The digital era ushered in opportunities that exponentially expanded our connectivity and communication speed. It also opened the gates to intense competition, raising the bar on getting positive audience reactions. Arguably the most crucial asset in one’s online armory is the company website, as the spearhead fighting for prospects’ attention. In this article, you’ll see your SEO guide to expert website structure, content slots, and URL architecture.
It’s mind-boggling how few marketers invest the resources, time, and effort in developing an SEO-centric site structure that can put them in front of the herd. So, the latter is a critical part of your site strategy’s DNA in a world where the customer experience (CX) pillars itself in Google searches morning, noon, and night.
By structuring your site from the word “Go,” you create a concrete path for it to connect intuitively and understandably to vital search engine crawlers.
In short, aim at building a search engine friendly architecture that will optimize all your SEO promotional activities (i.e., onsite and offsite). This article will cover scientific website architecture methodologies, including a pivotal aspect known as the WordPress Silo. Follow it step-by-step as a guideline to a stable and sustainable SEO strategy.
Is Site Structure really that important?
Yes! We can’t overemphasize its impact on your marketing success. SEO is a beacon we should never lose sight of, alongside the user experience (UX). So, If your audience hits speed bumps trying to move through the landing pages, all efforts will amount to little.
Your website design must:
- Look professional.
- Embrace seamless navigation
- Reflect a transparent structure
- Contain easily understandable language, infographics, and images.
Fail in any of the above, and your road forward is questionable at best. Websites can range from a single page to thousands of pages, but either way, a fundamental principle applies:
The target audience (your website users) must find the information they’re looking for fast, without missing a beat.
Did you ever give thought to how Google finds your messaging? Well, they send out virtual crawlers, kind of like those nasty ones in the movie “The Matrix,” but with a far more benevolent objective. Their task is twofold:
- Index all web content
- Return and position it in the search results
If you make it easy for Google to interpret your website and organize it, your chances of ranking highly increase out of the gate. If all the main user keywords are in the mix, the odds of success accelerate even more. One caveat – don’t over-optimize it by stuffing it with keywords to the point where it disrupts the UX. Web designers involved in structuring larger websites should focus on grouping similar pages into silos to maintain a common thread (more on this below).
How do you know your site structure is working for you?
A good question, and the short answer is seeing your site able to:
- Keep your audience engaged (i.e., a low bounce rate, or conversely, a high dwell time).
- Establish a substantial CTR (i.e., Click-Through Rate).
- Become a go-to resource in the customers’ journey to the buy-cart.
The “open sesame” to all of the above is an intuitive interface emerging from a professional site structure – the hallmark of every outstanding website design.
So what is content siloing?
Expanding one’s website is a double-edged sword that::
- Creates excitement by offering more to your users, adding depth to your brands, and inviting more visitors to navigate your content (i.e., the rewarding side).
- Confuses the heck out of everyone with disjointed pages that whipsaw prospects’ attention without flow or order (i,e., the disruptive aspect).
Google’s search engine crawlers respond poorly to (2) above, and amazingly to sites that keep pages grouped by theme, topic, and relevance. Overall rankings and maximizing search engine result pages (SERPs) over the long-term depend on thoughtful page-grouping.
Selected keywords carry much more authority if they tie into the central thread of the silo. They’ll enrich the content for a better CX, thus escalating sales. It brings us to somewhat complicated (but logical) methodology guidelines as follows:
- Firstly, decide on your silo themes/topics.
- Group keywords (based on sound research) to bind your silo themes and topics.
- Organize your content in terms of your targeted keywords to create a hierarchical structure.
- Tighten the relevance of pages in the defined silos with menus that make every bit of sense to the reader. Note that WordPress Silo structuring is relatively easy versus other CMSs.
- Internally link your silo pages to build meaningful bridges, bolstering the relevance and authority of the silo.
- Concentrate on your URL structure (see below.)
- Publish relevant, high-quality long-form content (a thousand words or longer) featuring keywords on the topics and content in a balanced way.
- Deliver valuable information removed from your blog content.
- Avoid the trap of lightweight pages or pages containing “fluff” content. Make every page pay their way with an engaging story.
- Finally, erase pages that overly repeat content elsewhere on the site.
Getting Cornerstone Content into the formula
Many web designers believe having mind-blowing content in the site’s blogs is enough. So, it’s not. Effectively siloing your heavyweight pieces into non-blog pages, classifies them as cornerstone content containers (hereon referred to as CCCs).
With regular updating, navigable menus, and internal linking, CCCs guide the CX from touchpoint to touchpoint without derailing the customer journey. CCCs are genuinely worth their SEO weight in gold because they give the audience important discovery and accessibility without hassle.
Don’t lose sight of Website Hierarchy.
Your hierarchy boils down to organizing all the information you want to show on your site, establishing site navigation and URL structure simultaneously. Get the best SEO outcome by making an effort and investing the time from scratch. Use a spreadsheet (or whiteboard), mapping it out methodically. All this will focus you on functional content, kicking useless information to the curb. Here’s the best way to go about making it happen.
- Don’t complicate things unnecessarily.
- Don’t have too many categories (i.e., two to seven is ideal) in one silo; more than this number is a sure-fire route to audience confusion. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes to judge if the message is within a reasonable range of perception.
- Watch out for too many subcategories. Allow your visitors to access cornerstone content in no more than three clicks. If you ignore this guideline, the navigation structure can become unmanageable.
Neglect Complementary URL Structuring at your peril.
With your hierarchy in place, a complementary, keyword-rich URL structure will secure desirable ranking positions for individual pages and seamless user navigation. Getting it right requires foresight and careful planning to avoid infinite redirect loops that don’t work for anyone. Here’s how:
- Finally, integrate relevant keywords – reject surplus words and characters
- Design a stable structure for the long-term
- Case sensitivity is vital – observe the rules.
- Don’t forget that Google truncates URLs exceeding 512 pixels.
- Finally, prioritize human comprehension, maximizing your website’s search engine visibility for every theme or topic.
An extra word on your Internal Linking Structure
Effective internal linking rests on your web designer’s ability to:
- Firstly take users to new related content at the right junctures.
- Secondly, establish an easy to understand SEO folder structure.
- Create an information hierarchy for uncomplicated website navigation.
- Get ‘link juice’ (i.e., authority) flowing naturally between the silo pages.
- Finally, please keep it simple stupid (KISS). Stay on the straight and narrow, which means only relevant internal links across the site.
The narrative above begs the following questions. Is your content:
- Optimized with targeted keywords that users can relate to on all subjects?
- Represented logically and using silos the right way?
- Planned to scale up significantly in the future?
A great site structure involves the expert design, fastidious organization, thorough planning, and a detailed onsite audit controlled by an SEO professional. In conclusion, use this article as a roadmap for guiding your SEO strategy and website design to gain a foothold in the SERP arena.