10 Ways to Improve Your Website Architecture and Improve Rankings on Search Engine
Website architecture means how a website’s pages are information is linked and structured. It plays a vital role in user experience and on-page SEO. But, it is overlooked. Many websites make the mistake of putting in too many internal links. A website should not have a random collection of pages. It leads to confusion for both search engines and humans. Thus, there are poor ranking and high bounce rate. But, you don’t have to worry. There are many ways in which you can improve your website architecture. In this blog, we have given ten ways to help you build good website architecture.
1. Simple navigation
One of the most important things to keep in mind while creating a website is that it should be simple to navigate. A user will leave your website if its navigation is complex. Your website should have a good navigation bar. It is a significant feature of a good website. This helps users to get onto the important pages quickly. Your website’s structure should be seen at a glance. It includes topics you cover on blogs, product ranges you sell, or your services.
When you create a navigation bar, make sure it should look difficult to the users. A massive menu bar or hidden page is the bad option. To improve your navigation bar, take a look at the tips below:
- A top-level menu should be minimum
- Do not create many sub-categories
- If any sub-category is created, make sure it is specific
- The navigation bar should have a link to your homepage
2. Optimize URL structure
Your website will easily be organized with a good URL structure. It should be simple and clean. How one page is related to the other can be easily seen with the help of a good URL structure. To create a good URL structure, follow the below-mentioned tips:
- URL length should be a maximum of 130 characters. It can be done with the help of a URL length checker.
- Hyphens should be used to separate words
- Numbers should not be used
- Descriptive URL is helpful
- Include keywords, but do not stuff them
- It should be logical
- Take help from Google
- Consistent category names across navigation menu and URLs is suggested
To improve the website architecture, try to update permalinks. Simple URLs are the best. It is also found that shorter URLs perform better than longer ones.
3. Reducing the number of clicks
It does not matter how many pages your website has. But it should be made easy for the visitors to reach the important pages in a few clicks. It is said that 47% of visitors leave the website after seeing only one page. Engaging content is important, but the number of clicks also matters. An expert suggests that the three-click rule should be used. It helps in giving your website a better structure.
There are two structures viz,
- Deep site structure
- Flat site structure
In a deep site structure, the user reaches certain pages in 5 or more clicks. On the other hand, in a flat site structure, the user reaches certain pages in 3 clicks.
So, a flat site structure is recommended for SEO and users. To do so, internal linking should be practiced. It helps search bots index all your pages and easy navigation of your website. You can use drop-down menus to include sub-category pages.
4. Use Topic Clusters
If you want search bots ad users to understand your website, then group similar pages. Topic clusters, also known as topic silos, are a strategy. It means that parent pages and child pages are related in groups. It helps users to get your website’s topical relevance. This strategy is called a hub and spoke strategy. For example, a parent page covers a topic in detail. All the important information is provided here. Multiple pages will be linked with the parent page related to that particular topic. This forms a cluster.
So, the parent page is on the top level of the ladder, and others are linked to it. If a user visits your website and is interested in a particular topic, creating content silos and topic clusters is the best. It helps in improving website ranking. Google can easily assess the clustered pages. Then, accordingly, ranks your website.
Simple steps to create topic clusters:
- Look for pages with similar topics
- Create pillar or parent page and link others to it accordingly
- To form a cluster, add links on your parent page specifically
- Finally, go to every page and find ways to link them naturally.
5. Use Category Pages
The parent page and category page are mostly similar. These can be found on blogs and e-commerce websites.
For organizing your website’s structure in the long run, category pages are helpful. Do not worry about new pages. You can add them to the existing structure but choosing the relevant category. This helps both search engines and humans in understanding the website’s layout. If you have an e-commerce website, then category pages help you rank better. If you don’t have an e-commerce website, you can still add category pages. For example, a digital marketing agency can create various categories for email marketing, PPC, SEO, and more. Further, services like competitor research, link building, and on-page optimization can be included under the SEO category.
6. Create a Site Map
A site map plays a vital role in creating a website’s architecture. It has a list of all the crawlable pages on your website. The structure of your site is displayed in a format to humans and search engines. XML and HTML are two types of sitemaps.
An XML sitemap is used for understanding your website’s organization structure by Google’s crawlers. It helps in sensing which page is important. Google suggests an XML site map. It will also help you in creating one. Search bots easily understand the XML site map text-based format and are difficult for humans.
On the other hand, HTML sitemaps are easily understood by both search bots and humans. The site’s pages, topic clusters, and structure are displayed. Only the most important pages can be included on the site map. It is not necessary to include every page. If you want to create a sitemap, you can create it with the help of:
- Screaming Frog
7. Create an Internal Linking Strategy
Internal linking is a fundamental part of your website structure. It helps in connecting the pages of your website. Thus, you can add relevance and context. It allows search bots and users to move around your site freely. According to a case study, an internal linking campaign helps in increasing organic traffic by 40%.
It would help if you linked category pages to your navigation bar. Parent pages and child pages should be linked together in topic clusters. Internal linking structure helps the readers to understand the topics in-depth and have a clear understanding of the same. Link points and anchor text should be taken care of. Important signals are sent to search engines and readers through anchor text. Try to use keyword-rich and descriptive anchor text.
8. Add a Site Search
For easy navigation, search functionality is important. It improves user experience and is very effective. Site search is used by one-third of the website users. Conversion rates are also improved. When using site search, visitors are likely to convert about 1.8 times. Adding a search site is not at all difficult. Every search engine has its own technology. This technology helps in embedding search engines into your website. They are easy to implement.
9. Use Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are the links at the top of your website page. They indicate the particular page’s place in the website hierarchy. Breadcrumbs are helpful to your website in many ways. To improve your website’s structure, breadcrumbs are used. They are similar to internal linking.
Additionally, they show a visitor their exact place on the website. It helps them navigate and go back to the previous pages easily. Every website does not need breadcrumbs. But, if you use them, it will be helpful.
10. Use Canonical Tags
If you are unfamiliar with this term, do not worry. When a website has various versions of a particular page, canonical tags are used. They help Google to determine which page is the most important. Duplicate content is significantly reduced with the help of canonical tags. It adds a lot to your website structure. E-commerce websites mostly use them.
Conclusion: Website Architecture
When you plan to create a website, keep in mind that you are doing it for the users. A good website architecture consists of SEO and user experience. If you have everything equally balanced on your website, it will help increase your rankings and boost your conversion rates. There are many ways to improve your website architecture. You always have room for improvement. The best place to start would be adding cluster topics and structuring URLs correctly.