Good site structure is incredibly important. A tidy, well-organised site is preferable to a messy, hard-to-navigate site for a number of reasons. Websites that have a logical URL structure and easy-to-use navigation are far more appealing to human visitors – after all, visitors prefer sites that make it easier to find what they need. Who has time to search through a messy site with no logical structure? Most people will leave pretty quickly. Of course, humans do not only prefer great site structure – search engines favour it as well!
Google is all about user experienceIf it’s good for the user, Google will appreciate it. When the Googlebots crawl your site, they need to be able to find all the pages and easily understand what it’s all about. Proper site structure facilitates this; thereby ensuring the site is read accurately. An XML sitemap is important, as it helps the Googlebots to find and crawl your pages with ease. If your sitemap isn’t correctly structured, it can lead to crawl errors that can impact negatively on your rankings. Checking and amending the XML sitemap is one of the first things a digital advertising agency will do when they begin working on your SEO campaign – this ensures the basics are correct to begin with. Google also takes bounce rate and the time users spend on a site into consideration when working out site rankings. Therefore, if users are leaving your website due to confusing navigation, Google will be well aware of this.
Get it rightSo how do you make sure that your site structure is logical and easy to navigate? Firstly, you need to make a blueprint. Actually draw out your site structure on paper. Take into account keywords you want to target (as this can affect the pages you need), as well as services/products you want to promote. The next step is to categorise your pages. Take a look at all the ‘topics’ you want to cover. Can some be condensed on to one page? Do some have enough content to warrant their own page? From an SEO perspective, it’s often better to have one product or service per page, as Google crawls pages rather than websites – it looks for the page that best matches the search query.
When building your site, it’s important to use SEO-friendly and user-friendly URLs. The two go hand in hand. Basically, you should be able to tell what a page is about from the URL; the product/service should be in the URL, rather than a long list of numbers and symbols. This is far more user friendly – and search engines prefer it as well. Lastly, make sure you test your site. There are many online tools that allow you to test a site’s usability, so make sure you do it. If you are with an SEO firm, they should do all of this for you. Many work on a pay for performance marketing basis these days, and therefore they are keen to make sure these basics are down pat before moving on to other parts of the SEO process.
The basics are importantThe SEO process is constantly changing, however some things stay the same. Good site structure will always be essential in more ways than one; it’s important to ensure you don’t forget about the basics. Whether you’re carrying out SEO in Brisbane for your hairdressing salon website, or are looking to boost SERP rankings for your e-commerce site, website structure should be at the top of your list!