How Do I Structure my website Navigation for SEO?
Website navigation and corresponding page structure have to do with the way files are organized on your website.
A good website page structure makes it easy for:
- Search engines to find, understand, and assign importance to your content; and
- Website visitors to quickly and easily navigate your content to find what they’re looking for
The ideal website structure is pyramid-shaped with the most important information at the top. The home page should be your starting point. It appears at the very top. Below that should be the topics or categories most important to your business and below that, sub-categories (like the table of contents at the beginning of a book), pages and posts.
Here’s how an Engineering Company’s website might be structured. (Think of a pyramid). First there’s the Home Page. Then there are tabs that represent the categories, in this case they would be:
Category/Tab 1: About Category/Tab 2: Services Category/Tab 3: Projects Category/Tab 4: Contact
Beneath the Categories there are sub-categories providing more extensive information regarding the Categories. In the case of the Engineering Company:
About could be followed by sub-categories:
Executive Team and History;
Environmental Compliance, Civil/Municipal, Geospacial/GIS, Stormwater/MS4;
ABC,Llc; BLT, Inc.; XYZ, Ltd.
Locations, Telephone Numbers, Maps, Contact Us Form.
*Notice how the bulk of pages appear at the lowest level and are grouped according to topic or category giving Google (and site visitors) context.
In addition to the above structure, also consider the this question. Is it better to have lots of main topic categories for the navigation or is it better to minimize the number of navigation elements. The answer…it depends!
- From a user experience perspective the ideal navigation structure is flat, where at a glance you can see every page that is on the website. For the search engine this is a very inefficient structure because the content is not grouped or logically organized by content type.
- The opposite is to have a single navigation button with sub-menu structure listing every page. From a search engine perspective the single button is efficient for the search engine but would create a terrible user experience.
- When thinking about the navigation structure it is better to put the important content about your services and products under a single navigation button, and to please the lower level less important content into another umbrella button, e.g., Resources, About, etc.
Don’t shortchange the effort that goes into structuring your site. It’s very important and difficult to change once your website is launched.