How can you boost SEO by improving website structure while providing a better browsing experience for your website’s visitors? In my previous blog I discussed the importance of high quality content to rank high in Google search results. Here, I will be focusing on how representing great content in a well structured, good looking and professional website is as important for a better user experience as it is for better SEO.
First and foremost benefit of having a professional and structured website is that it makes your visitors motivated to stay in your website longer and explore different sections of your website during which there is a better chance that they will turn into potential customers or clients. However, another benefit of improving your website structure is achievement of higher ranking in Google search results.
Googlebot rely on an understandable sitemap, that should include a structured flow of all your website pages and the internal links among them, to better understand your website and its content. The better your website is understood, the better (with higher ranking) it will be associated with related search queries.
Now lets learn about a well structured website:
A Good Structure
It is a best practice to determine and draw all your website sections, either on a piece of paper or using software like Visio or Excel. Once your website is sketched out, you can easily see if your website’s structure is well balanced or not. If the shape of your website’s diagram looks somewhat like figure 1 below, it is not well balanced as a lot of the weight of the content is on one side of the website.
Figure 1: Not a well Balanced Website Structure
To have a balanced website, it is important to avoid having one or two sections occupy most of the website. Your website structures should look like a pyramid. Depending on how heavy your content is, you should usually have approximately 5 to 10 main sections with subsections distributed in a way that no subsections would be more than twice the size of the other sections.
Figure 2: A Well Balanced Website Structure
Website Sections Names
Your section names should be relevant to the content of every section and should clearly and specifically indicate the purpose of the content. Also it is important to use relevant keywords that people would be searching for, if a search engine were to refer this section of your website to them. So do your research before naming your sections. Some of Google’s tools that would be very helpful are:
For example, “Furnaces” for the name of a section within an HVAC company’s website is not descriptive and doesn’t display the purpose of that section specifically. Therefore it would be a better idea to have the section named as “Furnace Maintenance Services” or “New Furnace Installation”. This not only creates a better user experience, but also increases Search Engine Optimization by better utilizing related keywords as well as creating a more understandable structure.
Now that you have a good website structure with descriptive section names, it is important that all the main sections are linked properly to their sub-sections and vise versa. Also pages under different sections that may be related to each other, should have links to one another. Linking related pages will help Google robots understand the relationship of the pages and their content, and will ultimately improve your site’s ranking in search results.