Many factors come into play when optimizing your website for search engines, including your site structure. If you develop a good site hierarchy, then better SEO will follow.
But what is site hierarchy? It is quite simply your website structure. It will appear in your menu and will make it easier for users to navigate your site. Think of this site hierarchy as a map where you display the main topics covered on your site to guide visitors in their search.
In this article, the professionals from our web agency My Little Big Web present the importance of site hierarchy and the various elements to include in this structure.
Site hierarchy is important for user experience and SEO
As one of the most crucial aspects of SEO performance, site hierarchy should not be overlooked. When you develop a good site structure, you increase your chances of being ranked higher on search engines.
Google’s main concern is presenting relevant sites to its users, which means that a good site hierarchy also has to reflect a good user experience.
This requires your site structure to work logically so that users can access information where they expect to find it. The more your site is designed to satisfy visitors, the more attractive you will make it for Google. A clear and precise site hierarchy can reduce the bounce rate and increase visit time, both of which lead to better positioning.
Moreover, search engine robots scan your site structure to index your pages. Defining a precise and logical site hierarchy will make it easier for search engines to understand your content and index it.
What elements should be included in site hierarchy?
Your main pages, i. e. the most important pages that will drive visitors to become customers, will be integrated into your site hierarchy. The idea is to display your products or services in such a way that users, as well as search engines, easily understand what you offer.
If you run an e-commerce site, for example, here is an idea of the pages that you could include in the site hierarchy:
- Home page,
- Men’s clothing,
- Women’s clothing,
- About page,
- Contact page.
If you run a site that offers services, here is an example of the pages that could appear in your site hierarchy:
- Home page
- Service page 1
- Service page 2
- About Us page
- Contact page
Add sub-menus to your site hierarchy
In addition, the menu can be structured on several levels. That is, you can add sub-menus. This will bring more detail to your site hierarchy and allow both users and search engines to more precisely understand what services or products you offer.
If we take the example of the clothing site, here are the pages that could appear in the “women’s clothing” sub-menu:
- Accessories, etc.
In the case of an e-commerce site, you will also have to display the customer’s shopping cart in your main menu or sub-menu.
We also recommend highlighting your contact page and your about page to facilitate communication between your company and your potential customers and therefore enhance the user experience.
Create a secondary menu
On some sites, you can find a main menu and a secondary menu, not to be confused with a sub-menu.
You will include your most important information in the main menu, since it is always visible on your web page, even when the user is viewing the bottom of the page. This is called a “sticky menu”. For example, on an e-commerce site, you will display the different products you offer.
The secondary menu is only visible when the user views the top of the page. In this menu, you can include pages that are less important, such as your career page, for example.
Note that just because this secondary menu differs from the main menu in visibility does not mean that it will be less accessible by search engines.
Google accesses a page by clicking on a link, from the moment your secondary menu pages are accessible to users, they will be accessible to search engines as well. That’s the purpose of this secondary menu, you want Google to browse these pages, but you don’t necessarily want it to appear at all times and overwhelm the visitor with information.
Your site hierarchy has to be well thought out in order to optimize your user experience and SEO. The best time to develop this site structure is naturally before you create your website, but you can always reorganize it if you decide to redesign your website.
If you have any questions about this or if you would like to redesign your site hierarchy, you are more than welcome to contact us!