Website architecture is a key component of an effective SEO strategy. However, it’s easy to overlook. You can be using all the right keywords and a great link building strategy, but if your site architecture isn’t helping search engines find and index your pages, you may be blocking your own site from appearing higher in SEO rankings. Here’s what you need to know about:
Read on to learn how your website architecture can make or break your SEO performance.
In an SEO context, website architecture refers to the structure which organizes the content on your website. It includes two main components which complement each other, one for human visitors and one for search engine robots:
Together these elements define your website architecture.
Your website’s architecture can affect your SEO results in three main ways:
If a search engine robot can’t crawl a page on your site, that page can’t be indexed or ranked. A number of factors in your site architecture can block pages from being crawled. The algorithm that guides Google’s robot assigns what is known as a crawl budget to each site. Basically, this means that the robot will only index a limited number of pages on your site at a given time based on what your site’s architecture identifies as most important. Pages which exceed the scope of your site’s crawl budget because your architecture doesn’t identify them as priorities may never get indexed.
Search engine robots can also be discouraged from crawling pages by a number of other factors. These include:
Even after a page has been crawled, a robot still needs to determine whether to index it and how to rank its importance in relation to other pages on your site. When a robot first arrives on your site, it first looks for a file called robots.txt which provides instructions on which pages to crawl and how long to wait for them to load before crawling them. You can also help robots index and rank pages on your site by providing a sitemap, which is an organized list telling search engines which of your pages and navigational features are most important for crawling and indexing.
Finally, the number of clicks your pages are getting from human visitors lets search engines know which pages on your site are most important. If visitors can easily access a page through your navigational menus, it will promote more clicks to that page, which can increase that page’s ranking. On the other hand, if a page is buried in your navigational structure and hard to find, it will get fewer clicks, which can lower its ranking.
You can take a number of steps to improve your website architecture so that your pages get crawled, indexed and ranked correctly:
If you’re not sure how to implement these steps, seek assistance from a knowledgeable SEO consultant.
Website architecture forms one important component of your SEO strategy. To be effective, an overall SEO strategy must also cover other essential bases such as keyword selection and link building. SimpleTiger specializes in helping B2B SaaS providers develop customized SEO strategies to boost traffic and scale up revenue. Take a few minutes to fill out our short online form and tell us about your SEO needs so we can schedule a discovery call and help you develop a plan to increase your traffic and attract more customers.
Matt is an SEO Strategist at SimpleTiger, consulting on technical, user experience, on-page optimization, link building, and managing SEO projects for clients.
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