How you can Construction Your Web site’s Structure for Website positioning

When you’re creating a brand new web site, you’ll want to contemplate the web site’s structure. Structuring your web site in an organized, hierarchical manner provides it the most effective probability of rating properly in Google.

However how do you do that?

Web site structure is how data in your web site is structured, interlinked, and designed. 

For instance, for an e-commerce web site, it could seem like this:

Example of what a basic website architecture looks like, via Ahrefs' blog

It might look sophisticated, however a neater manner to consider it is sort of a folder system on a pc. 

Site architecture visualized as computer file system analogy, via OSX Finder

Clicking out and in of folders takes time. However creating an organized, hierarchical construction with well-labeled names makes it simpler to search out what you’re in search of. 

The identical rules apply when optimizing web sites for Website positioning. 

The structure of your web site must be logical to permit Google and human guests to navigate it simply. 

An excellent place to begin is so as to add pages that many web sites normally have in widespread to your navigation. 

Equivalent to:

  • About web page
  • Weblog
  • Contact web page

About web page

Ahrefs' About page, via

The About web page is your probability to inform your model’s story. On this web page, it’s a good suggestion to incorporate the next:

  • A quick description of your web site’s objective.
  • A photograph of your staff.
  • Any social proof, similar to evaluations or quotes from clients.
  • Areas of your workplace(s).

If you’d like inspiration, try Ahrefs’ not too long ago redesigned About web page.

Weblog part

Ahrefs' blog

The weblog normally homes your most recurrently up to date content material.

The weblog is a key a part of Ahrefs’ content material. So in case you’re , try our weblog to see how we construction it. 

Contact web page

Most web sites even have a Contact web page—once more, you’ll most definitely want this web page. It’s additionally good observe to incorporate your NAP (identify, tackle, and telephone quantity) on this web page.

State the web site’s main objective, service, or product

Indicating the principle objective of your web site inside your navigation can also be  concept. 

When you present a selected service, then you may point out this. When you promote a sure product class, then point out this as properly. 

For instance, we will see under that this web site has indicated its companies and merchandise inside the principle navigation.

Example of services and products featured in the navigation, via Posh Pups Kew

In case you are undecided of the precise key phrases to make use of, you should use Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer to do some key phrase analysis.

Sketch out a easy web site structure (and construct it out)

When you’ve acquired the fundamental pages sorted, you may visualize it. 

Visualizing your web site structure is essential in case you work with a staff, because it lets you sense-check your design with colleagues earlier than it goes reside.

Right here’s an instance of a easy web site structure I’ve created utilizing a mindmap software referred to as MindMeister. 

If in case you have a bigger web site, you might discover a software like this handy (it’s nice for constructing extra advanced web sites). 

I like utilizing this software, because it’s user-friendly. However it’s also possible to use Excel or a pen and a big sheet of paper (in case you are old skool).

Example of basic website architecture, via

What can we study from this web site’s construction? 

  • There’s a easy hierarchy of pages For instance, “Cat sitting” is below “Companies.” This hierarchical relationship implies that cat sitting is a service supplied by this web site.
  • Comparable forms of content material are grouped – Weblog posts #1 and #2 are contained within the weblog. That is logical. 
  • Probably the most crucial pages are on the primary degree – For many companies, this can no less than embrace an About web page and a Contact web page.

Flat structure vs. deep structure 

Now that we’ve coated the fundamentals, let’s contemplate what various kinds of web site structure look like. 

  • Flat structure makes it attainable to entry every web page in your web site with a minimal variety of clicks. 
  • Deep structure is the place it’ll take many clicks to entry the pages in your web site. 

Visualized, these constructions seem like this:

Flat vs. deep website structure, via Ahrefs Blog

You possibly can see the distinction. 

For easy websites, a flat structure could also be all that’s wanted. For extra advanced websites, you might want a deeper structure. 

You’ll must pay shut consideration to inner linking for a deep web site structure.

The underside line is that you just don’t need to cover your most essential content material deep within the web site the place nobody can discover it. Your most essential pages needs to be simply accessible via well-placed, descriptive inner hyperlinks.

Make it higher with key phrase analysis

When you’ve sketched out the construction of your web site, you’re prepared to begin enhancing it utilizing key phrase analysis. 

It’s essential to make use of key phrase analysis at this stage to know what key phrases your clients are looking for which are associated to your web site.

For this instance, let’s fake we’re constructing a web site about “cats,” and we offer a service of “cat sitting” for our clients.

Utilizing Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer, let’s plug within the phrase “cat sitting” into the search bar and head over to the Matching phrases report.

Matching terms report with highlighted terms, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

From the report, we will see that there are two location-based searches, in addition to the key phrase phrase “cat sitting charges.”

Let’s add these key phrases to our web site structure.

Example of building out website architecture, via
  • I’ve added “Charges” under “Cat sitting” as a result of when you’ve seen the service, you’ll need to verify the value.
  • I’ve additionally added “San Diego” and “San Francisco” into a brand new “Areas” menu to maintain the positioning structure comparatively flat. 

If you wish to take this additional, you should use Key phrases Explorer to research teams of key phrases.

Let’s now say we wished so as to add a brand new part to the positioning on “cat care.” To do that, enter the key phrase and head to the Matching phrases report.

Keyword research groups using the Matching terms report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Trying down the left-hand column, we see that “sphynx” is listed. Increasing this part reveals us how we may construction our web site structure primarily based on what persons are looking for this specific cat breed.

Let’s add this part to our web site construction.

Site structure illustration with new menu added, via

On this instance, you may rinse and repeat this technique for various breeds of cats—or it’s also possible to use it for every other key phrase.

Get inspiration from opponents 

When you’ve accomplished your key phrase analysis, it’s value your opponents’ web site structure for inspiration.

The best manner to take a look at a competitor’s web site construction is to plug their area into Ahrefs’ Website Explorer after which click on on the Website construction report within the left-hand navigation.

Right here’s an instance of me spying on a competitor’s web site construction.

Example of spying on a competitor's site structure using Site Explorer, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Going a step additional, let’s see one other extra superior technique I exploit to spy on my opponents’ web site constructions that already rank properly for sure key phrases I need to rank for:

  1. Go to Key phrases Explorer and enter your key phrase (e.g., cat sitting), and hit search
  2. Scroll all the way down to the SERP overview and click on on a competitor within the listing
  3. Click on on the downward-facing chevron and click on on Website Explorer’s overview
  4. Within the search bar, change Actual URL to Area and hit search
  5. Then click on on Website construction within the left-hand column
  6. Click on on the chevron subsequent to the area to point out the total path
Analysis of a competitor's site structure using a keyword, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

When you like a competitor’s web site construction, you may hit the “Export” button within the high right-hand nook to research it.

Utilizing the data we’ve gained about these opponents, let’s make some alterations to our web site structure plan primarily based on what key phrases we need to goal.

I’m going so as to add an “FAQ” web page and mix my “Companies” and “Cat Sitter” classes and alter it to “Guide a Cat Sitter” to make it extra structurally aggressive with a web site that’s already rating on the primary web page. 

Website architecture with added structure, via

Spying on opponents’ web site constructions is a strong course of that we will repeat with any competitor to enhance how we construction our web site structure.

2. Add these components to the pages

If we outline web site structure as the entire design and construct of the positioning, we have to have in mind a couple of extra structural components for it to carry out properly in search engines like google and yahoo.

We’ve checked out designing the hierarchical construction of the positioning, however what about making certain the required on-site architectural performance is there?

Right here’s what I feel it is best to embrace:

Add title tags and meta descriptions

Title tag and meta description, via

When you’ve learn any Website positioning articles earlier than, you’ve most likely seen title tags and meta descriptions being talked about. You’ll want to incorporate these on each web page, so it’s value being conscious of them.

The title tag is positioned above the meta description within the Google outcomes.

Use breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs example, via

Breadcrumbs usually are not a substitute in your web site’s essential navigation, however they’re nice at visualizing the hierarchy between pages.

From a consumer perspective, breadcrumbs are useful in two use instances:

  • They allow you to navigate the web site if you land on a deep web page.
  • They act as a useful shortcut to get again to the principle class web page.

Use descriptive Website positioning-friendly URLs

Descriptive keyword and targeted URL, via Google Chrome Search

When you’ve established your web site construction, it’s essential to make use of descriptive URLs to allow search engines like google and yahoo to know what your web site is about.

Take a look at our information under for extra data on creating Website positioning-friendly URLs.

Use a desk of contents

Table of content, via Ahrefs Blog

Desk of contents (ToCs) enable your guests to navigate your content material simply. ToCs are helpful for navigating a web page, and I like to recommend including one to your weblog submit’s template.

Use inner linking

Inner linking is a vital a part of your web site structure, because it helps search engines like google and yahoo perceive the connection between pages in your web site and helps guests navigate it. 

Take a look at our information under for extra data on inner linking.

Use associated hyperlinks

Related links example, via Ahrefs Blog

A newer addition to the Ahrefs Weblog is expounded hyperlinks. These are on the backside of our weblog content material below “Preserve Studying.” Associated hyperlinks are a comparatively low-effort manner to enhance your inner linking.

Use writer bios

Author bio, via Ahrefs Blog

Ahrefs’ weblog makes use of writer bios, and so they assist to supply belief with Google and guests. Writer bios sometimes embrace social hyperlinks. They’ll additionally present credibility if used appropriately. 

This helps each Google and guests to see that it’s (most definitely) an actual particular person behind the article. If in case you have a staff, it is smart to make use of writer bios.

3. Get the technical bits proper

Technical Website positioning is certainly one of, if not the, most essential components of Website positioning. There are a selection of things that it’s essential contemplate when constructing and designing a web site’s structure.

Listed below are a few of the most essential issues to contemplate.

Use sitewide HTTPS

It shouldn’t come as a shock that your web site ought to use HTTPS. Google made HTTPS a ranking signal all the way back in 2014. Consequently, it’s now uncommon to search out an HTTP-only web site.

Add a sitemap.xml file and submit it to Google Search Console

When you’ve created your web site and are proud of its construction, it’s value creating and submitting your sitemap.xml file(s) inside Google Search Console.

Right here’s the place the sitemap.xml file needs to be positioned in your web site:

Take a look at Google’s information under for extra data on constructing and submitting a sitemap.

Add a robots.txt file

A robots.txt file tells search engines like google and yahoo the place they will and might’t go in your web site. It’s one other file that you will need to have in your web site structure. 

And right here’s the place the robots.txt file needs to be positioned in your web site:

Take a look at our information under for extra data on robots.txt.

Use <a> hyperlinks

You should guarantee your hyperlinks are simply crawlable for Google. Listed below are a couple of examples of what’s acceptable and what isn’t for Google.

Really helpful

<a href="">

<a href="">

Not really helpful

<a routerLink="merchandise/class">

<span href="">

<a onclick="goto('')">

See Google’s information under for extra data on hyperlinks’ finest practices.

Make it mobile-friendly, use responsive design

Responsive design illustration, via Ahrefs Blog

Google recommends utilizing responsive design to create a mobile-friendly web site. A responsive design means your webpages will look good on all gadgets.

Take a look at our information under for extra data on cell Website positioning.

Use canonical tags

Canonical tags are a snippet of HTML code that defines the principle model for duplicate, near-duplicate, and comparable pages—and sure, you’ll want to incorporate them in your web site’s pages.

Canonical tag illustration, via Ahrefs Blog

Right here’s what the snippet of HTML appears to be like like:

<hyperlink rel="canonical" href="">

Take a look at our information under for extra data on canonical tags.

Use structured information

Structured information is a standardized manner to supply details about a webpage. It helps search engines like google and yahoo like Google to raised perceive what your content material is about. 

It’s a good suggestion to make sure you have structured information in your web page templates from the beginning, as Google makes use of it to allow search consequence enhancements, which may imply you get extra focus in your consequence on the SERP.

Right here’s what structured information enhancements can seem like in Google:


Article structured data illustration, via


Example of FAQs structured data, via

The best way these enhancements are offered is mostly extra distinguished than a regular natural consequence, usually making it value implementing.

Audit your web site’s construction

When you’ve determined in your web site’s structure and set it reside, it’s tempting to go away it. 

However it’s value doing a periodic evaluation utilizing a software like Website Construction in Ahrefs’ Website Explorer or Ahrefs’ Website Audit to make sure your web site’s structure remains to be in good order.

Last ideas

Getting your web site’s structure proper from the beginning takes time and requires a whole lot of analysis. However in case you design it with Website positioning in thoughts, it’ll pay dividends in your web site within the lengthy run.

Utilizing instruments like Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer and Website Explorer helps provide you with a aggressive edge on the SERPs, as you may see what’s already working.

Received questions? Ping me on Twitter. 🙂