When it comes to improving your website’s search engine rankings, it all starts with the foundation. Your website’s structure is the base that can either make or break your SEO efforts. If your website structure is disorganized, search engines will have a difficult time crawling your site and ranking your content. But with a solid website structure, you’ll have a better chance to appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Here’s how to create a foundation that supports your SEO efforts.
Start with a Sitemap
Before you begin any changes to your website structure, start by analyzing and mapping out your sitemap. A sitemap is a blueprint of your website that outlines all of the pages and content. It helps search engines understand the hierarchy of your website and how your pages are related to each other. It is an essential communication tool between your website and search engines. A well-drafted sitemap will ensure that search engines can find, index, and rank all of your website’s pages.
There are many tools that can help you create a sitemap. Some popular options include:
Create a Logical Structure
Now that you have a sitemap in hand, it’s time to start thinking about how you want to organize your website. Logical website structure is essential for both SEO and user experience. You want to provide visitors with a clear idea of what your website is about and help them find the information they need quickly and easily.
Your website structure should be an organizational chart. At the top of the chart will be your homepage, followed by your primary topic categories. From there, you can add subcategories and individual pages that fit under each category.
One good practice is to limit the number of categories you have. A website that is overly complex with too many categories can confuse search engines and users. There should be a clear hierarchy that makes it easy for search engines and users to find the content they need.
Use Clear and Descriptive URLs
Another critical component of website structure is the URL structure. The URL of a web page should be clear and descriptive, telling both search engines and users what the web page is about. An effective URL structure can improve both your SEO and user experience. Your URLs should reflect your website structure and make it easy to navigate from one page to the next.
Keep your URLs short, descriptive, and easy to remember. Use hyphens to separate words, removing any spaces or special characters. For example, www.example.com/seo-tips is a clear and concise URL that tells both users and search engines that the page is about SEO tips.
Optimize Your Internal Linking Structure
Internal linking is an essential part of website structure that is often overlooked. Your website’s internal linking structure helps search engines understand your website’s hierarchy, and it helps users navigate your website. A good internal linking strategy can improve your website’s rankings by helping search engines crawl and index your pages.
As you create new pages and content, be sure to link to related content on your website. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about SEO tips, link to other pages on your website that discuss related topics, like keyword research or link building. Make it a habit to link to your highest priority pages, and link more than once if it makes sense.
Use Header Tags to Structure Content
Header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) are another essential factor in both website structure and on-page SEO. Header tags structure the content on a page and help search engines understand what the page is about. The H1 tag should be reserved for the page’s main heading, with H2 and H3 tags used to structure subheadings and sections under the main heading.
Be sure to include your primary keywords in your header tags. Doing so will help search engines and users understand the contents of your page.
Building a solid website structure is one of the most important things you can do to improve your website’s SEO. Start by creating a sitemap and organizing it in a logical hierarchy. Use clear and descriptive URLs to tell both search engines and users what your web pages are about. Optimize your internal linking structure to help search engines and users navigate your website, and use header tags to structure your content. By following these best practices, you’ll have a strong foundation that supports your SEO efforts and helps your website rank higher in search results.