When someone lands on your site for the very first time, do you think they’ll know where to go? Can they easily find the information they’re looking for without having to navigate deep into your site? You may think that your site’s structure is not a huge factor when it comes to ranking algorithms, but in reality, search engines utilize that exact structure to better understand your content.
A lot of factors impact your site’s online visibility. SEO consultants frequently talk about building links, creating quality content, and other optimization techniques we can use in order to get results – but there’s one specific area that most web designers often overlook: the structure of the website itself. Here’s why a good site structure can be extremely advantageous for your search engine optimization efforts and, of course, for your users.
Deep VS Flat Site Structure
There are two main types of site structure: deep and flat. Deep site structure generates a long path of links to access particular content. On the other hand, a flat structure only requires a minimal number of clicks in order to access any page.
With regards to deep site structures, most users or visitors usually spend a lot of their time just finding the content they’re looking for. Aside from that, the amount of time needed for search crawlers to find your content also lengthens. Those things can greatly damage your brand and your business in the long run.
However, a flat site structure makes it so much easier for search engines to find and index your website. This structure also has outstanding benefits for your site visitors, as it decreases the number of pages a person has to go through in order to find the content they’re searching for.
Creating A Seamless Structure
Most Search Engine Optimizers are tasked with structuring the sites in a way that helps search crawlers better understand their content. Remember that search engines receive large amounts of data every day, so instead of making them guess about the relative importance of your site – why not direct them by making a proper site structure? Break down your content in a coherent and logical manner.
Sitemaps and Navigation
The two most noticeable representations of your site structure can actually be found in your sitemap, as well as in your navigation.
While a lot of sites still have HTML sitemaps, most of today’s “modern” sites use XML sitemaps. An XML sitemap renders a list of URLs on your site that you can then submit to major search engines, so as to indicate which pages you would like to have crawled. Please note that adding in URL in your sitemap does not immediately guarantee that it will be indexed, but it sure makes it easier for most search engines to crawl those pages.
But then again, Web Designers in London recommend having both of these sitemaps (HTML and XML) on your site. HTML sitemaps are fashioned to be used by humans, while XML sitemaps are designed for use by search engines.
When building your site’s navigation, you should think about the search crawlers, as well as your users. Having systematized and user-friendly navigation is a very important feature of any site. That’s why creating navigation should not be hurried.
Search Engine Optimization is more than just links and content. Take all the time you need to create a solid site structure as it will eventually pay off in the long run.