Google or any search engine, for that matter, does not simply look at the content that is present within a website. It takes note of the overall structure of the website, the manner in which the pages are separated, the relevant keywords in each page, and the mode of navigation. All these aspects combine to form the SEO strategy of your website.
So, when you hear the words, SEO doesn’t simply think it’s about a bunch of keywords. SEO is beyond keyword stuffing in your website content and any agency that calls themselves SEO experts will tell you the same.
But even before you visit an SEO agency, you need to have some basic understanding of how the structure of your website plays into the search rankings. So, here’s a quick course on website structure and SEO.
The Search Engine Needs To Comprehend Your Website
When the search engine bots are going through your website, they are not merely looking at the words that are present within every page. They are trying to build a database from which they can easily call back the relevant pages to respond to a search. This is why the homepage of your website may rank lower than your services page in a certain search, or vice-versa.
With the right structure, you can help the search engine perfectly catalog the pages of your website. This will further translate into your website being easy to navigate for the search engine’s crawlers. So, they will refer to your website more than they will refer to one that they don’t understand. Having an easily comprehensible site structure will directly affect your SEO ranking.
Internal Linking Is Key
If your website is just a list of pages, then that is exactly what the search engine will consider it as. And as a result, these pages will compete with each other in terms of SEO ranking. If you have a services page that details your services and a homepage that also provides information about these services concisely, then they need to be interlinked. Otherwise, the search engine will view these two pages as separate entities and not part of the same website.
It is your job (or the job of SEO experts) to ensure that the search engine picks up the right page from your website and not any random page. Be it a blog or a services page. You don’t want a first time visitor to your website to land in the middle of the website. A well-thought-out structure, along with internal linking, ensures that the different pages of your website are considered as a singular entity by the search engine. Thus, it will always promote the relevant page in its search results rather than having your different web-pages compete with each other.
Your Website Stays Updated In The Results
Every website is updated from time-to-time. If it’s a service-oriented website, then the details of the service are updated, and if it’s the products you are selling, then it’s the catalog. Or there are also frequent blog posts that you will keep adding to your site for SEO purposes. SEO experts have pointed out that if the search engine ranking of your older content is higher than your new content, then that is bad SEO. This can be remedied with the help of a good website structure.
Perhaps the blog post that the search engine is showing is outdated, or it has links to products or services that no longer exist. Either way, you want your audience to view the latest content on your website. This will be performed best if the search engine bots catalog the changes within your website. Such changes can easily be represented through a comprehensible website structure.
What Is The Perfect Website Structure?
This is a question that most people ask. And while there is no one answer fits all solution here, you can consider the structure presented below as a guideline to setting up an SEO friendly website.
- Start with the Homepage.
- Have your products or services divided into categories with links to each category page present on your homepage.
- If you require further sub-categories, then each sub-category page needs to be linked to the relevant category page.
- Any other individual pages, such as a contact details page or a blog section, needs to be linked to the homepage as well.
Think of your website as a pyramid. The home page is the topmost building block of the pyramid, and it is what everyone around should be able to see. But once they get close to the pyramid, they should clearly understand the flow of the structure.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the pages that are linked to your homepage. Google, or any other search engine, will view the homepage at first and follow these links to find the relevant pages. So, you will be promoting the SEO of these individual pages by linking them to the home page.
SEO is a vast array of fields that come together to provide a website with a competitive edge. And while this can happen through a myriad of aspects, there are some of them which weigh in more heavily than others. And without the right combination of SEO aspects, you will never have what is called an ‘SEO friendly’ website.
Having the right structure to your website should be one of the first steps that you take towards reaching your SEO goal. While this can be difficult for larger websites, with the right planning, it is not an impossible feat to achieve. Take the help of SEO experts like A.P. Web Solutions and follow the Google rankings to take note of how the top websites are structured. This will help you get a basic understanding of what your perfect website structure should look like.
Lastly, keep in mind that a good website structure is not simply helpful for SEO but for retaining visitors to your website as well. If someone is unable to easily navigate through your website, they are most likely to not return to it. So, make sure that your website structure is SEO friendly and also visitor friendly.
This content is brought to you by Karthik Bhaskar.