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What Is Website Architecture, and Why Is It Important for SEO?

What do you think happens when you visit your website? Well, get ready to explore the realm of website architecture and structure. This topic is often overlooked despite the fact that getting it right can significantly impact your organic performance. Conversely, a bad site structure may make it harder for the website to rank well. So, what is website structure?

In this post, we’ll explore website architecture, why it’s important for SEO, and best practices for optimizing website architecture for SEO. Read on!

What is Website Architecture?

Website architecture (or website structure) refers to how a website is structured and organized. It entails a website’s overall design and layout, including the URL structure, hierarchy, internal linking, navigation, and relationships between web pages and content. Consider it as the blueprint or framework determining how content on a website is arranged and presented.

What is Website Architecture?

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Website architecture focuses on developing a logical and intuitive layout that helps users navigate the site and get the information they want.

Why is Website Architecture Important for SEO?

Why is Website Architecture Important for SEO?

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1. Enhances Crawl Ability and Indexability

Before search engines can rank a site’s content for relevant keywords, they first need to understand the content of the different pages on the website. To achieve this, search engine crawlers (bots) crawl the content on the website and then store the data in the search engine’s index.

A well-structured website architecture is far more likely to be crawled and indexed favorably by Google crawlers. Search engines can better index and display your site’s content with a clear navigation structure, a logical site hierarchy, and optimized internal linking.

2. Improves the User Experience

Website structure is closely tied to the user experience. A well-designed website structure offers logical pathways and clear navigation for users to find the products, categories, and information they require in only a few clicks.

When visitors to your site have a great user experience, they are likelier to stay, interact with your content, and possibly convert into customers or subscribers. This interaction and user satisfaction indirectly contribute to SEO by lowering bounce rates and boosting time spent on your site.

Keep in mind that Google’s algorithm considers factors such as user experience when determining where to rank a website.

3. Improves Site Speed and Performance

A website’s structure greatly impacts your website’s loading speed and overall performance. A good website structure reduces unnecessary elements, improves code quality, and enhances page loading speed.

Improves Site Speed and Performance

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Furthermore, fast-loading sites offer a better user experience and get preferential treatment from search engines. Page speed is actually a ranking factor in search algorithms, so a well-structured website can positively impact your SEO performance.

4. Establishes Link-Building and Site Authority

A site structure can facilitate effective link-building strategies. By implementing an optimized internal linking structure, you can distribute link equity and authority across the website, enhancing the visibility and authority of individual pages. Besides, a solid website architecture makes it easier for other sites to connect to your content since they can navigate and reference certain pages more effectively.

Moreover, you can dramatically enhance your authority on certain topics by aggregating thematically similar content. Doing so allows you to show Google that your website covers the topic thoroughly. It is much simpler to rank for relevant keywords if the search engines recognize you as an authoritative source of information on a specific topic.

5. Enhances Keyword Targeting and Relevance

Good site architecture allows you to strategically target keywords as well as optimize your content for relevant search queries. Structuring and categorizing your content makes it easier for search engines to determine your website’s key topics and themes. This enhances the relevance and context of your site’s pages, positively impacting their rankings in search results.

Best Practices for SEO Website Architecture

Best Practices for SEO Website Architecture

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1. Create a Simple Navigation Menu.

Create a simple top-level menu and ensure you provide the content that the menu item’s name promises. For example, if your users click the “Sale and Marketing” tab on your web homepage. In that case, they expect to be directed to a sale and marketing post listing. We recommend making it simple for users to return from this web page to the main pages of your blog and website.

A Simple Navigation Menu

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In this example, the menu is divided into six simple items: About, Podcast, Sell Your Business, Blog, Contact, and Login. Under the “Blog” tab, users can find different published blog posts.

Avoid making your users struggle to find what they are looking for. A website that is challenging to use will have a high bounce rate. Users don’t want to waste their time browsing your website for information; they will leave if they struggle to look for it. So, demonstrate empathy and offer a user-friendly web experience.

2. Implement Effective Internal Links.

If a website is a building, internal links would be the staircases and hallways connecting various floors and rooms. Using internal links to connect to relevant web pages within your website helps search engines identify and navigate your content.

You can use two common types of internal links: contextual and navigational. Contextual links are embedded inside content to guide website visitors to related information. On the other hand, navigational links appear on your navigation menu, homepage, and site footer.

The key to strategically using internal links is to ensure you regularly link to your top-priority pages that get the most significant number of high-quality backlinks. We recommend using descriptive anchor text for the internal links and incorporating appropriate and relevant keywords. Keep in mind that strategic internal linking can increase the visibility of web pages and help spread credibility.

3. Make Your URLs User-Friendly and Simple.

Users will never want to read a URL like this:

Therefore, it is crucial to create user-friendly URLs. Most content management systems (CMS) like CMS Hub and WordPress usually create a user-friendly URL automatically based on your web page’s title.

SEO-Friendly URL Structure

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Here are other easy-to-navigate subdirectories.

Although subdirectories are handy from a user experience perspective, they are not needed to reflect your site’s structure. The importance of internal linking outweighs that of URL structure, meaning you can format URLs as follows:

You have to connect them to their parent pages with internal links.

4. Map Out Your Site Taxonomy

Website structure is often described in terms of flat vs. deep, referring to the structural depth of your website. Specifically, it refers to how many main category pages and sub-category pages you have or the number of folders in your URL.

A website with deep architecture requires more clicks to reach pages. This type of structure tends to have many layers of sub-category pages and is not the best user experience.

On the other hand, flat website architecture is considered ideal for SEO because it helps users and search engines navigate the site conveniently.

5. Implement XML Sitemaps

One of the best techniques to help search engines crawl your site is by implementing XML sitemaps. These files usually list all your website’s URLs and specify the relationships between each URL on your site. Besides, the sitemap includes each URL’s additional metadata, such as its most recent modification date.

Implement XML Sitemaps

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XML sitemaps provide a roadmap of your site’s pages, making it easier for Google and other search engines to crawl your content. Though Google can find all the pages on a site without referring to an XML sitemap, creating one can help, especially if your site is large, intricate, or poorly interlinked.

Furthermore, you can create an HTML sitemap—a user-facing sitemap. This sitemap serves as a table of contents for your site, allowing users to find any web pages they cannot find through your navigation menu or internal links.

6. Eliminate Competing Keywords.

Cleaning up your site architecture is one of the indirect SEO efforts that can help you root out potential cases of competing keywords (keyword cannibalization). Cannibalization usually occurs when two or more web pages on a website target the same keyword and search intent. This can lead to the website competing against itself in Google’s search results, lowering its ranking.

Eliminate Competing Keywords (Keyword cannibalization)

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Once you have understood your website architecture, it is much easier to determine any web pages that may be cannibalizing one another. You can then resolve the issue by implementing 301 redirects, merging content, or including a canonical tag on the webpage you’d like Google to rank.

Frequently Asked Questions on: What Is Website Structure?

1. What Are the Three Main Types of Site Structures?

  • Hierarchical model (tree model): This is the most popular model since it’s simple to understand. It’s usually used by sites with a lot of content spread over several pages. The website structure is organized hierarchically from top to bottom with a home page, main category pages, subpages, and child pages inside subpages.
  • Sequential model (linear model): This model works best for sites with a simple structure and few web pages. Not all sites require multiple web pages to convey information. This model is commonly used in small businesses.
  • The webbed model (matrix model): The term webbed comes from the visual it generates for a site structure, a web of landing pages. This website structure interconnects all the parent pages with the main page and the subpages so that users can access everything with just a few clicks.

2. How Do I Write a Website Architecture?

Check out these practical tips when writing a website’s architecture:

  • Optimize your website for people, not bots.
  • Use a heading hierarchy.
  • Keep links on any web page to a reasonable number.
  • Keep up on keyword research.
  • Keep the navigation depth shallow.
  • Include schema markup.

3. What is a Website Architecture Called?

Website architecture refers to how a website is structured and organized. That is how a website’s pages and content are structured relative to other content on and between pages. Website architecture usually focuses on how content relates to each other, how it is grouped, and how users experience it.

4. What is the Website Layout?

A website layout is a framework (or pattern) that defines the structure of a website. Its role is to structure information on a website for both the website’s owner and users. Besides, it offers clear pathways for navigation within web pages. It highlights the most critical aspects of a site front and center.

5. What Does a Basic Website Architecture Include?

To create a web page, you require an HTML document using three tags or elements that any site uses: html, head, and body. A web page (web document) is a set of HTML tags written in a plain text editor with no format and run in a web browser.