How to build your website architecture for SEO?

April 16, 2022
April 16, 2022 Mark Acornley

To rank high in the search engines, your website needs to have a structure to it.

The website architecture for SEO should be focused on making user-friendly pages for the user whilst making them search engine friendly to help your website get more traffic.

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.

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

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 so important for SEO?

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?

For a better view of your visitors’ behaviour, there are several metrics that Google Analytics provides.

This is the latest update for the website optimisation and site conversion industry that includes databox templates to measure your website traffic.

This simple application can also be used as a single dashboard or in a marketing report.

It also comes for free! It’s easy to install with a couple of mouse clicks – without programming required!

Your Website Architecture Passes Link Authority: Backlinks play important role in rankings. You should ensure that all links are properly distributed across your site.

For high-quality backlinking, the site must have several pages which answer a specific question. This allows multiple pages to be useful to users. Similarly, you can obtain more valuable links to your site.

The correct layout of your site is essential.

A good website architecture makes it easier to navigate: If we design our websites so that customers get what they want quickly, we make them easier to navigate.

Since a key feature on a website is to promote prospects through your sales funnel, you would like to make the process as easy as possible through improved navigation.

A good structure makes your site easier to crawl and find new pages faster: A clean website can improve search engine visibility.

If Google cannot see the entire page on your website they are not indexable.

However, you can’t solve the issue using an effective structure because all content must come from an alternate webpage.

Helps to Prevent Keyword Cannibalisation: Keywords can be cannibalised and can hinder a site’s rankings when two or more pages with similar goals compete.

The right web structure helps in stopping this problem from occurring by providing clearly defined places for a topic.

Website architecture is important for UX: The structure you choose will affect the usability of our site so users can find what they are looking for.

The easier someone finds your site the better your chances of being a buyer. See how the ranking works using this tool.

Highlight your most important content: Users can only find your most popular content if you’re making it easy for them to find it.

How to create a website structure that improves SEO and boosts Rankings

The more clear and more logical the layout of your website, the more logical the design is.

Developing a web-based strategy requires time and thoughtful planning.

Why is website structure important for SEO?

The structure of a website plays a crucial role in determining its ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

This is because search engines rely on various factors, including website structure, to determine the relevance and quality of a website’s content.

A well-structured website makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index its pages, which in turn increases its visibility and ranking on SERPs.

One important aspect of website structure is its organization and hierarchy.

Websites that are organised into a clear hierarchy, with main categories and subcategories, making it easier for search engines to understand the relationship between different pages on the site.

This helps search engines to better index and rank the content on the site, as they can easily see which pages are the most important and relevant to a given topic.

How do I choose the right type 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.

The 4 types of website structure

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. The home page is the main page of the website, which then goes deeper into the main topics, then deeper into sub-topics and so on. This is a common way to lay out websites, using pillar pages as the main pieces of content for a topic, then branching off into different topics on the same subject on other pages.
  • Sequential Model: A sequential model is used for landing pages. 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: The matrix structure gives the users choices of options. 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. Think of Wikipedia as an example of this.
  • Database model: The database model is a logical structure of a database which can depend on the data the designers use.

17 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.

Plan your site structure and hierarchy

Creating your website structure is crucial in the right direction.

The pillars are the main components of establishing the topic cluster and expanding the supported content for each cluster. Your pillar is the top-level content page which covers the whole subject.

When creating the pillar page you should consider covering broad topics within the page. The resulting information allows broader explorations in specific clusters, if necessary.

Think of these as a deeper page that answers specific questions related to a particular subject.

Consider your website URLs

In ideal conditions, your website will be arranged as a cluster within the same subdirectory as its main pillars.

The term URL silos help to retain relevant information within your subdirectory and whenever possible is useful to structure your website accordingly.

Plan your navigation menus carefully

While menus are used primarily to assist your visitors in finding the page they want, they are an excellent indicator of what the main pages are. And you have to consider your navigational menu very seriously.

For instance, compare the primary navigations for both sites in the same sector with the examples below.

The second picture is clear to help the user easily locate a product, while the first image only has a basic generic category.

Topic and keyword research

All of this involves the topical keyword search. For the right structure, you need to know the topics of interest you are going to focus on.

Use the Semrush Topic Research Tool to create a list of topic ideas for your business.

Choose the topic and click Get Ideas. Start focusing on a product or service that closely fits you.

These ideas have the potential to bring up other ideas that have come to your mind in this space.

Consider the depth of your site’s key pages

A good site design is a way for search engines and the user to find the content on a page, which also requires pages to never hide from the search engines. It is typically assumed that your website should be accessible with 3 clicks.

Creating logically can facilitate this. How can we check for and correct errors on the sitemap using the site audit tool and see the pages that are buried inside the site?

Link to other, relevant pages on your site

Do not forget to create internal linking strategies to increase search engine rankings.

The flow of a site’s ranking includes the anchor text you use to link the site’s pages that may be quite aggressively keyword-optimised without incurring a Google penalty, and part of this process involves linking to top-ranked pages.

The site manager says it is possible that there was one larger site to ‘wall off / isolate’ certain parts of the site.

Add Schema markup

For a better website architecture, look for structured data. Structured data includes tags, code JSON and rich data created to understand search engine results.

Some sites have reported an increase of more than 400 percentage points on a search engine-based organic search engine. If it’s the most exciting, use schema marking.

This can easily be implemented in the same way as JSON. There is a good set-up guide for creating schemas.

Use heading hierarchy

The heading tags known as the H tags help to give your website content structure. This helps the user and the search engines to better understand the content.

Create an HTML and XML sitemap

Sitemaps are a document where you list the crawl ability of a site on the Internet.

This is extremely important in web development as it provides you with information in readable crawlable format. HTML Sitemaps are web-based with the same layouts as other sites.

The site is usually designed for people who have difficulty finding any page and need a list for each page on a site. This example shows eBay’s HTML sitemap. XML sitemaps are intended to help search engines crawl sites.

They provide all URLs as plaintext. Depending on the website you use on WordPress, you may need an HTML or XML sitemap

Use the pillar and cluster methodology

Pillar pages are the main pages on your website. Think 5,000 or 10,000-word blog posts, they are a hub of information that dives deep into a subject.

One of the biggest benefits of pillar pages is when you link out to other pages on your website surrounding a similar topic.

These smaller more niche topics are the cluster pages that support the pillar page and can be great for internal linking which helps boost SEO traffic when done correctly.

Stick with one category per blog post

Don’t go off talking about various topics in one blog post. Stick to one and cover it in depth. Ideally, you want to be linking out to various other posts to offer greater insight to your audience.

Have a 3 click-maximum from the homepage

One tip you can take in SEO is to create good internal links.

Creating and linking a website can make it easier for people to find it. Any website should allow users to search for what they need with as few clicks as possible.

Google said click depth is a major SEO factor over URL structures.

Although there is no strict rule regarding how many clicks you should make, try keeping the width of navigation at three clicks if possible.

Create a simple navigation menu

Firstly, do not add too many high-grade menu items. Secondly, ensure that the contents of your menu are given according to its name.

For example, when your visitors click the link on the website to the email campaign section you want them to see all your emails.

Then you must also build an easy navigational link back to your homepage.

The menu can be arranged by software and resource categories. On the resource tab, the user may see different resource types divided into various categories.

Keep your URLs simple and user-friendly

It’s important to create easy-to-browse web pages with minimal user inputs and errors. Most websites use a URL that is automatically created by the URL in your website, based on the title.

Use breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs provide the perfect visual representation of the architecture of the site. This link takes a page from the parent page to the home page.

They are usually above the title of the page and contain the path on which you will find the page. Create a menu for the CMS hub website using breadcrumbs.

Model your website architecture after the top players in your industry

Your customers are familiar with eCommerce sites built for major brands in your industry and should analyse how Amazon structure their sites and resemble them. It is easier than you would think to find your site.

Keep your website consistent

The navigation layout of a site should follow an identical pattern.

If you maintain them the same you’re likely to have more visitors to your website because the user can navigate to more information quickly.

Keep links on any given page to a Reasonable Number

There needs to be a balance between on-page time & hyperlink interaction.

It’s important for a user to be interested in what’s going on on your current site, but you also need a way for the user to explore your site further.

It is crucial to keep the link count reasonable and make sure the link is connected to the subject at hand.

Optimise your website for people, not the search engines

There is no longer any gap in web optimisation practices between humans and bots.

Some site owners however have focused more primarily on improving the crawl ability of bots than people.

This can often lead to keyword stuffing, unnatural text and headings and a lot more, all of which will hurt your SEO campaign.

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