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  • SEO Page Structure: What Is It? Why Page Structure Matters for SEO

    SEO Page Structure: What Is It? Why Page Structure Matters for SEO

    Site and page structure is a critical part of your website’s SEO. The structure of your pages tells Google the most important pages. So, you influence with your SEO page structure as far as the content that gets the highest Google rank.

    Learn more below about why skilled SEO teams focus on SEO page structure and how they do it.

    Overview Of Site Structure

    Site structure has many parts, but at its most basic, it means the way you organize your website’s content. Many websites have content focused on many related subjects, usually presented as blog posts, webpages, videos, etc.

    Site structure involves how these different content types are organized, linked, and shown to visitors. If the site is structured well, visitors will find helpful content faster, and Google will find it more accessible, too.

    Web designers structure sites effectively with tags, categories, internal links, and navigation are the ways to structure your website.

    Why Is Site Structure Important?

    Why Does Site Structure Matter?

    Site structure matters because as your website gets larger, it can get disorganized and cluttered. So to support growth, it’s vital from the beginning to structure the site to keep it neatly organized.

    For example, let’s say you write a blog post every day and put it on your site. That’s 365 posts, and if they aren’t organized, both your visitors and search engines won’t find them. This will hurt your credibility, ranking, sales, and more.

    Below are more reasons why your site needs great structure:

    It Guides Search Engines

    As most of us know, search engine ranking is the lifeblood of most businesses today. How well you structure your website tells Google where it can locate the most critical content that users want.

    Following the site structure you set up, Google will crawl your site by following links. It will determine how those pages relate, then will index the key pages higher in its rankings.

    Essential For User Experience

    Sure, a good site structure will help the website climb the search engine rankings, but it will also help the user experience.

    How the site is structure needs to be reflected in its navigation. If you have a clear structure, your users and visitors will find what they want quickly. Excellent user experience also makes it more likely they’ll buy your products and services.

    You Won’t Compete With Yourself

    Effective site structure also matters, so your content pages aren’t competing with one another in Google.

    For example, you may have articles and blog posts on your website about the same thing. For instance, if you run an SEO company, you almost certainly have different articles and posts about various aspects of SEO. But search engines don’t know what matters the most if you don’t tell them.

    The content that is most important to your customers is what should come first in your site structure. When you don’t tell search engines which posts are most important to users and visitors, they will all fight each other for a higher rank.

    A simple way to solve this issue is to tell the search engine the most critical pages, which you do with excellent internal linking.

    Types Of Website Structure

    What is Site Structure?

    There are many ways to structure your website, but these are the most common:

    • Flat site: This type of site is designed so that visitors and search engines can go through the entire site with a handful of clicks from the homepage.
    • Deep site: This type takes longer for visitors and search engines to find content, but you can make pages that cover particular topics.

    There also are some subtypes of website structure to know:

    • Hierarchical: Think of a tree with a trunk. Your homepage is the tree trunk, and the various categories are the tree branches.
    • Sequential: This site structure leads users through a program or process by step.
    • Database: This is a dynamic way to build site structure. This involves the metadata of every page.
    • Matrix: This is the oldest type of site structure that gives visitors a choice of where to go. They’re sent where they want to go with internal links; Wikipedia is a classic example of the matrix structure.

    SEO Page Structure Best Practices

    7 Tips for Improving Your Site Structure

    Now you understand how vital site structure is and the various types. Now let’s dig into how to structure your site for best SEO results:

    Develop A Site Hierarchy First

    If you’re starting a new site, you should plan your structure before you pick a color or photos. A whiteboard is an excellent way to do this if you’re a visual person. But others may prefer to lay out their site structure in a spreadsheet.

    Your hierarchy shows how you’re going to organize information on the site. The hierarchy also eventually will turn into navigation and the structure for your URL.

    The hierarchy needs to be logical, and you should have somewhere between two and seven categories. Of course, huge global players such as Amazon.com have many categories, but most of us should only have a few on our site.

    Build A URL Structure

    Now that you have a good hierarchy, you should build the URL structure based on it.

    For example, if your site is for a Russian restaurant in several cities, you might have a URL structure like this: IvansRussianCafe.com/locations/Chicago.

    Build Website Navigation In CSS Or HTML

    You should have it in CSS or HTML when you build your site navigation to keep the code simple. Unfortunately, using Flash or JavaScript affects Google’s ability to crawl your navigation.

    Create Header With Major Navigation Pages

    Perfect your navigation

    The top header on your site should mention the main site pages and nothing else. This should tell your users where to find the most critical information they need.

    Now that you know more about site structure, you should be able to develop a website that’s easier for Google and your users to use.

    Chief Revenue Officer at SEO Company
    Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams for SEO (search engine optimization) services - including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing, assisting in everything from SEO for lawyers to complex technical SEO for Fortune 500 clients like Wiley, Box.com, Qualtrics and HP.

    Tim holds expertise in building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams.

    When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii.

    Over the years he's written for publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, ReadWrite and other highly respected online publications. Connect with Tim on Linkedin & Twitter.
    Timothy Carter