In this post, I will show you how to build SEO-friendly website structure step by step.
You will find out how to:
- do technical SEO
- build proper website architecture
- and create optimized website content
Let’s dive in!
- Element #1: Website Technical SEO
- Element #2: Website Architecture
- Element #3: Website Content
- Bonus Tip: Use SEO Browsers
Element #1: Website Technical SEO
It all begins with technical SEO. It is your website’s foundation upon which all other elements are built and optimized. (Source)
In other words, if you neglect website technical SEO your website will not rank high or even not be indexed. (No one will see it!)
Basic technical knowledge and skills will help you optimize your website for users and search engines.
Let’s start with the first and most important step.
Make Sure That All Pages Are Fully Indexed
It is really important to constantly monitor the indexability status or your website pages.
You can see the coverage report in Google Search Console (GSC).
Make sure that all the pages that you want Google to recognize are marked with green color.
Ideally, there should be 0 errors as well.
If it happens so that some of the pages cannot be indexed, you may instantly check the status to see what is wrong and fix it as soon as possible.
Pages Should Not Be Blocked
One of the most common reason for coverage problems is blocked pages.
It is usually caused by poor configuration of Robots.txt file.
So when you decide to create this file and use on your site check it twice so that it will not bring you any headaches in the future.
Here is a nice Robots.txt file content you can use on your website:
One of the most common Robots.txt structures is:
User-agent:* Disallow: /wp-admin Disallow: /wp-includes Disallow: /wp-content/themes Disallow:/wp-content/plugins
Keep The Crawl Budget In Mind
What is Google Crawl Budget in SEO?
Google Crawl Budget determines how many pages Google search bots can crawl and index on a particular website within a certain period of time. It is really important because Google WILL NOT RANK the pages which it can’t index.
So your job is to make sure that the number of pages never exceeds your site’s crawl budget
Usually, there is nothing to worry about for brand-new and small websites.
However, all big websites with imperfect website architecture should keep the crawl budget in mind.
So how to make sure that you do not exceed your Google crawl budget?
Create SEO-Friendly Permalinks
SEO-friendly permalink structure helps keep things simple on your website.
It usually allows your URLs to contain relevant keywords that give search engines and users additional information about the page.
This kind of structure will reduce the number of unnecessary actions from Google bots.
How do you create SEO-Friendly Permalinks?
Go to Admin Panel-Settings-Permalinks.
There you will see a number of options for your permanent URL structure.
I suggest you go with the Post Name option. This makes your URLs more appealing and SEO-friendly
Don’t forget to click on the “Save Changes” button.
Note: This action should be performed on a brand new website. In any other case, you should completely understand what you are doing and how to set up redirects.
Reduce the Number of Pages
That is right!
Eliminate the unnecessary pages that create holes your crawl budget.
After all, Google has already stated that it prefers quality over quantity. (Source)
Another reason to ditch the extra pages is that they can be low-quality page that harm you website SEO.
Among those pages can be:
- Search pages
- Thin content (<200 words)
- Boilerplate content
- Archive pages
- Outdated services pages and content
- Category and tag pages
When you are done with them, head over to the next step.
Keep the Website Structure Simple and Clean
This will help users and search engines easily navigate through your website.
As you can see on the image below, this website architecture is flat.
Which allows Google bots index all of the pages effortlessly without getting lost.
More on the Flat website structure in the next section – Website Architecture.
Sitelinks As A Reward
The links you can see below some of Google’s search results are called sitelinks.
They can help users navigate your website.
Google systems analyze the link structure of the website to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for. (Source)
There are two things you can do to earn them:
- Make your website authoritative
- Build an optimized website architecture
Below are the exact steps you can follow to create SEO-friendly website structure.
Element #2: Website Architecture
What Is Website Architecture?
Website Architecture is the way how your website is structured. An optimized Website Architecture allows search engines to crawl and index your webpages effectively. It also improves the overall user experience.
A well-organized website structure will help with your SEO by ensuring that website visitors can easily find what they need and search engine bots can reach the deepest parts of your website and not get lost. (Source)
Let’s take a look at some of the best practices you can implement to make your website architecture is perfect.
Flatten Your Site Architecture
As I have already mentioned above, flat site architecture helps users and search engines surf through your website pages without much effort and it improves overall users experience as well.
Basically it consists of the main page, bigger pages(usually categories), and web pages that relate to each of those categories (usually blog posts or product pages).
Flat website architecture is structured in such way that the user can reach any web page with no more than 4 clicks.
Typically, big websites have this common problem.
It is therefore recommended for small blogs owners to build their website architecture with that in mind.
Website categories help organize your website content.
If you have a lot of pages that represent different types of content such as:
- Blog posts
- Product pages
- Landing Pages
- And others
You need to create multiple categories and assign each content group to one category that fits it best.
Head over to Post-Categories and fill in the Name and Slug, then click on “Add New Category”
Note: It is not a necessary step for smaller websites.
Breadcrumbs are additional elements in your website navigation structure that usually improve User Experience and SEO. (Source)
Many premium WordPress themes support breadcrumbs and you can set them up without any problems
(I personally prefer not to use them on my sites.)
Interlink a Lot
Placing a lot of internal links within your content is one of the best On-Page SEO techniques you can use.
It is also a beneficial practice for those who want to give users and search engines a chance to reach other web pages on our site.
Create an HTML Sitemap
If your website has multiple pages and categories you can improve user experience and upgrade your SEO website design after adding an html sitemap to the bottom of the website.
(My site does not have multiple categories nor it has numerous pages so I don’t use it here on nikitashevchenko.com)
Optimize for User Experience
Flawless user experience is one of you priority tasks as a website owner.
In fact, Google puts a huge weight on user experience in one of their new algorithms – Google RankBrain.
These are a few things you can
Responsive Website Design
With Google’s Mobile-First Algorithm it became obvious for many bloggers business owners to start optimizing their websites with mobile users in mind. (Source)
The best thing you can do for Mobile SEO is to install a premium WordPress theme.
I use GeneratePress on my blog. It brings great results and flawless performance.
It receives great feedback from thousands of users as well.
Another thing you can do to improve user experience on you website is to…
Use bigger font size and prominent font colors
It is important that your website readers can clearly see your website content.
There two main ways to approach this task:
- Make the body font bigger (15-18px is a good range)
- Use prominent font colors like you see below
Additionally, you should optimize your website content.
More on that in the following part…
Element #3: Website Content
If you want your website to rank high in Google, quality content is the way to go.
It is really hard to imagine how you can stand out on the web without the content.
Nothing will help you, even SEO. Because it is not possible to optimize something that does not exist! (Source)
Now let’s find out what kind of content the users and search engines need.
Publish Original Content
As you probably know, Google loves original and high-quality content. (Source)
The ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results. (Google)
The bottom line:
You need to make sure that there is unique content on every single page on your site.
Pro Tip: Use special tools and services like Copyscape to find plagiarism issues on your site.
Write Keyword-Rich Titles
When you include keywords in article titles and headlines you achieve two major things:
- The first thing – you send strong signals to people and search engines and increase your ranking chances. Google and users put consider titles very important parts of content, so should you.
- The second thing – you make your titles descriptive and helpful which is One of the most important parts of high-quality search results. (Source)
Organize Content with Subheaders
Even the most determined reader will eventually lose interest in your content unless you divide it into sections.
Subheadings help organize your content and break it into small and chunkable parts.
Each section represents a big idea, point or tip you want to share with your website visitors.
- Firstly, create an article outline.
- Secondly, sse <H2> ,<H3>, and <H4> tags for them.
- Thirdly, make them descriptive and benefit-driven.
Optimize Images for Search Engines
If users can see images on your site search you should allow search engines to “see” them too.
Image SEO would be the best solution for you.
- Reduce the image size to increase the loading speed
- Give all images descriptive and keyword-rich titles
- Don’t forget about Alt text too
Eliminate Hidden Content
Some webmasters may usually hide content behind expandable tabs.
The main reason is to make their web pages to load quickly on mobile devices.
The hidden content is can be really hard for search engines to fetch and index.
So if you wish search engines to crawl and index your webpages entirely then you need to remove all the hidden parts from them.
Provide Transcripts to Videos
Google and other search engines cannot see the videos you publish on your site.
However, they work pretty well with text.
It means that you need to follow almost the same practices as with images:
By the way, check out the special bonus tip in this guide below…
Bonus Tip: Use SEO Browsers
SEO browsers can act as an x-ray for your website.
They will help you see your website the way search engines do.
And as you probably guessed, it is paramount that search engines could see the same stuff that real users could. (Source)
There are two great SEO browsers I can recommend:
- Zeo SEO browser
Use them to spot the problems you never saw before.
Now you know exactly how to create SEO-friendly website structure.
Let me ask you a very quick question:
What tip did you find the most useful?
Leave your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.
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