Why you need to work on your site structure
Site structure is often missed out by many people who build their own websites, but it is a stage that should not be missed. Carefully planning and executing a successful site structure can be very beneficial for many reasons
Firstly, a good site structure will make a site easy to navigate. This makes it a more enjoyable site for users and will mean they will spend more time on your site. They are also more likely to make a purchase if they can find what they’re looking for easily.
A good site structure can also give you site links in SERP’s, which can help you dominate search results and build reputation and trust with current and potential customers.
Sitelinks are rewarded to well-built sites by Google in a way of congratulating them on have an easily crawled site. A good structure will be easier for Google to crawl and will in turn give you more exposure.
How to improve your site structure
- Plan out a navigation hierarchy
It’s best to plan out your navigation hierarchy before you start building your site. This way you can create your site architecture the right way from the get go. Below is an image of what ‘the optimal structure of a website would look’ like.
Your site structure should be set out in a logical way, with 2-7 main categories and an even balance of sub-categories. This means that the sub-pages should be spread out between the main categories in a relatively even manner and one shouldn’t have a lot more than others.
- Use HTML and CSS
Keep all navigation coding to HTML and CSS to make the crawler’s job much easier and make them more likely to be able to crawl through your site.
- Don’t let your navigation structure go too deep
It is advised that there are no more than 3 clicks to get to each page. This helps you maintain a shallow navigation structure.
If your structure goes too deep, it is possible for pages to get lost. The recommended three clicks maximum is a good rule to adhere to.
- Header links to your main navigation pages
Have the links in your header navigation match your hierarchy. The main categories should form the header links, you can then add the other pages in the same way that the hierarchy is formed.
- Internal Linking
Internal linking helps search engines crawl your site more effectively. Each page should have a link to another page as well as link from another page on your site.