Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Today we are going to discuss how to use Site Architecture For Better SEO and user experience. We will be talking about the dos and don’ts of site architecture.
Site architecture is essential these days for every website. Making a proper site architecture is just like organizing a library. When the library is well managed, it becomes easy for everyone. The same is the case with websites.
Without effective site architecture, your visitors may have difficulty discovering what they need and lose interest in your content. That is why building your site in a logical and user-friendly format that also appeals to search engines is essential.
In this post, we’ll review some site architectural dos and don’ts to help you develop a website that’s easy to navigate and search engine friendly. Let’s get started now!
Importance Of A Solid Site Architecture
A proper site architecture acts as a map for users to navigate your website. It’s the key that opens the gates to your content and enhances SEO and user experience. Without it, your website could seem like a maze to visitors, making them frustrated and lost.
Check Out This Guide For UX Patterns
1. Better Search Engine Crawlability
It’s no secret that search engines prefer simpler sites to navigate and understand, and a practical site layout helps them achieve just that. Making it simpler for search engines to index your material improves your chances of appearing on the first page of Google search results.
2. Your Visitors Will Be Satisfied
A good site architecture makes life easier for your visitors, so it’s not just about pleasing search engines. Everyone dislikes a website that is tricky to use or overstuffed with content.
By arranging your information into logical categories and making it easy to discover, you are offering a better user experience and also encouraging users to stay on your site for longer which in turn reduces the bounce rate which is the rate calculated for the number of users visiting your website and leaving after visiting only one page. And, as we all know, the longer someone stays on your site, the higher your search engine rankings will be.
These Are Some Helpful Guidelines That Are The Key To Making Your Website Ideal For Your Users And The Search Engine
1. Plan Your Site Architecture
Planning a website’s structure before developing it is crucial. Preplanning involves selecting the site’s primary categories, subcategories, and feature pages.
2. Use A Logical Hierarchy
Selecting, organizing, and designing a site strategically is a must-do. The primary categories should be at the top of a logical hierarchy, followed by subcategories and pages.
3. Use Descriptive And Keyword-Rich URLs
Use keyword-rich, evocative URLs that inform consumers of what they might anticipate seeing on the page. Let’s understand the difference with an example.
A compelling URL example should look like this: https://example.com/seo-tips-for-beginners
This URL is brief, descriptive, and contains relevant keywords that help users what the website might have. Also, it’s simple to remember and recommend to others, both of which can increase traffic and enhance the user experience.
Whereas, an ambiguous URL looks like this: example.com/index.php?id=123456
This URL is complex, contains hard-to-remember numbers and symbols, and offers no information about the page’s content. It is not user-friendly, and search engines may not index or rank it favorably. This type of URL is often generated by content management systems and should be avoided by all means.
4. Create A Sitemap
A sitemap is an XML or document that keeps a record of all the pages on your website. It helps search engines crawl and rank your site more easily. A well-listed sitemap is a good practice for website designers as well. This can prevent you from adding unnecessary duplicate content.
5. Use Internal Linking
Linking one of your pages to other pages on your website is known as internal linking. It keeps your users surfing through your website for a longer time, boosting your ranks in search engine result pages (SERP).
6. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
In today’s world, where mobile devices have become a vital part of our lives, with the global usage of mobiles reaching up to 6 billion, it’s imperative to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and gives a seamless experience to visitors who access your site on the go. This means developing a responsive website that can adjust to various screen sizes and gadgets.
7. Use Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are a navigation feature that shows users where they are on the website. They assist users in comprehending the current page’s context and how it fits into the overall site hierarchy.
8. Optimize Your Images And Videos
Large files slow down your website’s loading speed, affecting your user experience and SEO. Compress and use the proper file formats for your photographs and videos to optimize them.
9. Use A Consistent Design
A consistent design contributes to a unified user experience across your website. Use a consistent color scheme, design, and font to give your website a polished appearance.
As seen in the above picture the entire website is keeping it consistent with a set of colors giving it a unique identity.
10. Create A 404 Page
When a user attempts to access a non-existent page, a 404 page is displayed. Make a custom 404 page that offers guidance and leads to other pages on your website. Otherwise, it can confuse website visitors, who might think that the website needs fixing.
Don’ts Of Site Architecture
1. Creating A Site Structure That Is Too Shallow Or Too Deep
The site structure should be of an optimal length. If a site structure is too shallow, organizing content can be challenging. Whereas too deep of a structure can make it stressful for users to locate the required information.
2. Using Dynamic URLs
Although dynamic and static URLs can both accomplish the same task, static URLs are typically chosen due to their clarity and simplicity. Static URLs may also offer some SEO advantages because they generally contain keywords pertinent to the page’s content.
However, in some circumstances, such as when working with intricate databases or e-commerce platforms, dynamic URLs might be required. Therefore, unless it is necessary, don’t use them.
3. Creating Duplicate Content
Duplicate content can confuse search engines and harm your SEO efforts. Although duplicate content may sometimes be unavoidable and may be good for consistency. For example, if a clothing retailer sells the same shirt in multiple sizes and colors, the product description on each page will be the same with minor changes to reflect the change in size and color. In this case, duplicate content is helping in a consistent and simpler user experience. Otherwise, make the difference loud and clear through the design of the content.
4. Using Too Many Subcategories
Too many subcategories can make it hard for users to navigate your site. It’s best to follow a logical hierarchy with a limited number of subcategories.
5. Using Hidden Text Or Links
Hiding text or links on your site can be seen as an attempt to manipulate search engines and can be seen as unethical. Although it may increase your SERP rank, it will adversely increase your bounce rate. People also don’t like it when the website takes them to other pages while they are still reading the old one.
6. Using Unclear Or Misleading Navigation
Navigation is a crucial component of the website structure. Hence you have to make sure it’s simple to understand and use. Don’t hide significant pages deep within the site’s structure or use misleading labels.
7. Using Too Many Ads Or Pop-Ups
While ads and pop-ups are awesome mediums to generate revenue, they are annoying for the user. Search engines also avoid websites with too many ads in them as they may consider them spam websites.
Another thing is the user might feel irritated because of too many ads and eventually end up leaving the website.
Best Practices For Site Architecture
- Your site architecture goals should be well-defined and realistic. This will assist you in developing a structure that is efficient and workable. Also, deciding beforehand will save you some time.
- When designing the site architecture, put personal prejudices aside. Your architectural design should take your audience into account as well as your tastes. Creating a perfect amalgam of both of these is your ultimate goal.
- When creating the site architecture, give users’ wants and expectations first priority. This will contribute to a better user experience and make it simpler for visitors to find what they’re looking for.
- Strategize the user journey through your site design to guarantee that users can easily explore your website and obtain the information they need without getting stuck. You can achieve this by proper interlinking and not using misleading links.
- Make sure all users can easily comprehend the site’s architecture. Visitors will find it simpler to navigate your website and find what they need as a result of this.
- Keep your content concise and in easy language for it to be more understandable for a larger user base. This will ensure that the architecture has good accessibility.
- Site speed is essential for SEO along with the user experience. For website speed optimization, you can try software like Google PageSpeed Insights.
- Use tools such as Google Analytics to track the performance of your website and find areas that could use improvement.
- Ensure the design of your website is user-friendly for everyone, including those who have disabilities. Employ alt text for photos, add captions to videos, and make sure a keyboard can be used to navigate your website.
In conclusion, both user experience and SEO rely heavily on a well-designed site architecture. You may build a website that is simple to navigate and search engine optimized by carefully organizing your site’s layout, employing a logical hierarchy, developing descriptive URLs, and using internal linking.
But don’t just take our word for it; try adopting these recommendations on your own website and experience the difference for yourself! Also, our team at Matchbox Design Group is always there to support you if you need assistance with enhancing your site architecture or any other part of your web development. To discover more and advance your website, get in touch with us right away!
We hope that you have a better understanding of how to use Site Architecture For Better SEO and User Experience. Call us at Matchbox Design Group with any questions or concerns.
Contact Matchbox Design Group Today!
If your website could use a refresh or you’re looking to drive more traffic to your site, fill out the form below and we’ll contact you to learn more about your digital needs.