Among the foundational elements of SEO are site structure and internal linking, both of which play important roles in improving your site’s organic search performance. They require keen attention and some degree of technical know-how. But first, you have to familiarize yourself with what site structure and internal linking means in the context of SEO.
A House of Many Rooms – The Anatomy of a Good Site Structure
At its very core, site structure refers to the way that a website is organized. The premise and purpose of such organization is to build a site that is easily navigable by end users while being friendly to search engine crawlers.
One of the most important aspects of site structure and organization in terms of on-page optimization is the use of heading tags. To understand this concept better, think of your website as a house. Ideally, a house must have an appropriate number of rooms that are easy to access. These rooms are your website pages. To make your website (house) livable, the hallways that lead to each room have to be well planned. Otherwise, the only access to those rooms is through exterior windows.
Creating an Ideal Site Structure
One of the best ways to create a good site structure is to create or organize pages based on topic silos. To better understand this, you have to learn how to recognize ‘topics’ versus ‘keywords.’
It’s true that the keywords that people type into their search bars are topics in themselves, but it’s important to get out of this keyword-chasing mentality. Think of your pages or page groups as ‘topics’ instead of mere keywords. This will allow you to apply a more holistic approach in page-targeting and create content that answer questions within a particular part of a visitor’s or a potential customer’s journey. This silo-based approach builds a better site structure that helps organize and direct their journey through and experience of your website.
Done correctly, this kind of page and content structure leads to an effective expansion of keyword inventory, potentially higher rankings, and better user engagement. A siloed approach to content creation and site structuring helps users set the right expectations on what they well see on your pages.
The Hallways to Your Pages – Information Architecture
Good site structure is always backed by good information architecture. Think of this as the hallways connecting the rooms in your home—which represent your pages—to each other. If your website is a home and your pages are its rooms, then it needs hallways to direct people toward each door.
A typical site structure (and visitor journey) goes from your Homepage to your Topic Pages (or page groups), which contain supporting content for that particular topic.
At the top of your visitor experience is the Homepage—which is likely to be the most visited page on your website. Your homepage should link out to your website’s main topic silos, and your silos should act as clusters around the topics that your site focuses on.
The advantage of this kind of information architecture is for search engines to gain a better understanding of what the website is all about as they crawl the topic clusters.
When you place your website content in well designed and logical topic silos, your website becomes structured in a way that supports your overall topic. This ultimately helps you build authority over the topics, subjects, and keywords you are creating and generating content around. The more your site establishes itself as authority on a particular subject, the higher you will rank for relevant searches and queries.
Need help on utilizing site structure and internal linking for better rankings? You can count on our team here at SEOValley. Contact us today and let’s get started.