Website structure.

What is website structure and its types: SEO-best practice.

A website structure is one of the essential aspects of a website that is often overlooked by many. This leads to poor crawlability and poor user experience, which negatively impacts your SEO.

Designing a website requires more time and effort than you think. Each and every element of the website hold great value and must be used strategically. Many webmasters create and cluster random posts and pages to create a website which is a big mistake.

Wondering what a good website layout looks like?

A website must not be just a random collection of pages. Rather, it should be a well-organized collection of information and content that is simple to navigate and understand for both search engines and users. To design a beautiful website and enhance its usability, you have to dive into the details and plan everything strategically.

We created this detailed guide on website structure to help novice users understand website structure and its types, as well as to assist them in designing a beautiful, SEO-friendly site.

Stick to the guide till the end to learn everything about website structure. Let’s get started!

What is website structure?

Website architecture is the framework of your website, which depicts how you designed it and how your web pages, i.e., the home page and all other important pages, are connected to each other.

Basically, your website structure reflects the arrangement of pages and their connection with each other which is accomplished by using internal links and hierarchy.

A good website architecture helps you present your site information in an easy-to-access way which is valuable for users and search engines. It helps them easily navigate to your site and understand it properly. Search engines crawl your website so that they can index it and rank it accordingly. Whereas users navigate to your site to find the information they are looking for.

Therefore, the structure of a website plays a vital role in website crawlability, user navigation, user experience, as well as search engine optimization.

Why website structure is important in SEO?

In SEO, every single aspect is valuable, and website structure is one of them. The following are key points supporting the importance of website structure.

1. A good structure reduces the bounce rate and boosts user experience.

As a site owner, you only have very few seconds to attract and engage visitors to your site, and website structure plays a critical role in it. Visitors readily abandon sites with a poor structure which increases the site’s bounce rate, impacting the SEO.

Contrary to this, websites with easy navigation and simple design engage more visitors. It helps them easily discover the information they are looking for. This enhances the user experience on a site, lowers the bounce rate, and boosts SEO, ranking, and conversions.

2. A good structure improves crawling. 

The crawling of a website is directly linked to the structure of a website. A Poor site structure hampers the crawling of web pages and prevents them from appearing in search results. 

This is because web crawlers efficiently discover and crawl new web pages when they are linked with other pages on the web. 

Consequently, a site with proper architecture and proper internal linking enables web crawlers to quickly discover and crawl new web pages and rank them on search results. 

3. A good structure helps you organize your content.

No matter how valuable your content is, it’s worthless if it can’t reach the right audience. 

Clear and logical placement of web pages and internal links helps you organize your content so that it can reach the targeted audience. 

You can organize your web pages in a hierarchical order, with your most important pages arranged only a few clicks away from the home page. Also, these pages can be further linked with sub-pages and sub-sub-pages so that visitors can quickly find the information they are looking for.

4. A good website structure distributes link authority throughout your site.

Links are critical in structuring a website as well as passing the link equity. When a high-ranking page is linked with a lower one, it passes its link authority and helps boost its SEO. 

While creating a strong site layout, multiple web pages are linked with each other. This network of links enables search engines and users to navigate to the site, find relevant pages, and pass the link equity, which is valuable for search engines, users as well as from an SEO standpoint.

5. A good website structure prevents self-competition

A logical arrangement of web pages linking relevant pages gives search engines an idea of the important pages on your site as well as your site structure. If not linked properly, your relevant web pages can compete with each other to achieve higher rankings.

By linking relevant web pages, you explicitly tell search engines which pages are the most important ones, Which can prevent self-competition on your site and boost your search engine optimization.

Types of website structure.

Based on the arrangement and linking of web pages, there are majorly four types of website structure: Hierarchical, Sequential, Metrics, and Database. Let’s help you understand each one in detail.

1. Hierarchical Website structure

The Hierarchical structure, also referred to as the tree model, is easy to understand and the most preferred type of website structure. In this model, the top-level page is further classified into category and sub-category pages depicting the top-bottom approach.

The hierarchical model is majorly used by sites with large amounts of information distributed among multiple pages, including the home page, main category pages, sub-category pages, and child pages.

In this type of site organization, the category and sub-category pages are internally linked to illustrate the hierarchy of web pages indicating their importance and relevance to each other. 

2. Sequential Website Structure

The sequential structure, also referred to as the linear model, is the simplest website structure of all, including a home page or main page with few other pages. 

Unlike a hierarchical structure, it doesn’t include sub-category pages or child pages. It follows the linear arrangement of the web pages where a user can move in a forward or backward manner. 

The linear website structure is suited for sites with fewer pages and is mostly used by small businesses.

3. Matrix Website Structure

The matrix structure also referred to as a webbed or network model, is a popular website layout and is mostly used by eCommerce sites. The name webbed or network is based on the structural appearance of web pages when linked with each other. 

The website structure interconnects all the web pages, including the home page, sub-category pages, and child pages, to each other. This boost their accessibility, facilitate navigation and enhance user experience.

Basically, the matrix website structure interconnects everything on the site and makes it accessible to users with minimum clicks. 

4. Database website structure.

The Database website structure follows the opposite approach of hierarchical website structure, where the website is created using the bottom-up approach, utilizing the taxonomies and metadata.

Every individual experiences a unique website experience, and the visible information is based on your journey on the site and is only specific to you.

For instance, the database site structure can be seen on Google or a bank website.

Elements of a good website structure.

The hierarchical website structure is considered to be the best model and is usually preferred by most website developers. The understated elements are the major elements of a good website structure that must be used strategically.

1. The Home Page.

The home page is an important and central page of any website from where users can easily navigate to other pages of the website.

It is usually the topmost page in the website hierarchy, which is further linked with all the important pages to make them easily accessible to users. 

While creating a website, make your homepage a priority. Ensure that it is attractive and engaging, including all the links to the important pages of your site. In addition to this, the content, headings, fonts, images CTAs, must be placed strategically and beautifully. This will add value to your website design.       

This will provide users with easy navigation and boost user experience on your site. 

2. The navigation Menu

Website navigation enables a user to understand the website structure and easily look for the information they are searching for. The navigation menu is the list of important web pages, which is usually present in the header, sidebar, or footer. This enables users to easily navigate to the site’s important pages. 

Ensure that your navigation menu is simple and easy to understand and all pages are categorized and placed systematically to help users easily navigate to the site.

3. Internal Links

Internal links are a crucial element that strengthens the organization of a site.

They help you interconnect your web pages, depict their relevancy, provide easy navigation throughout the site as well as boost Search Engine Optimization.

Ensure that your important and relevant pages are properly linked to create a strong and organized layout of your site.

4. Categories and Tags.

Grouping content can be valuable for creating an organized website structure.  And categories, sub-categories, and tags are important assets for classifying and grouping content. 

If you are serving a variety of content to your users, you must group your content into different categories to organize your website structure. You can group your similar content into a category and further subdivide it into sub-categories if needed.

For instance, an online family clothing store can have multiple categories, such as Men, Women, and Kids. The Men category, for instance, can be further subcategorized into jeans, shirts, t-shirts, suits, etc.

In addition to categories, you can also use tags to classify your similar content. However, tags cannot be further subdivided into sub-categories. 

Ensure to categorize your web pages if you want to organize your website structure and offer a great user experience.

5. Breadcrumb 

Breadcrumb is an additional element of the website that enhances its navigation and user experience. It is a clickable path that keeps track of the user journey and displays their current location on the site, enabling users to easily return to the previous pages they navigated through.

Make sure you implement the breadcrumb navigation on your site to boost user experience on the site and improve the site’s SEO.

How to create an SEO-friendly website structure?

As of now, you might have got an idea about the structure of a website, its importance, types, and key elements; let us move on to the steps of creating a search engine-optimized layout that will help you create a valuable SEO-friendly website.

1. Design a beautiful Home page.

The importance of a home page cannot be overlooked for a website. Therefore, ensure that you create an engaging and user-friendly home page to give users the whole idea of your site and help them with easy navigation throughout your website. 

Also, make sure to include all the necessary elements and focus on the content, design, color, font, images, navigation menu, and their placement on the page to provide users with a clear and engaging home page.

2. Create a simple hierarchical website structure.

A website design has a direct impact on the user experience and user behavior on a site. A complicated website structure might confuse visitors and pose a challenge for them to discover what they are looking for. Therefore, your site design must be simple and well-structured. This enables visitors to effortlessly find the information they are looking for. 

Additionally, a simple and hierarchical website structure enhances easy navigation, lowers bounce rate, and boosts user experience and, therefore, boosts the website’s SEO.

3. Organize content into categories and sub-categories.

Well-organized website content enhances the crawlability, usability, and accessibility of a website and is, therefore, valuable from an SEO standpoint.

In addition to a simple hierarchical website structure, you must classify your web pages into categories and sub-categories. This will create an organized structure that is easy to understand and easy to navigate for search engines and users. 

Moreover, an organized website structure helps you classify your content logically and prevent keyword cannibalization issues and self-competition within your site.

4. Use Internal links strategically. 

Internal links are crucial to express the relationship and relevancy of web pages and help you strengthen the structure of a website. 

Internal links are as vital as grouping similar content together. Categorizing content helps you express the website architecture, whereas internal links help you interconnect the relevant content and enable easy navigation throughout the site.

Ensure that you use internal links to connect your web pages to strengthen your website building and help users and search engines to understand the relationship between your web pages.

# Despite all these, make sure that your website is simple and quick to express its function. Users can easily understand each website element and are quick to navigate throughout without having trouble. Also, ensure that your website is fast to load and uses SEO-friendly, readable URLs. All of these will help you create a strong website architecture with a user-friendly interface. This will ensure the SEO-friendliness of a website.

To Conclude-

Website creation demands your creativity and undivided attention to establish a professional-looking website. This helps you stand out from the rest. 

No matter whether you are crafting your fresh site or improving your existing one, website layout is the foundation of your brand. It can greatly affect the user experience, user behavior, and search engine optimization of the website. 

We have thoroughly discussed all the essentialities of a good website structure here to help you learn everything about it.

Ensure that you pay careful attention to every element we pinpointed here. And invest your time and effort in creating a beautiful and engaging website.

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