The structure of a website, the architecture of the internal links, the navigation menu: they are essential for an easy and simple user experience in using your website. They also provide a valuable contribution to the indexing and reading by spiders and crawlers, thus providing additional support for SEO optimization and search engine positioning.
In this article we will see how to optimize the internal structure of the website and create a clear and simple navigation tree . What benefits does all this bring in SEO. Why and how to create an ideal architecture, optimize internal links, urls and the navigation menu, without dispersing link juice, but strengthening it!
Create a good website structure and link architecture
Creating a fair and thoughtful architecture of your website,with a linear and simple structure , and as clear and precise as possible , isvery important for navigation on the site by the user and those who visit us.All this helps not to "go crazy" in the search, or to get lost in pages with a " matryoshka " effect from where it is difficult to return to the home (if not impossible at times) without being able to understand in which section or structural part of the site we happened ... Badlink management also negatively affects usability and making user friendly a site. If you want to learn more about usability, and how to make your site user friendly, you can read the article "Making a website user friendly? Here are all the tips!"
Create a tree andhierarchy structure of your site
Starting to plan , first of all, is always a good and right thing ... knowing what your brand's objectives are, what and how to communicate with your audience and target , and therefore adjust accordingly also with the main pages and the number of links to be created, to then develop the contents and how to make them usable and navigable . Knowing your brand and what it is made of, and what will be the fundamental pages that will have to form your site and which are not indispensable , because they are not useful for your purpose and for your business.
It may seem paradoxical, but a careful study of your brand too(therefore establish in writing objectives, missions and priorities) and its target with market niche subsequently helps to create a scheme of a site more relevant to themselves and with what they have set themselves to carry out through their online presence , and that the better it represents, more usable (because without unnecessary or badly organized pages) and stronger in the SERPs .Consequently, finally, it will best fulfill its purpose for which it was designed, and finally it will benefit the awareness of our brand and the satisfaction of our end customer.
You have to imagine , then, the structure of a site liket hat of an inverted tree : when the first page that forms the head is always the ' Homepage , and from there you have to do linearly expand , and precisely the other key pages site , and that we always want in the foreground, and from which we will then branch in as balanced and always linear as possible, as we go deeper and into the specificity of each service / product, the other pages,categories, articles and / or products. All always having an unbalanced and never too deep structure in one specific link (page, category, sub-category) or in only a few specific links. Therefore, trying to remain faithful to the tree structure and its pyramidal shape, with the interconnected links inside , with which it will be easy to navigate through the entire site, and from which you can always return to the Home in any position you are at. inside the site.
Optimize the navigation menu
We will therefore always start from the navigation menu,first of all we will always insert the main and most important pages of your site: such as: Home, Who we are, Contacts, or the categories of articles and /or products you have.
What makes it really important to have a well-defined hierarchical structure of a website, from an SEO perspective, is the considerable and important help it offers to crawlers and spiders in scanning and navigating within our website. It makes sure that they see all the pages correctly, with the links inside, as accurately and accurately as possible, and offer them in their entirety to the indexing of search engines such as Google or Bing.
The menu, in this task, is one of the most important elements and that plays a fundamental role. For this to happen it must always be present on every page, with the main links of the entire site always present, on which we want there to be the highest number of traffic and higher score than Pagerank, thus acquiring strength and popularity in SEO and ranking .
All this to help spiders, of course, but also to help users who want to navigate from one section to another without getting lost and without being unable to go back maybe, to the page just displayed just beforethe one you are on. this moment, or simply to review a specific specific content. We also never know exactly which ones they can land on after searching.
So to avoid letting them literally fall into a "black hole", and then most likely to have a very high bounce rate, it is good to always have a menu well visible and easily navigable in turn, with intuitive and unique links. The names of the links in the menu must reflect the relevance and relevance of the content of the page, to make Google (or even the other search engines) give weight and a good page rank to the pages. Furthermore, in this way we will do some thing pleasing to our visitors, who will land on what actually reflects the menu link and on which they then expect to meet.
Internal link structure
Beyond the first level of depth, given by the main pages, we will almost certainly also have sub-pages, or categories, sub-categories and finally posts, articles or products. Ideally it would be better to distribute all these pages as homogeneously as possible, to form a precise tree scheme and keep the pyramid shape.
So do not create too many levels of depth in a single section of the site, and then leave orphaned pages, without internal back links or with few or no references to and from the other pages of the site. Having categories can certainly help, but creating too many with related sub-categories, posts and products makes everything more confusing and creates too many levels of depth.
The ideal would be to create a structure as flat and horizontal as possible, with well-selected categories that enclose the bulk of each content, and make good use of the Tags to move transversely between articles and products. In order not to disperse link juice between an article,or post, and the other, it is always better to link a related article, which impertinent to the page where we are, or an in-depth study on the topic, without linking the entire content and the entire structure of the links of the site in every single page, but at the same time having the entire navigation menu always at hand and well visible, with which you can reach every main section.Or, in combination with the main navigation menu,
Further help in this also leads him to have a breadcrumb on his site, where both the user and the crawlers can read and jump from one category to another or page and sub page, and always know exactly where they are.
Another aspect to keep in mind, however, is certainly the search performance of the site and of the pages or products or articles, or categories of products and entire articles. For example, if we notice through an analysis tool that a certain type of article or product is much more researched and clicked (therefore it generates more visits and traffic within our site) perhaps it would be better to take it up to the first level and dedicate a front row seat to it in the main navigation menu, with increased visibility and probable increase in page rank by search engines.
Another trick, which can bring benefits to our SEO,would certainly be to eliminate pages that do not carry any type of traffic,together with low and poor quality content, which I contribute to giving a low score to the whole site and thus penalizing us in the positioning of SERPs.
Optimize the site url with the keywords associated with the contents
Last, but not least, it is good to always create user friendly, clear urls that reflect the content of the page or article, not too long and without stop words (i.e. without articles, conjunctions and prepositions) and which have especially inside the keyword, or keywords, with which you have chosen to position yourself in the search engines, according to the rules of the Rich Urls Keyword.
It would also be good to respect the same hierarchy of sites structure in the url, for example to recreate in the url a structure of the type: home> category> article. If you use multiple keywords together(such as the so-called long tail keywords) it is better to separate them with adash. As for keywords, it is always good to choose them carefully in advance,and carry out the necessary research of competitiveness and traffic volume,before writing the contents and filling the site, in order to optimize them at best with the related keywords. In this we can meet numerous tools, some free such as the Google Keyword Planner .
In this way we will always have urls for highly optimized pages, categories and content, with the keywords inside that reflect in a relevant and clear way the content on which they point and land.
To conclude and summarize: create an excellent web structure, organize the navigation in a rational and precise way, design and develop an architecture in which all the information we want to disclose is easily accessible and expertly dosed in hierarchies of various levels of depth in the our website, always keeping in mind the tree diagram and its balanced and linear horizontal expansion.
All this can bring, in addition to user navigation and the usability of a site, also great benefits from an SEO perspective, for the purpose of positioning on our website search engines .