The Importance of Navigation Structure

By Haydn Rowe

When it comes to the structure of your website there are two essential requirements.

1. The first is that you keep it flat by keeping your pages as close to the Home Page as possible.
2. The second is that you create ‘silos’ of ‘like’ pages.
Let’s take ‘keeping it flat’ first.

1. Good Site Structure – Keeping it Flat 

First let’s look at the problem with many websites.
As this headline implies, poor site structure must therefore be deep (not flat).

Here’s what bad site structure looks like…

The problem with this structure is that as pages get further and further away from the Home Page they lose the carried through benefits of the ‘authority’ associated with the Home Page.

The further away from the Home Page a web page sits within the structure of the website the less important it is deemed to be by the search engines.

This means that these deep pages are likely to get lower positions in the search engine results.

So, you could be working hard to optimise a key product or service page on your website for important keywords, but if it is 5, 6 or 7 levels deep within your site structure you could well be wasting your time.
The solution is to create a website structure that positions pages…

No more than 3 clicks to the deepest level

Ideally you want to structure the navigation of your website so that there are no more than 3 clicks to the deepest level.

That means your website navigation structure should look like this…

And you want to have your most important pages with your best keywords at levels 1, 2 or 3 to ensure that they maximise their full SERP (Search Engine Results Page) potential.

The outcome should be higher indexation and better longtail SEO results.

2. Allocate your web pages to Silos

The other key aspect is to organise your content into ‘silos’ containing like content, creating ‘mini sites’ within your website.

So for example, if your website is for your Bike shop, all of your Mountain Bike pages should go under the navigation tab and URL, which would look like this…

In this example you can see how by identifying a themed ‘chief’ landing page you can significantly improve the visitor experience, reducing exits and improving conversion, and at the same time you improve the SEO potential of your website.


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