Pay Attention to Site Architecture for SEO; Your Ranking Will Thank You

Cinthya Diaz

2 weeks ago

SEO is all about staying ahead of the competition in the SERPs, which should be the main plan for looking after your business goals. One powerful way to improve your organic rankings is by mastering site architecture in SEO

SEO Really Works!

This crucial aspect of your website not only enhances user experience but also makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. Therefore, to help you make the most of this tool, in this article, we'll explore:

  1. The role of website architecture.
  2. Benefits for your online business.
  3. Actionable steps to optimize it for higher rankings.
  4. Examples of site architecture optimizations we have implemented.

Ready to start putting your site in order? Let’s get into it!

What is Site Architecture in SEO, and How to Get it Right?

Website architecture in SEO refers to how the pages on your website are structured and linked together. A well-planned site architecture ensures

  • Users and search engines can easily find and access your site's important content. 
  • Organizing your site's hierarchy, creating a logical navigation system, and strategically interlinking pages.

To get site architecture right, it should look like this: 

website architecture example

Have you ever visited a site where you don’t find what you are looking for? What do you usually do? Do you continue to struggle to understand what the business offers or just leave? Similarly, bounce rates and shopping cart abandonments increase when users get lost, reach a dead end, or become confused.

Why Site Architecture Matters for SEO Positioning and Your Business?

Let’s take a look into how a well-optimized site architecture offers numerous benefits for your SEO efforts and overall business:

Improved Crawlability and Indexability

Search engines use bots to index and crawl your site. A clear and organized site architecture makes it easier for these bots to discover and index your content.

In fact, Google follows the links on your site to evaluate what your business is about:

how google discovers your site

Pro-Tip: Avoid orphan pages and pages that require too many clicks to access. Not only will users be less likely to end up there, but search engines might also ignore them.

mistakes in site architecture

Enhanced User Experience

A logical and easy-to-navigate site keeps visitors engaged and reduces bounce rates. Happy users are more likely to stay on your site longer, explore more pages, and convert into customers.

Additionally, Google has already mentioned how user experience is one of their algorithm factors for site ranking:

“Google's core ranking systems look to reward content that provides a good page experience. Site owners seeking to be successful with our systems should not focus on only one or two aspects of page experience. Instead, check if you provide a great page experience across many aspects.”

Higher Keyword Relevanceand Topical Authority

By organizing your content and using keyword-rich URLs, you can increase the relevance of your pages for targeted keywords. Similarly, planning what pages you’ll have and where helps to avoid keyword cannibalization.

On the other hand, following a topic cluster strategy (with pillar pages and topic clusters) allows your site to highlight the most relevant content from a TOFU to BOFU stage:

topic cluster strategy for buyer’s funnel

Improve Your Visibility Through SItelinks

Similar to the ads in Google, sitelinks in organic results are small pieces of content that show users in the SERP some relevant pages they’ll find on your site.

See how in White Shark Media’s example, we not only deploy the meta title and description but also show users about our About page, the Contact Us, services, blog, etc.

White Shark Media’s sitelinks

How to Optimize Site Architecture?

Now that you know this, you must check whether your website structure is on point. Let’s review how to do that!

Optimizing your site architecture involves:

  1. Auditing up to the level at which your site's pages are organized.
  2. Planning how to fix the areas of opportunity.

The step-by-step goes like this:

Auditing the Site

  • Use tools like Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to crawl your site and identify issues such as broken links, duplicate content, and orphaned pages.
  • Check if you already have keyword research and evaluate how your target keywords match your site architecture.
  • Evaluate your internal linking strategy. Are you covering all opportunities to add internal links between related pages?
  • Have you already evaluated who your target audience is? If that is done, it’s time to check if their interests go with the pages you offer on your site.
  • Is your site using SEO-friendly URL structures?
  • When thinking about your topic cluster strategy, use category pages to reflect this distribution.
  • Are your pages able to be accessed with no more than 4 clicks?

Digital marketing specialists don’t gate-keep 😉 Therefore, we’ll also share here the best practices we recommend you follow for SEO-friendly URLs:

  • Use lowercase words.
  • Join words with hyphens, not underscores.
  • Keep URLs short — 128 characters or less.
  • URLs should make sense to human beings. Use descriptive keywords and avoid long numerical strings like session IDs.
  • Create a logical system of directories for categories and subcategories of content.

Example of a Site Architecture With Areas of Opportunity

Let’s take a look at our client’s example. Their menu reflected:

  • Duplicated content, such as accessories, on the main level but also under products.
  • A mix of category pages and product pages under all products.
  • Repetitive information such as “all products” under “ products.”
seo unorganized menu

Messy, right? 

No worries! This story has a happy ending. Let’s see how it was fixed:

Planning How to Implement It

Step 1: Create a Blueprint

Sketch your ideal site structure, including categories, subcategories, and individual pages. Also, plan your URL structure and navigation menu to match this blueprint.

In our client's case, we draw the ideal site architecture in a Google sheet:

Example of an optimized site structure plan

Step 2: Prioritize Content Updates

Focus on optimizing or creating high-priority pages first, such as your homepage, category pages, and top-performing content. Gradually work through the rest of your site, making updates and improvements as needed.

For Cruise RO, these were the pages pending to be created: 

Example of a site architecture schedule

Step 3: Monitor and Adjust

Review your site's performance regularly using analytics tools like Google Analytics and Search Console. Adjust your site architecture as needed to maintain optimal SEO performance.

Remember we promised a happy ending? This is how our clients’ structure seems now:

Example of organized site architecture seo organized site architecture Example of client website architecture optimization

Your Takeaway for Optimizing on Site Architecture for SEO

Mastering site architecture is vital to any successful SEO strategy. By understanding:

  • What site architecture in SEO entails
  • Recognizing its benefits
  • Following actionable steps to optimize your site…

You'll achieve higher organic rankings and drive more traffic to your online business. Are you ready to optimize your site architecture and discover your website's full potential today?

If you need extra help during this process, sign up for a free consultation with our SEO experts and get personalized advice tailored to your business needs.