Jaume Ros
February 17, 2024

How to structure a site for SEO

Understanding how to structure a site for SEO is crucial in today's digital landscape. Why? Because your site's structure essentially tells Google which pages are most important. This means you've got the power to influence which content ranks highest in search engine results, all by tweaking your site's structure.

So, if you're looking to boost your SEO strategy, improving your site structure is a great place to start. Not only will it help Google index your URLs better, but it'll also enhance your user experience. Your visitors will find it easier to navigate your site and locate the information they need.

Importance of Site Structure for SEO

Let's dig deeper into why site structure matters in the SEO realm. First of all, good site structure aids in the pathfinding process for your readers. They're less likely to stick around if they have to navigate through a jumbled, disorganized website. Conversely, having a strategic, well-organised website layout invites longer visits, keeping your audience engrossed.



Aide in pathfinding

Helps your audience navigate the site more easily

Encourage longer visits

Keep your readers engrossed with an organized site structure

There's more to it than just user experience, though. Your website's structure depicts which pages are of utmost importance to Google. In other words, it communicates your most critical content. It's a powerful tool that can significantly impact search engine rankings. Did you know that you can sway which content will secure the top spots through your website's structure? That's how enormous the impact of a well thought out site structure can be.

The concept of site structure isn't just about the arrangement of your website's content. It also involves creating logical groups, linking related topics and presenting them efficiently to your visitors. Tools like taxonomies (categories and tags) and breadcrumbs, along with your navigation and internal links, play a significant role.

Site structure is the backbone of SEO for one additional reason. It enhances the efficiency of search engines crawling your site, allowing them to understand your site better. Overall, a solid site structure equals a robust Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. So without further ado, let's roll up our sleeves and learn how to start improving it.

It’s important to see that the value of site structure transcends SEO. It's also about facilitating user-friendly experiences and bolstering the overall effectiveness of your website. It’s not just about Google. It’s about your users too.

Planning Your Site Structure

When I consider improving my site structure for better SEO, the first thing I do is sketch out a basic sitemap. It's an initial overview that can take any form, from a diagram to a list. If I'm working with an existing site, I'll map the present structure to guide my redevelopment plans.

There are numerous site structure types to choose from such as a hierarchical website, a sequential website, a matrix (think word cloud) website or a database website. Each functions differently and suits sites with different needs. For a service or product-based website a hierarchical website structure would most likely be ideal because it allows for high-level categorization and easy-to-follow click paths for users and crawlers.

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Conducting Keyword Research

The next crucial step is keyword research. It's not enough to simply know what keywords are popular in my niche. I need to know which keywords work for my competitors and which are relevant to my unique content. Tools such as Google's Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Ahrefs Keyword Explorer become indispensible in this process.

Next, I need to place my keywords effectively. Relevance is everything in SEO. Therefore, ensure that one or two main keywords are present in the URL. The title of the page, which appears in search results, should also be rich with keywords. Page descriptions also need to include relevant keywords. Don't forget to incorporate keywords in your page headings (h1, h2, etc.) and throughout your website content. Remember, a mixture of keywords and related terms should suffuse your website copy.

Mapping Out Website Architecture

This is the stage where things start coming together. I start by identifying main categories that describe my products or services. It's good to jot these down, alongside the connections between each category that subsequently emerge. With this information, I can create a preliminary site structure map.

This is not a final draft, however. As the website evolves, so does the structure. It's critically important to continue refining your site structure throughout the development process. Keep in mind that a higher page in terms of architecture can contain more competitive keywords.

Once the sitemap and keywords are in place, it's essential to have an XML file on my site that shows Google all the URLs my site contains - this is quite simply known as a sitemap. Optimally, I should ensure that my site structure is 'flat' which means, in this context, that the user should reach any page on my site within four clicks from the home page. This approach is not only user-friendly, but it also allows Googlebot to crawl my site faster. Users navigate my site intuitively and find what they are searching for quickly, thus enhancing their overall experience.

Implementing SEO Best Practices

Our journey in grasping site structure for SEO continues - a critical aspect for enhancing visibility. These practices include creating SEO-Friendly URLs and Optimizing Internal Linking. You'll soon see how these strategies can massively improve your site's SEO.

Creating SEO-Friendly URLs

Understanding URLs is akin to reading a map. A well-drawn map leads to a less strenuous journey, while a poor one causes confusion. The same logic applies to URLs. SEO-friendly URLs aid your website in gaining visibility. They're short, precise, and contain target keywords. Framed rightly, like http://cleanyourhome.com/blog/granite-countertops, URLs give a positive impression and boost SERP rankings, unlike an inflated URL with incoherent numbers and symbols.

I can't stress enough how important URL optimization is, especially if your URLs look more akin to secret codes rather outside of SEO-friendly guidelines. They contribute to your top-level domain's authority and, in fact, they're also a minor ranking factor. I strongly recommend using lowercase letters and hyphens to separate words in your URL.

To ensure an easy-to-understand URL hierarchy, the structure can be: the root domain > second tier (or main category) > name of the page. In essence, a well-optimized URL must echo the progressions of your site, representing the folder order clearly. Remember to integrate relevant keywords for each page to make your URLs more SEO-friendly.

Optimizing Internal Linking

A well-structured website isn't just about good URLs; it's also about how well you connect the sections of your website. This is where internal linking comes in. Imagine your website is a small city. Internal linking is the public transport system that connects different localities. With clear and efficient transport routes, people can reach their destinations quickly and easily. This system makes exploration effortless and encourages citizens (in our case, users) to explore new areas.

Your category pages should include links to the most valuable pages. In doing this, they become more visible and easy to navigate to. The anchor texts for these links can be optimized for relevance and understanding. For example, if a category page centers around athletic shoes, the anchor text can be "Athletic Shoes."

The beauty of internal linking is that unlike external linking, Google doesn't punish you for using optimized anchor text. So, you can gear up and make your internal links as descriptive as possible. Just remember the golden rule - every page should be reachable through internal links. A page without internal links is likely to be ignored by Google.

Measuring Success

As we dive deeper into the world of SEO, we now move on to a critical aspect: Measuring Success. A well-structured site's not just an enhancement, it's a necessity. The rewards for achieving a well-organized structure are massive.

Let's dissect how a stellar site structure can fortify your SEO success. Here's the tea: search engines care about user experience. Your SERP rankings are influenced by the ease of navigation and usability of your site. If your website is a city, think of your structure like the public transport system. It needs to be intuitive, efficient, and accessible. If your pages aren't accessible within three clicks, you're already falling short!

When Google peruses your city — I mean web page — it's not just window-shopping. It's assessing. The more seamless the journey, the higher you'll climb up those SERP rankings.

Accentuating this interaction is the appearance of your site on SERPs. A perk of getting your site structure correct is the inclusion of sitelinks. Sitelinks are links displayed in the SERP that highlight your domain and several internal URLs. They don't just look pretty; they improve click-through rates (CTR). Google automatically generates sitelinks by harvesting the most relevant information from your site. Although you can't directly influence this process, you can by structuring comprehensively.




User Experience

Primary Factor

SERP Rankings

Navigation & Usability

Ease of Use

Accessible Web Pages


Boost Visibility

Improve CTR

Technical SEO can't be overlooked either. Maintenance of your structure is just as important as building it. Numerous technical SEO aspects, like page crawling and indexing, depend on it. Without a clean, well-organized structure, Google's crawlers won't be able to access your website efficiently.

If you're ready to measure success, it's time to look at your structure through an SEO lens. Pay attention to these aspects to ensure the journey your pages offer aligns with your goals. Don't let a poor structure be your downfall.


I've walked you through the importance of a well-structured site for SEO success. We've seen how search engines value user experience and how your site's structure can make or break your SERP rankings. Just like a city's transport system, your site's navigation needs to be intuitive and efficient. Remember, sitelinks can be your best friend by boosting visibility and click-through rates. And let's not forget the role of technical SEO in ensuring your site is easily crawled and indexed. So, as you build or refine your site, keep these points in mind. Your SEO efforts will thank you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the article suggest about site architecture for better SEO?

The article suggests that a “Flat” site architecture is more beneficial for SEO. A website with a Flat Architecture allows users and search engine crawlers to access any page within four clicks or less

What are typical SEO mistakes according to the article?

Common SEO mistakes outlined in the article includes not conducting enough keyword research, not matching search intent, not creating enough backlinks, breaking Google's Terms of Service involving link building, missing internal link opportunities, and not allowing Google to crawl the website content.

Is SEO still considered relevant in 2023?

Yes, SEO remains highly relevant in 2023. As the article points out, about 80% of CMOs aim to maintain the same or increase their investment in SEO. Meanwhile, on average, SEO accounts for around 10% of a typical marketing budget.

Why is site structure important for SEO?

The article emphasizes that site structure is crucial not only for user experience but also for SEO. It enhances SEO by assisting search engines in locating and indexing all your website's pages. Additionally, site structure is pivotal in spreading the authority throughout your webpages via internal links through strategic linking.

What should be the preferred website size for better SEO?

According to the article, an ideal website size is around 100kb or less for the HTML DOM page. However, this size may vary based on your niche. For instance, eCommerce sites commonly feature pages around 150kb-200kb due to the quantity of product images on the page.