When companies design or update their websites, most often the focus is on how the website will look, in terms of layout or images. Frequently overlooked in the process is the site’s underlying structure. Site structure is important for user experience and, as such, improving it will impact a website’s SEO and increase traffic and conversions.
What is Site Structure?
Site structure refers to how a website’s content is organized and connected. On most websites pages will have content that either directly references other content on the site or has a connection to it. A blog post will reference other blog posts or link to the site’s contact page. On a well structured site, this content is categorized and interlinked. Users can then click through to other content that might interest them and follow links to purchase items or contact the site owner or customer service department.
For site visitors, site structure makes navigation – and, therefore, user experience – better. If the individual pages are correctly categorized or tagged, moving from page to page will be seamless and rewarding. Users will want to explore more on the website and will be more likely to return.
Structure and SEO
Google uses user signals to determine how user friendly a website is and adds this information to its algorithm. If this site has a high bounce rate, Google interprets this as a flaw, and it will send less traffic to it. Conversely, it factors in return visits and page counts as well, rewarding that site with higher search rankings.
Google’s stated mission is to make information online accessible and useful, and its algorithm is designed to give incentives to sites that choose to follow its guidelines. Google wants to show its users the best and most useful results for their search queries, so websites that are designed to give their visitors what they want in terms of information will see real SEO benefits.
Both users and site engines visit and “crawl” websites. While users can utilize navigation menus or search bars to find pages or posts on a site, a search engine can only navigate and index the site via links. If the site is poorly linked, search engines will not be able to find those unlinked pages. And if they can’t find them, they will not be able to include them in search results.
Site structure also indicates which pages are most important because they will be the ones with the most links to them. These are the pages that search engines will highlight in search results.
Taking the time to organize your website by determining which pages are most important and interlinking to that content will produce positive results. Your audience will be less frustrated and more positive about navigating your website, and search engines will send more traffic your way. If you would like help with improving site structure on your website, call us at Corporate Conversions. We can help you improve your underlying organization and your SEO.