How you set up your website and its various pages can significantly impact SEO visibility, more than you realize. So, know How Website Structure Can Affect SEO.
Optimizing a website for traffic, conversions, and revenue is the most vital aspect of SEO. Having a neat and glossy design can hinder how search engines view, crawl and rank your website. A fancy-looking website might seem a creative way to distinguish yourself from your competition. However, if not structured properly, your unique website can quickly become challenging to navigate for both your visitor and search engine.
Conventional and flat-design sites always seem more user-friendly.
In a Webmaster Hangout, John Muller from Google hinted that a hierarchical site architecture could help Google better understand:
- What the page on the website mean
- How one page is connected and related to other
When it comes to the best structure, a designer’s and SEO’s opinions can vary considerably.
It is essential to balance the website’s visual aesthetics for your customers and structural architecture for search engine visibility to run a successful website. Without the intricate balance of both elements, you cannot achieve your desired goal.
If your website doesn’t make any logical sense or is hard to navigate, your other SEO and design efforts will be in vain.
A good website structure should have a considerable impact on SEO traffic and conversion rate. Straightforward design can also help your organization engage with users better and create an excellent experience aligned with your business goals, products, and services.
The following are some of the essential points to consider while making website structure choices.
Site Crawlability is the term for describing the search engine’s ability to crawl through or index your website’s entire text content to determine what your website is. Crawlability is the most crucial factor of website structure.
A search engine crawler navigates through each page and subpage and specific topics to understand the entire website.
A good website has to take a visitor from one page to another to get labeled as crawlable.
Google and other search engines use for crawling. These bots land on one page and start looking for links that take them to other pages on the website. If you don’t have proper navigation build-in into every page of your website, search engine bots will not index your website correctly, which will hurt your SEO standing.
Finding no dead ends is a good sign that a website is crawl friendly. To achieve this state of no dead ends, try to concentrate your efforts to include internal links on your website’s every page, which helps create a bridge from your website’s one part to another.
Breadcrumbs, structured data formats, schema, etc., can all help you make a crawlable website.
URL structure is another essential factor related to how your website’s design affects SEO.
URLs help build a useful site hierarchy. They pass equity through your domain and direct users to their preferred destination. The best URLs are those that users and search engines can read and understand easily. These URLs also contain target queries, making them content-rich.
Effective URL structure represents logic across your entire website. You can submit an XML sitemap to search engines with all the essential URLs you want to rank.
The best URLs are simple and don’t have any over-complicated or too many parameters.
Using HTTPS ensures your website’s security. Google considers it a vital part of the user experience. Also, having a secure website can boost your SEO rankings. More than 50% of the websites on the internet are using HTTPS because switching to HTTPS for HTTP has several benefits in addition to better SERP rankings, including:
- Enhanced user experience
- User’s information protection
- AMP implementation, which is only available to websites using HTTPS
- Increased PPC campaign effectiveness
The fundamental principle of a good website structure is the ability to go from one page to another without having the URL type or facing any difficulties.
If your website consists of many pages, it can be challenging to make these pages accessible with only a few clicks only via the navigation menus.
A good website should only require three clicks to find any given page. However, it is not a rule that you must follow. Still, make pages accessible with as few clicks as possible will only help improve the user experience.
Internal linking is essential for users and search engines to discover pages. Unlinked pages are hard for a search engine to find, which excludes them from SEO.
It is essential to categorize and organize links in an orderly fashion not to wreck your website’s structure, and internal linking helps you do that. You can use a keyword in your content to link it to another relevant piece of information on your website.
You can have numerous advantages of consciously using internal linking for SEO, including:
- Allowing for search engines and users to find other pages through keyword-rich anchors
- Decreasing page depth
- Giving users an easier way of accessing other content, creating a better user experience
- Search engines give more value to internal links when ranking on search engine results page (SERPs)
People often link to old content through via internal links but will rarely do the reverse. Adding internal links to new content from the old one help close the loop by ensuring both pieces get connected through internal links.
Having duplicate content is like having a death wish for your SEO ranking. Google sees the duplication of content as spam, demoting your website in SERPs.
You can find high-quality and unique content on the SERPs, which indicates how websites must structure for ideal SEO.
You can use various tools to find and remove duplicate content for your website. It is possible to repost the same content on Medium or LinkedIn. However, it would help if you did it with caution.
Try to make it a rule that you should not post any duplicate content on your website or any other content-sharing websites like LinkedIn or Medium.
Key Content And Keywords
Doing content and keyword research are a fundamental part of SEO. These things should be an essential part of how you structure and build your website from the very beginning.
Proper keyword research ensures that you understand your target audience, their search behavior, and competitive topics. Aimed with this knowledge, you can better integrate the elements and keywords that matter most to your audience on your website’s structure and layout.
The best websites make sure that they provide a great user experience and present a search engine friendly site by ensuring that their website’s most important content is in the forefront of the structure and is of the highest quality.
Navigation And User Experience
The user-friendliness standards that modern websites have to hold are much stricter than in the internet’s early days. If a user comes across a poorly or unprofessionally built website, they will bounce and refrain from interacting with it in the future.
Internet is not a novel thing anymore, and nobody wants to waste their time figuring out how to navigate your website.
If a visitor can’t quickly find the information they are looking for, they will leave your website for a competitor. Remember that bad user experience hurts SEO.
Google keeps track of how a searcher is interacting with a website. Search engines use this interaction data for future search results. If your bounce rate is high, Google will drop your website for its SERPs.
Data shows that a positive user experience validates the search results to google. A negative experience indicates to the search engine that the page might not be the most relevant for that query, and the search engine will alter its search result accordingly.
The following are the most fundamental elements of providing a good user experience:
- Making desired information easy to find
- Aligning click-through with expectations
- Ensuring navigation is sensible to the point of intuitiveness
You can run some tests with random and unbiased visitors to determine how user-friendly your website is and how a real user will interact with your website. Use the data from these tests to improve the user experience on your website.
Core Web Vitals And User Experience
Core Web Vitals are an element of Google’s page experience update. When optimizing images, these core web vitals can impact your website’s rank.
Google’s shift in emphasis on Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS and the measurement of visual and textual content load jumps is something that website developers, designers, and SEO should be working on together.
Core Web Vitals might become a significant ranking factor in 2021, and right now, fewer than 15% of the sites meet the benchmark standards.
Google has given ample time to website developers and SEO professionals to prepare for this upcoming update. Immediately starting to optimize your website as per the Core Web Vitals benchmarks can give you a competitive advantage in SEO and SERPs.
Ensuring that you have appropriately structured your website for mobile viewers using different devices is an essential part of website design and development.
The amount of work required to make a website mobile-friendly can depend on your IT expertise, developer resources, and business model. Complex websites, such as the ones with eCommerce facilities, are the hardest to optimize for mobile after the fact.
Even Google admits in its Search Central blog that going mobile is a costly and time-consuming endeavor if you had not considered it when initially building your website. It can be especially tricker if your site uses old dependencies like adobe flash, which the mobile platforms don’t support.
Speed And Performance
If you don’t build and structure your website for a speedy user experience, your SEO will take a drastic hit.
Slow page loading speed, unresponsive pages, and other things that take excess time to load are the things that destroy all the hard work put in by the SEO and content creators.
Only a few seconds of delay can result in fewer page views, decreased traffic, and a considerable drop in conversions.
Slow loading time means a significant bounce rate, which ultimately makes Google stop showing your website in SERPs. To avoid this situation, you should work closely with the IT department and the designers to ensure that your website works as expected on both the mobile and desktop platforms.
Timely checking your website’s responsiveness and identifying all pros and cons can prevent a costly disaster.
It is crucial to ensure that your site has a perfect structure and is in the most appropriate hierarchical format for your business and users to achieve the best SEO results.
Make sure to correctly architect your website for search readability.
Determine your website design and communicate with your website designers when developing your site and not after.
Plan ahead for the content to come. It is good to do this at the beginning stages of your website’s development.
It is easy to understand how a website’s structure can affect SEO, so ensure that you align your website design and architecture with your SEO efforts to get the most out of your hard work.