The better your website structure is, the increased chances you will have of ranking higher in the search engines results pages (SERPs). Every site has some “structure”. It may be a rigorous as well as streamlined structure. Alternatively, it may be a disorganised jumble of pages. If you are deliberate and careful with your website structure, you will design a site which achieves search excellence.
Flat or Deep Site Architecture
Building a website that is user-friendly and search engine optimised depends on content hierarchy and how web pages are arranged. There are two designs for site architecture, which are known as flat or deep. The type you use on your site will mean the difference between being noticed in SERPs and being ignored.
While a website visitor will never see the hierarchy of a website, the manner in which the hierarchy is shaped has a massive impact on the end user’s experience. This takes place for two reasons:
- Content is more discoverable when it is not buried under multiple layers. Deep hierarchies are usually more difficult to use.
- Specific categories, which do not overlap, are the easiest to understand. Deep hierarchies tend to be more generic and confusing when there are only a few categories on each level. A hierarchy which is flatter, and has more categories at each level, usually has more specific labels that are easier to understand. In addition, users can also turn out to be overwhelmed with long, cluttered menus.
Which is better: Flat or Deep?
Should your website’s hierarchy be flat or deep? There is no single right answer and going too far to either extreme could be problematic. It is often dependant on the number of pages in a website.
One argument is that a flat structure is best for SEO as it requires a minimum number of clicks in order to access any given page. Deep sites, on the other hand, require long paths of links to access detailed content. Flat hierarchies work well if you have a smaller website with fewer, distinct, and recognisable categories.
In some situations, there may be too many categories to list at one level. In other cases, showing specific topics too soon will confuse your audience. This means that it is better to include intermediate category pages in order to establish context first. In these cases, a deep hierarchy would be best. A deep hierarchy can also be better for SEO as it receives more targeted traffic to many individual pages.
It is necessary to carefully think about your site structure. In addition, you need to intentionally design it as well as organise it accurately. The best time in order to develop a strong website stricture is before you start to create it. This being said, if you’re redesigning your website you can rework the design in addition to reorganising some navigational elements in order to enhance structural SEO.
There are many things that you need to keep in mind while you’re optimising your website for search engines. Site structure is most definitely one of the most critical however it is one of the most overlooked methods of optimisation. If you have a superb website structure, then superior SEO will follow.
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