Before we go into the details on how you can optimize your site structure, let’s first understand what we want to achieve. What is the ideal site structure of a website?
The actual structure of a site, is strongly related with the type of content a website offers. If we are to divide website types into groups, we will end up with four major groups:
. Corporate Websites
. News Websites
. eCommerce Websites (Selling either products or services online)
Ideal site structure of a blog
Besides the home page and the other pages like about us, contact us etc., blog posts should be grouped into categories according to relevancy.For example, if you have a food blog publishing different kinds of recipes, you can create several categories based on the type of recipes i.e. Italian recipes, vegetarian recipes, Chinese recipes etc. Digital Marketing Services in Hyderabad visit Vivid Digital
Ideal site structure of a small business / corporate website
The main purpose of a small business / corporate website is to provide more information about the business, it’s products, services and departments.Notice that you have a main category for departments and a main category for the blog with several sub-categories.
Ideal site structure of a news website
A news website such as an online magazine can group content into a number of categories based on the type of content and when it was published.This structure can help both search engines and users find what they want either by visiting the category of interest or navigating through the content by date.
Ideal site structure for an ecommerce website
The site structure of an ecommerce website can be a bit more complicated than other types of websites especially when it offers a number of different products.On top of the structure we have the homepage and then the content grouped into several categories.There is no limitation as to the number of categories or subcategories you can create but a rule of thumb is not to create more than 3 levels of depth in your hierarchy.In other words, each product should be accessed from the homepage in less than 3 clicks. This makes indexing faster and easier to understand by crawlers and it’s also friendlier for users.
How to Optimize your Site Structure
Now that you have an idea of what is the ideal structure of a website, let’s examine how you can practically build a good structure for your website. Here are the steps:
. Plan your site structure in advance
. Use categories to group related content
. SEO Optimize your categories
. Use HTML and CSS for navigation
. Make use of breadcrumb menus
. Create an SEO Friendly permalink structure
. Pay attention to your internal link structure
. Create a sitemap for users
Plan your site structure in advance
For new websites
If you are starting a new website then it’s easy to plan the site structure in advance. From experience, this step is overlooked by many web designers and webmasters.They tend to concentrate on the visual aspect of a website without taking into account the structure.The best way to approach this is to use the above ‘ideal structures’ as your guides and adjust them according to your needs. What you need to have in mind is the following:
Your website should have a hierarchical structure –
The focal point is the homepage and then all other pages should be grouped into categories based on their type.For example, blog posts should be grouped into blog categories and placed under the ‘Blog’. News articles can be grouped by published date. If you are offering services, these can be grouped under services. For SEO Agency Check here
Try to think what the best grouping from a user’s perspective is. Run some scenarios and try to replicate the steps taken by users to find a product or article on your website. If you can make this process easy enough for them, then it will be for search engines too.
Your hierarchy should be no more than 2 or 3 levels deep –
Don’t overcomplicate your site hierarchy but keep it simple. All pages of your website have to accessible from the homepage in less than 3 clicks.For example, if you are running an online shop then a user should be able to visit a specific product page in less than 3 clicks. This translates to:
. Homepage (1 Click)
. Product Category (2 clicks)
. Product Subcategory (3 clicks)
. Product page
For Existing websites
If you already have a website that it’s indexed by Google and has some rankings, then don’t start changing you site structure as this may have a negative impact on your rankings. There is a procedure to follow. Keep reading and we will get to this below.