEO, and participate in webinars, conferences, and workshops to expand your knowledge and expertise.

Engage with other professionals in the SEO community to share insights, exchange ideas, and stay ahead of the curve.

By staying updated on the latest SEO trends and best practices, you can ensure that your website structure remains optimised for success in the constantly evolving landscape of search engine optimisation.

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