A beautiful designed and well physically structured house is hardly possible to build without building architecture, the same way without proper website architecture, your site does go in the wrong direction.
For this, the first and foremost job is to define your site architecture based on your business model.
So let’s dive into the deep sea.
What is Website Architecture?
We know a website consists of many pages. On a website, how pages are linked to each other is called website architecture.
It helps search engine crawlers as well as users to find your every page easily.
Besides, it helps google or any other search engine to index your pages effectively.
Why is it so important?
Without proper site architecture, you can hardly achieve your goal. A proper structure leads your site to your audience and SERPs also.
- Emphasize your target page
- Better UX design
- Faster Index
Emphasize target page
Suppose you are a businessman having a website on dog grooming service in your area. This service is so popular in your area, and it’s so hard for you to rank out your competitors from the first page of search engines.
So in this case, your other pages called supporting pages( informational, video, podcast, infographics page) boost your target page(service/sales page) to rank higher and beat your competitors by passing link juice(PR article er link hbe) from your supporting pages.
We will see later the best way to do this.
Faster Index By Search Engine
You should be very clear that search engines like google, bing are not human beings. They are just a machine based on some algorithm.
So, it’s your responsibility to come up with the algorithms. It doesn’t matter what quality you put on your page until it reaches out to search engine crawlers.
By building proper internal linking it will be very easy for crawlers indexing your pages.
Better UX design
No one knows better than you that people are so impatient in this decade. It’s beyond hope that they will search for everything on your website.
Again it’s your responsibility to hold them on your website relevantly.
As a result, it decreases your bounce rate, which is a good ranking factor.
Types of Architecture
SEO is not performed based on any predefined rules. It’s science, it’s math. Every expert has their own way of doing that.
As it has no predefined formulas so it has no fixed types.
Fortunately, analyzing SEO for many years has created some proven architecture that works better.
Here I am going to show you four types of structure.
- Reverse Traditional
- Cross-Linking Silos
Traditional Website Architecture
It is a basic structure you can start. It’s a one-directional linking procedure.
In this image, you can figure out the Home->Category->product page.
But you have such a blog post related to your home page, and you want to link back to your home page from your blog post.
But in this structure, you can not do it. So, in this case, the solution is reverse traditional.
It’s a well-known site architecture example that you can use.
In this image, you can see that here a cycle is created by Home, Category, Blog and Product page(Target page).
And it boosts your product page as well as your homepage.
Decision: You should use reverse traditional structure. You can also go with the traditional approach based on your business model.
Note: In my opinion, if your website has only one product page, then these approaches are OK for you.
But If you have dozens of product pages, then you must go with Silo approaches.
Silo Structure( Most Preferable)
Silo structure is one of my favorite ways to build my website structure planning.
In the Silo structure, related contents are grouped in an organized way.
Assume you have three products A, B, C. For every product, you may have some supporting pages.
Additional: Someone may confuse why they need supporting posts? Well, who else promotes your product page?
People only promote or share informational, emotional, etc. types of content. That’s why you need supporting posts. And by linking out to your product page from your supporting posts, boost product pages rankings.
Let you have a total of 15 supporting posts that boost all of your product pages.
Rather than posting your blog post randomly, make a specific cluster to boost your product page specifically.
Interlinked each silo with others naturally is called cross-linking silos. Having multiple products demands multiple silos that need to be connected if they are natural.
It’s also called reverse silo.
Best Practice to do it (In-depth)
First of all, use flat architecture. Not even thinking of using deep architecture.
What is Flat architecture?
Flat architecture defines that anyone (audiences or search engine crawlers) can reach any pages within 1 to 4 clicks on your site. Make sure not more than four clicks.
Have a look into deep architecture also.
You see, above four clicks (4 to 10 clicks) to reach out to any pages is called deep architecture. And you will not use deep architecture consciously or subconsciously.
Benefits of flat architecture
- Quickly link juice (authority or power) can pass from your supporting page to your sales page.
- Crawlers can find all of your pages within the crawl budget.
- Increase user experiences that reduce your bounce rate and increase your conversion rate.
- Solving technical issues will also be simple and effective.
So, the million-dollar question is, how do you do that?
OK, here I am talking about three perspectives you can relate to.
- Local SEO/Affiliate Marketing
Local SEO Site Architecture
Assume you are a dentist having a website about your service. Now you want to grab attention to your patients through your website.
So, you have built a service page using the keyword “Dentist in Los Angeles” something like that after finalizing the primary keyword.
What do you think, can you beat your competitors with this keyword?
May or may not be.
But here ‘may or may not’ doesn’t make any sense.
You do need to rank. You must rank for growing your business.
That brings you to the site architecture concept.
So, what’s the purpose?
You already know what’s the benefit. Even then, I tell you once more. The purpose is simple.
We need to increase our service page’s rank more than our competitors.
Assume our one of my competitor’s page rank is 0.26.
So, you need to have your page rank better than 0.26.
Make sense? Yes, as simple as that.
Here come your supporting pages, also known as power pages. Those pages increase your service page’s page rank.
Supporting pages may include some info pages, audio podcasts, video, infographics, interviews, etc.
Let’s dive into the calculation.
Assume you have three supporting posts having a page rank of 0.25, 0.15 and 0.18.
Page rank comes from backlinks you gained by sharing your supporting posts or by link building process.
Now, as your service page is already linked with these supporting pages, it has already earned page rank from them.
Let’s figure out how much.
Let your 3 supporting pages are A, B and C.
And the service page is D.
A has five outbound links.
B has two outbound links.
C has six outbound links.
Outbound links mean it provides links to other pages on your website or other websites.
PR(D) = PR(A)/outbound links + PR(B)/outbound links + PR(C)/outbound links. (PR means Page Rank)
PR(D)= 0.25/5 + 0.15/2 + 0.18/6
PR(D) = 0.15
Your competitor have 0.26 (we assumed)
That means your competitor is still ahead of you.
Now What to do?
Very simple. You can increase your supporting posts or promote more of your existing posts.
One other easy way is to provide only a single link to your target page. Like a page, A has 3 outbound links. Detach all the other ties without links to page D.
Make sure: Don’t use No follow tag to those pages, cut them off from that page.
As a result, all page rank(PR 0.25) comes on your service page.
That’s why you need well-structured site architecture.
You can relate affiliate marketing to local SEO site architecture in that sense, local businesses also have product pages and supporting pages and affiliate niche sites also have the same category. They also have product pages and some informational pages to boost their site authority.
Site Architecture for Blogging
If you write blogs, you might not have a specific target page to prioritize like Backlinko.
In Backlinko, you notice there will be no target page. They want every page to rank equally.
How do you do that?
Well, have a look at this image.
Tie your related article such a way so that if any post gets backlinks, then others also will get benefited.
Site architecture for E-commerce
Problems will begin when you would like to have an e-commerce website. There will be no problem if you have almost 1000’s of pages in your site.
But if you have ten of thousands of pages, then you should be very careful about your site architecture.
Make sure to specify categories and link to them with the homepage.
In your blog site or small product-based site, you don’t need a search bar, but an e-commerce site must need a search bar for better user experiences.
The URL structure should be logical and straightforward.
But this is not set in stone. You can place anything but make sure it needs to be meaningful and simple.
- Don’t use more than two categories in URL.
- Don’t use dates in URL.
- Dont’s use ugly URL
It is all about website architecture. Internal linking is the soul of site architecture. Without implementing the internal linking strategies it’s quite impossible to improve. So, start outlining your website with site architecture.
It’s your turn now
By the end of the article, you should have a clear idea about website architecture.
If you’ve found any value, share it and comment here for letting me know if you have any problems or not. You can contact me for free consultancy.It would be my honor to help you.