Traditionally, SEO is focused on analysis & keyword research. Site structure, however, also affects SEO. Website structure isn’t how it looks, but how its pages are linked. Website pages should be organized in such a way that the user can easily find what he/she seeks, and the search engine robot can easily scan these very pages.
An organized site structure of the website is incredibly important for SEO and your profit, afterward. So, what are the major website structure features that really matter? Here they are.
- Site scannability
If a search engine robot unexpectedly finds itself in a dead end, it can create problems for the further SEO of your site.
According to Matthew Cutts, a former head of the webspam team at Google, the site’s scannability is a significant factor for prevention problems with its indexing.
The first factor in site structure is scannability. It is a power of a search robot to scan all textual content, finding out if it’s worthy for a potential user. Moving through subpages and separate categories is a part of this process. A web page must be able to drive a visitor to another location within the website from one page to another and be scanned by a search robot.
Search robots are in charge of checking sites. An imperative indication of a decent site filter is the absence of deadlocks.
So, how to improve your website scannability? The easiest way is to include internal links to each page, which creates a bridge, connecting one part of your site to another. It is strongly recommended to use breadcrumbs.
Breadcrumbs are links, enabling users to track their way from the page they are at present to the landing page of your site, and in addition, connections to comparable articles on a page, can automate examining the process.
- User experience
Usability standards that modern webmasters adhere to are much stricter than those in the early days of the Internet. If a visitor encounters a poorly constructed site or having bad site structure, he/she makes all possible efforts to avoid further interaction with it.
Besides, no one wants to spend time on a website where it’s impossible to understand what to do next. If a visitor can’t figure out how to find data on your website, he/she searches for it on another web.
A terrible UX can adversely influence SEO. Google marks the way clients cope with the site for future indexed lists. CTR (click through rate), bounce rate and time spent on page, are essential signals for Google algorithm. Proof of positive experience affirms the website significance for Google.
Negative user experience proves Google robot that this page is not relevant or helpful for a specific query.
The basis of providing a good UX consists of:
- Matching user expectations with your content,
- Making data easy to find,
- Providing intuitive navigation.
Conduct tests with unbiased visitors to determine how easy and convenient your site appears. It will give you a full 360 degrees perspective on your website site structure. Or you may use Inspectlet – a behavior analysis tool to determine how real users interact with your site.
- Internal links
Legitimate navigation essentials dictate users ought to have the capacity to freely explore from one page to another, etc. If your site has numerous pages, the undertaking is to make these pages accessible in only a couple of clicks utilizing navigation only.
Usability experts insist that users should need three clicks only to search for any page. Use this tip as a guide, but not as a rule.
Categorize and organize links, so that they don’t disrupt the whole structure of your website. In your content, links should contain anchor texts with keywords relevant to the other website content, etc.
The benefits of conscious internal link usage for SEO are numerous:
- Internal links allow search engines to find extra related pages.
- They reduce the site viewing depth.
- They also provide users with an easier way to access a variety of content, improving UX.
- Search engines value internal links more in terms of page ranking.
Ensure that both old and new content are linked to each other through internal links.
- Duplicate pages
Duplicate content affects site structure SEO negatively because Google interprets it as spam. The focus on high-quality and unique content, as well as how your site is structured impacts SEO and your profit.
Google Search Console is a useful tool for finding and eliminating duplicate content on your site. You can try reposting dubbed content on social media, but with caution. As a rule, you shouldn’t post duplicate content on your own or other websites.
One of the most important factors of how structure affects SEO is URL structure. A few things you need to know for proper SEO:
- Extraneous characters
Have you ever come across URLs that contain characters such as: &, $, #, %, or @? Of course, not.
If the URL contains many similar characters, it makes it difficult for search engines to scan the website. For better ranking, use underscores and dashes to highlight individual words in some keyword phrase. A dash usage between words separates them, while the usage of an underscore combines two words into one. In general, eliminate unnecessary characters to focus on keywords in a URL.
To do this, you may select keywords that ultimately describe your service with the help of any keyword tool you like: Wordtracker, Google Keywords tool or Serpstat, which is the first SEO platform offering an advanced keyword analysis feature.
- URL length
According to Quicksprout, the optimal length of URLs:
- On the average, the top 10 search results URLs consist of 37 characters.
- Top 50 search results URLs – of 36 characters.
- Top 100 results – of 38 characters.
Even in the initial stages of conceptualizing a website, it’s essential to have a plan for optimizing future content (internal links, UX, etc.) To achieve the best results in SEO and increase profit, its structure should be correct. If there is no logical linking between the pages, all other SEO endeavors might be in vain.
Now it’ll be less difficult to understand how the structure of the site influences SEO, so make sure that your endeavors are not restricted to picking keywords & analysis only. Good luck!