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What You Need to Know About Website Structure for Better SEO
Like an essay, your website needs to be divided into different sections to make it easier to understand.
This is where your website structure comes in. It’s how your webpages are organised, breaking down your webpages into several categories and sub-categories.
In this blog post, we’re going to discuss website structure.
If you’re planning to launch your website soon, you’ll learn how to create a website structure that makes sense.
If you already have a website, you’ll learn how to improve your existing website structure.
Let’s get started.
The Importance of Website Structure
Website structure is important, because it shows both search engines and users how your website is organised.
Search engines use bots called crawlers to find and index webpages. These crawlers find webpages through links.
By having an organised website structure and using internal links, you’re making it easier for crawlers to determine which webpages are important and how they’re related to one another.
Having an excellent website structure could also result in a positive user experience and improve your conversion rate. Users will quickly find the information they’re looking for and may end up spending more time on your website. The more time users spend on your website, the more opportunities you have to convince them to try your product or service.
In a nutshell, your website structure could help your search engine rankings and conversion rate.
How to Create a Website Structure
Plan in advance.
If you don’t have a website yet, you will need to plan your website structure in advance. Create a list of main pages along with sub-pages for each one. Organise your webpages in the most logical manner possible.
For example, at Cornerstone Digital, we have five main service pages, including Web Development, Web Design, Search Engine Optimisation, Pay Per Click, and Conversion Optimisation.
Under Web Development, you’ll find the following sub-pages: Ecommerce, CMS, WordPress, and Shopify.
If you’d like another example, have a look at the Bunnings Warehouse website. They’ve divided their products into categories that include Tools, Building and Hardware, Outdoor Living, Garden, and so much more. Users who are looking for a specific product will know where to go as soon as they land on the page.
You can use GlooMaps to plan out your website structure. The free tool lets you create a visual sitemap that you can refer to when writing content for your webpages. It has a simple editor you can start using right away. Once you’re done, you can download your visual sitemap as PNG, PDF or XML file.
Visualise your main menu.
Providing a positive user experience is one of the main reasons why you need an excellent website structure.
Once you’re done planning your website structure, visualise how it will look your website’s navigation bar.
Put yourself in a first-time visitor’s shoes, and answer the following questions:
- What would your first impression of the website structure be?
- Is it clear to you as soon as the webpage loads?
- Is it too complicated?
- Are there too many categories?
- Do you need to click several times before you find the page you’re looking for?
Once you’ve answered all the above questions, some issues might arise. You might discover that you’ve decided on too many categories, and your navigation bar or main menu will look too crowded.
You might learn that you’ve created too many sub-categories, making navigating your website quite difficult for users.
Use internal links.
Internal links are links from one webpage to another in the same domain. Since search engines find webpages through internal links, they’re an integral part of creating an organised website structure.
If you’re wondering where to add more internal links, you can try the following:
- Every time you publish a new blog post, add links to relevant blog posts you previously published. For example, if your blog post about digital marketing talks about social media, you can link to a blog post about the aforementioned topic.
- Analyse old blog posts and see if you can add more internal links. You can do this whenever you have at least fifteen minutes to spare.
Upload a sitemap.
A sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the webpages on your website and how they’re connected to one another. If you upload a sitemap, you’re making it easier for search engines to find and index your webpages.
If you use WordPress, uploading a sitemap could be quite easy.
Install and activate the Yoast plugin. Once that’s done, click on General under SEO on your sidebar. Click on Features and turn on the XML Sitemaps option and save. Yoast will then automatically generate a sitemap for your website. You can view the sitemap at www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.
You’ll need to log in to Google Search Console for the next step. If you’re using Google Search Console for the first time, you can log in using your existing Google account and verify website ownership. You can prove you’re the website owner by linking Google Search Console with your Google Analytics account or by uploading an HTML file to your website.
After you verify ownership, click on Sitemaps on the sidebar. Enter sitemap.xml under Add a New Sitemap and click Submit. Google will then need some time to “read” the sitemap.
An organised website structure could benefit you in two ways. Search engines can find important webpages right away, improving your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages. Users can also find the information they need faster, resulting in an overall more positive experience on your website.
If you’d like to improve your website structure, we’d love to help. Cornerstone Digital is an SEO agency in Sydney that can help you find your ideal customer via SEO. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us at [email protected]
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.