A well-constructed site structure is an ultimate key to a smoother site crawling, which in turn results in better indexing as well as more chances of getting higher rankings. It is one of the foundations of any SEO strategy as it shows Google which of your web pages is the most important. Hence, the reason why it can influence your site's organic rankings. So, you better get it right. It's never too late to start improving your site structure today. But first off, you should know more about what it is and how it plays a part in the SEO field.
For many people, when the term “website structure” comes to mind, they typically think of aesthetic stuff or some kind of content chart. In truth, site structure is more of a figurative, rather than a literal term. Simply put, it refers to how well your website’s content is organized. Another way to describe it is how well your web pages relate to one another.
A website is typically composed of content on various related topics presented on pages and posts. With site structure, it deals with how that content is presented, linked, and categorized for the visitor. If your website has a good structure, anyone who visits it will have an easier time navigating it, and at the same time, Google will be able to index your URLs better.
Whether it’s a website, an e-commerce store, or a simple blog, its structure plays a crucial role in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) and usability. First off, it has to be easy to navigate, fast, user-friendly, and purposeful. A good website structure should also be capable of attracting new customers, making a sale, getting new email subscribers, generating revenue from advertising, or just about anything that presents your information the best way.
Google cares about user experience as much as you do, which means, having a great site structure is crucial for your site’s visibility. Below are the main reasons why a well-defined site structure contributes greatly to SEO:
When a website has a good site structure, search engines crawl, index, and comprehend your site better and faster. As a result, it increases your site's chances of ranking in search engines. Having an optimized structure makes search engines’ jobs easier and this leads to better exposure for your site. If on the flip side the structure is flat, indexing your page is still possible. However, search engines won’t know how your pages are related to one another.
Sitelinks refer to the group of links displayed underneath your site’s snippet in Google Search Results pointing to the other pages of your website. These links are especially helpful at making your search listings more noticeable, all the way boosting your click-through rates (CTR). The only catch is that you cannot dictate which parts of your site will be displayed as sitelinks because these are only determined by the Google algorithm. In other words, the only way to have site links shown alongside your organic listing is by ensuring that your site structure well-defined.
A bounce rate shows how many visitors land on your site without interacting with it. As such, a high bounce rate indicates that there’s something wrong with your site. Google detects every user who clicks on your listing from Google search, visits your page, and goes back to Google search without interacting with your site. For Google, it’s a sign that users are unhappy with what they see or read on your site, which will eventually result in lower rankings. But with a solid site structure, users will have an easier time navigating through your site and finding what they’re looking for. Consequently, it boosts usability and the time users spent on your site and decreases your bounce rate.
With the presence and influence of artificial intelligence in Google ranking, mobile-first index, and voice search, the website structure has become more important than ever. Gone are the days where having multiple web pages is enough. Today, these pages have to be categorized properly so search engines can understand better which topics you intend to rank for. Sure, keywords are still very much important for rankings, but so as topic relevancy, and one of the ways to do this is through having a good website structure.