Without websites no business can think of having a sustained online presence. To do that effectively, building a quick drag-and-drop website doesn’t quite help. This is where, Site architecture, or website architecture, becomes a key factor.
What is Site architecture in the context of SEO
We have a good definition of website architecture here. However, in the context of SEO, this means something more specific.
In this article, we talk much more about how well both the user and the Search Engine spiders can be given a clear view about the website. As an overview, we would say that
“A well-structured website should help deliver a seamless experience on navigation and at the same time keep the URLs meaningful and search engine friendly.”
Why is Site architecture important for SEO?
Without a good architecture, the rankings of the website get heavily affected. Let us see how this happens.
As a use case, imagine a person who is a shoe dealer – “I am a dealer”. He has, say, jogging shoes and executive shoes as his products. He goes on to create a website and shows all the shoes and its variants in one page.
This, ofcourse, is an extreme use case. But trust us when we say this.
There are still websites made like this!
Coming back, “I am a dealer” is happy that he has showcased all the products with beautifully captured photos etc. And his website has menu items – Home, Products, Contact.
For our study, let us consider another shoe dealer – “I am an Awesome Dealer”. He has the same 2 products. But, he has created a well-structured website, with appropriate categorization. So his website’s menu items are – Home, Executive Shoes, Running Shoes, Contact.
User Visit – Analysis
A user arriving at the website of “I am a dealer” would want to buy a running shoes of a certain kind. He or she clicks on the Products page and sees a huge amount of shoes listed. Now, they have to go through the executive shoes also to arrive at the running shoes of their choice. Here, the user is made to go through such a clutter of irrelevant information. This reduces the chances of conversion.
Now, in this case of “I am an Awesome Dealer”, the user arriving at the website, in the very first look, understands the products that are available and only sees the page that the user is interested in. This makes the process swifter and helps the person to choose the right product within a short-time.
In addition, the usage of a filter & sort feature, especially when there are many products, would help the user greatly. These improve the chances of conversion pretty high.
Search Engine Spider – Analysis
For both the use cases, let us look at how the search engine spider views.
In the first case, “I am a dealer”, the search engine understands that there is a product page. Then there are multiple products in that page. Since products have technical names, those will be used, which will reflect in the URL too. These would be terms which users don’t quite use commonly. This makes it hard for the search engine to clearly understand what the product is about.
In the second case, “I am an Awesome dealer”, the search engine understands that this website has running shoes and executive shoes. This is because there are separate menu links or URLs used for this.
So, when a user searches for, say, running shoes, the search engine picks and shows the website of “I am an Awesome Dealer” over “I am a dealer”. This gives a negative effect on the rankings of “I am a shoe dealer” and its Search Ranking would be lower.
How to work on a good site structure for SEO?
Below are the quick high-level pointers for developing a good site structure:
- Plan well before developing the website.
- Match the products with the terms people commonly used
- Keep the user navigation in mind while creating categories and sub-pages
- Work on a, logical, internal-linking
There are scores of articles written which describes the Site architecture at length and breadth. We would suggest you to google it and work on your website. If you find challenges in setting up an seo-friendly website structure, feel free to contact us. We will help you.