How to Make your Site Architecture SEO-Friendly
Alongside high-quality link profile and content, site architecture is a crucial component of your SEO campaign. It is one of the success factors for how easily the search engine spiders can crawl and index your website. But while having a well-structured site is a nod to the search engine, the whole point of this exercise is to make your website navigation and architecture make sense to the readers. A well-optimised site architecture improves your website’s visibility, enhances visitor engagement, and increases organic traffic to your site.
SEO Premier rounds up the tried-and-tested tricks to optimise your website architecture, as well as factors to consider when doing so:
Plan your site’s architecture
If you are launching a new website, planning your site’s architecture is easier than to re-engineer an existing one. The plan must include the pages, what information each page will contain, and how the information will be organised.
It is imperative that each page has a clear purpose and focus, so that the reader will not get lost while on the website. The hierarchy of information should make sense to the readers as well. As much as possible, avoid many levels of categories and subcategories: such deep structure will be difficult for the crawlers to index your pages.
Create and submit an XML sitemap
Creating an XML sitemap is an indispensable part of site architecture optimisation. It is a list of all the pages on your website, plus the info about what the pages contain, their URL structure, etc. Search engines often look at a site’s XML map to better understand your website. To index your site’s pages better, generate your XML sitemap and submit it to the search engine via Google Search Console.
Employ breadcrumb navigation
Borrowing from the famous story of Hansel and Gretel, breadcrumbs are what the duo used to create a trail back to their house, when their parents wanted to abandon them in the woods. Breadcrumb navigation is a navigation tool that helps users understand where they are in the website and what paths they took in sequence to get where they presently are.
Create a clear and deive URL structure
There’s a lot of best practices to use when formulating your site’s URL structure. In principle, your URL should accurately reflect the hierarchy of your pages and the content of each. A strong URL is clear, deive, and relevant.
More often, a hyphen (-) is used to separate words in URLs. Webmasters used to inject underscores (_) in URLs, but this is nowadays a bad practice as it can be difficult for search engines to understand. It’s also a big no-no to add a string of random numbers and special characters in URLs.
Use site architecture tools
For those with existing websites, it is recommended for you to use site architecture tools that will identify areas for improvements in your site before you go and make decisions about recreating your site architecture.
Tools like Treejack will analyse visitor behaviour and identify impediments in the customer journey. The data gathered will enable you to pinpoint specific areas/pages in your site where users have difficulty understanding and help you make informed decisions about what to change and why.
Do strategic internal linking
Internal links serve to connect related pages directly to each other when a visitor wades through the website outside of its primary navigation. Internal links can be in the form of breadcrumbs, contextual internal links (most often buried in the content), and secondary navigation links like sidebars.
Make sure that your anchor text makes sense and matches to the page the readers will be directed to once clicked.
Optimise your content
The crawlers should recognise some form of hierarchy and organisation even on the page level. Placing the right keywords and key phrases in your titles and subtitles can give the crawlers and readers an idea about your content. Use the heading tags (H1, H2, H3, and so on) to give your content structure as well.
Get Expert Help!
Well-planned changes to your site architecture can yield excellent results for your on-page optimisation initiatives. Ultimately, an optimised site structure can achieve your goals, whether to increase engagement or improve your conversion rate. By following the tips outlined in the article, your site’s performance will fly in no time.
Better yet, you can get professional help from the experts at SEO Premier. Book a consultation and let’s start your site architecture optimisation project today!