Your company’s website is important for a lot of reasons — it helps customers contact you, clarifies your services, and establishes your brand. But when it comes to SEO, even something as specific as the structure of your site can be just as important as your contact information and your brand. Take a look at how the structure of your site can help your SEO.
What Is Site Structure?
The structure of your site refers to the way the site is organized and how the pages link together. Even though you can look at your site and see the pages and menu bar, you might not really know what your site structure looks like.
Imagine a hierarchy chart. There’s a space at the top, which branches to smaller spaces on the next level, and those in turn branch off to others. You want to make sure pages that relate to each other are on the same level of the chart. The hierarchical structure is often used for websites, and it consists of three main parts.
The home page should be the highest point of your hierarchy. It’s the main page of your website, and for good reason. It’s most likely the first page visitors will see, so it should clearly direct readers to other places they should go, like product pages, contact pages, and a blog.
Underneath the home page in the structure are the category pages. For instance, the categories on a typical site will often include a Services section, an About Us section, and a Blog section, and they’re often displayed in site menu bars for easy access. These are all on the same level in the hierarchy, like overarching services your company offers, and they should have links to more specific subcategories if applicable, as well as a connection back to the home page.
These are at the bottom of the hierarchy and mostly comprise individual product pages and blog posts. Just because they’re at the bottom of the site hierarchy, though, doesn’t mean they’re not important. These pages are for specific information about your company, its services, and its brand.
How Does Site Structure Affect SEO?
Site structure helps with how the site looks and how it runs, but what does it have to do with SEO? Search engines take a lot of things into account when ranking your site and pages, including the structure. For instance, if the structure is confusing and unorganized, that might cause site visitors to leave pages quickly or choose not to interact with your pages.
Here are some other ways it helps SEO.
It Helps Search Engines Understand Your Site
Search engines like Google gather information about sites with crawlers that read pages and follow them to other pages. The structure guides the crawlers from one page to the next in a logical way, which works favorably in the Google algorithm.
It Helps With Site Changes
As your company grows and changes, it’s likely that your site will too. Whether you revamp existing pages, add new ones, or overhaul the whole thing, an organized structure will make changes easier to make. You won’t have to worry about where you’ll put that new category page — it will go right next to the other category pages.
Even when changes are larger and a little messier, a site structure can help. For instance, if you merge with another company and want to incorporate their site and information into yours, you can organize those pages by categories, subcategories, and individual pages much like your site is already organized.
It Limits Competition
The point of SEO is to give your content a chance to be seen by people searching the internet, which means that there’s a lot of competition out there. You can’t control all of the other content out there vying for viewer’s attention, but you can keep your pages from competing against each other.
A clean site structure will ensure that none of your pages are competing for the same attention by establishing an order of importance. This way an obscure blog post won’t rank higher than the home page if someone searches your company name.
So What Now?
How do you go about implementing a strong site structure? Begin by prioritizing what you want visitors to your site to see first. Your home page is the most logical place to begin, and from there you can decide which of your services you most want people to see. Here are some additional steps you should take:
When your site is organized top to bottom in a way that viewers and search engines both understand, you’ll see the benefits in your site’s performance. Take steps to improve your SEO through your site structure today by reaching out to Grow Team. We can help you build or restructure your site with SEO in mind.