There’s a pretty good chance that you’re aware of how important it is to have and maintain a business blog. SEO experts all over the web harp on it regularly; the blog is the vessel for your content, and your content is essential to every facet of your online marketing strategy. However, one aspect of the blog that sometimes gets overlooked is the site structure.
What is Site Structure?
The site structure refers to how your website is set up, i.e., how your subpages are linked to one another. The site should be structured to show how your blog is linked to the rest of your website and how each blog page is linked to various landing pages or other blog pages.
Think of your site structure as a blueprint for your website. You can even compare it to a blueprint for a house. A blueprint for a house would not only show the dimensions and architectural features of each room, but also show where each room is in relation to the entire house and how it connects with other rooms.
You wouldn’t just have a packet of individual blueprints for each room without having a blueprint showing the entire floor plan of the home. It’s the same with your website; you can’t just have a bunch of webpages that aren’t connected in anyway. Site structure shows how each page is connected and their relation to the website as a whole.
Why is Site Structure So Important To Your Business Blog?
The thing about your site structure is that, like the blueprint of a home, you need to plan it out. You need to plan out the navigation and logic of your blog to ensure that your site structure is effective.
Poor site structure is going to negatively affect the traffic you are getting to your blog in several ways. Here are three reasons creating a good site structure is vital to the success of your business blog:
. Site structure makes your site more user-friendly. When a visitor arrives on your page, they’ll either want to search for something specific or they’ll want to explore your site to see what kind of content you are providing.
If your site is poorly structured and difficult for a visitor to navigate, they’ll just leave. A good site structure will provide links to different parts of your site. For example, every page on your site should have a link to your contact section.
You may also want to have clear and relevant categories linked from your navigation bar, especially on your homepage, that give visitors a clear view of where they can go throughout your site. One of the most important facets of a good site structure is your use of keywords.
Keyword research will help you figure out what to name the links that you provide, making it even easier for visitors to find what they are looking for.
. Good site structure makes it easier for Google to index your website. A good site structure will make it easier for Google’s bots to crawl through your site in order to index it for their search results pages.These bots, often referred to as crawlers, won’t automatically go through every page of your site.
Google has even stated that its bots won’t always discover all of the content on your site. They crawl through the homepage and any pages linked from it, often stopping there because the pages aren’t linked to anything else.
If you use internal links with strong keywords, then Google’s bots will continue crawling through your site and not only index more of your content, but also index it more accurately because they’ll be able to see how each page relates to your website as a whole.
. Good site structure is the foundation for your SEO strategy. Without good site structure, there’s a good chance that your SEO efforts are not going to be effective. In addition to ensuring all of your blog’s content is properly indexed, thus making it more likely to bring in organic traffic, a strong site structure will ensure that traffic flows throughout your website and doesn’t just stop at a single page as though at a dead end.
Visitors will be more likely to explore your site instead of leave it without interacting or engaging, which would end up hurting your PageRank. Since good site structure helps encourage more interaction and engagement among your visitors, it will help boost your search engine rankings as well, thereby bringing in more traffic.
Good Site Site Structure vs. Bad Site Structure
Before you begin implementing your site structure, you need to understand the difference between good and bad site structure.
For example, once you’ve landed on the homepage of a car dealership site, you realize the dealership has three locations; it asks you to choose which location you’re looking at, which you do, and it loads up.
Then you’re faced with your options, and you choose new cars over used cars; you’re taken to a page with a list of auto manufacturers, from which you choose a make; then you’re taken to a page with numerous other options, from model to color and more.
It takes you a dozen clicks to finally land on the car you’re looking for. This is not good site structure, especially for customers that don’t know exactly what they are looking for, and so must through this process repeatedly.
Using the same car dealership example, what would make it a good site structure? Simply list all of these options (make, model, color, etc.) on one page using drop-down menus to make the selections. This way, you’re not going through page after page figuring out what you want, and backtracking when you change your mind.
Using Link Power
Google doesn’t just pay attention to the inbound links your site has, it also pays attention to your internal links. Internal linking is important because, in a way, Google treats each link as a vote.
Whereas inbound links are votes of popularity or confidence in your page, your internal links are votes for how important the page you are linking to is. These internal links help provide link power to the page they are linking to.
The more link power a page has, the more important Google assumes that page is. A page that has a lot of link power will be ranked higher on Google’s search engine. Therefore, your site structure has a big impact on what pages get ranked the highest, so you should plan out how you will use internal links throughout your site, especially in regard to your blog pages.
Before you begin planning out your internal links, you need to figure out what your most important pages are. Don’t just assume that just because you think a certain page on your site is the most important one, that it is.
Use Google Analytics to determine what pages are the most vital to the performance of your website. If you have an e-commerce page and are selling products online, then you can use Google Analytics in order to track your sales and see which pages on your site are generating the most revenue.
If you don’t have an e-commerce page, and your website is more focused on content, then you’ll want to identify what blog content gets the most traffic and the most clicks on your ads, which you can do through Google Analytics. You can then further promote this content by increasing its link power when creating your internal linking strategy.
Using flat structure instead of deep structure.
With a deep structure, it takes numerous clicks for a visitor to get from one page to another. If it takes a half-dozen clicks to get from the homepage to a piece of blog content they want to read, then you’ve created a deep structure.
A flat structure reduces the steps required to get from one page to another, such as by making it possible to go from the home page to a specific blog post within three steps. You should aim for a flat structure, especially when it comes to linking to important pages.
This will ensure that important pages aren’t buried within your site. It will not only make it more user-friendly for your visitors, but it will make the site easier for Google to crawl. So if your e-commerce page is one of the most important pages on your site, then you should make sure you link to it from your homepage.
Site structure affects everything from how your site is indexed to the user-friendliness of your blog. Because of this, you need to plan your site carefully by using Google Analytics to identify your most important pages. Then you can implement an internal linking strategy that helps attribute link power to your most important pages within a flat site structure.