How to Design a SEO-Friendly Site Architecture?
Site architecture is often a neglected element of SEO. In reality, URL hierarchy and website navigation are valuable components that determine competitiveness in search engine rank. Even if you have the best possible content, it won’t mean much if it’s difficult for people to access it. This is not an ideal situation if you seek to gain more traffic from organic search. Fortunately, it’s possible to fix the website architecture, although it has been operational for years. Site architecture optimization could be performed along with aggressive content marketing strategy. As an example, you need to make your URL relevant, but not overstuffed with keywords. It was a common practice to have flat site architecture and webpage URLs are placed directly at the root URL.
The aim was to distribute link juice evenly to all pages through the main page. One problem with flat website architecture is that it tends to be overstuffed with keywords. Google has advised that webpages should be designed and created only for users and not for search engines. So, it means that your website architecture should be designed to deliver highest comfort for customers. If people can’t find specific information, they will close the tab or click the Back button to the search results. Poorly optimized website structure will cause the pogo-sticking phenomenon. It happens when users click on the link in search result, but then without little consideration they click the Back button and click on a different link.
Google has recently confirmed that pogo-sticking activity isn’t a negative factor to ranking. However, higher rankings are determined by lower bounce rate, higher dwell time and high click-through rate. With an effective website, you can improve conversions and organic traffic. A good architecture will improve the ability of search engine bots to crawl your website. The architecture should be intuitive with straightforward folder structure. If your architecture is complex and unusual, it will take longer for bots to crawl your website. If the architecture is bad enough, there’s also a possibility that some of your webpages are not crawled at all. Again, you should make sure that the architecture is designed to improve the comfort of your audience.
Your most essential and valuable pages should be highly accessible, if possible only a click away from your main page. The deeper people need to navigate into your website, the less likely that they will find these important pages. An excellent way to gain inspiration is by checking the website of your successful competitors. You need to check the URL structure and the overall user experience. If your website looks and works like popular websites in the industry, it’s likely that you will meet the expectation of the audience. You should think about the last time you make an online purchase. If you feel comfortable with the experience, you should try to replicate that in your website. Don’t make any improvement beyond that, if you are not sure whether any of your innovation will end up degrading user experience.