Definition of Site Architecture and Link Architecture
Your site architecture refers to the digital construction of your website. This means how you structure content, where users find this content, and what separate pages you have.
You can often create a diagram of your website before construction, enabling you to visualize your site architecture.
Link architecture is a component of site architecture. It refers to how the pages on your website link together and where links on your website lead.
Why is Link Architecture Important For SEO Website Architecture?
When discussing link architecture, site architecture, and SEO website architecture, you have to consider how the site architecture interacts with the user and search engines.
Intuitive design helps users find content
Well-designed websites are built with users kept in mind, not websites or search engine spiders. As such, it is important to consider the end-user when creating links and site architecture. You want your website to be as easy to use as possible and the user to easily find the content they want. At the same time, you want your user to potentially be able to find additional content, spending time surfing your website and going deeper into the various offerings you may have.
A user can only find content if you make that content easy to find. As such, you should intersperse your website with appropriate links that make it easy for users to move from one section to the next.
Friendly SEO architecture makes your site easy for search engines
A critical component of any SEO webpage architecture is internal authority. Search engines will sort websites by a variety of factors. One of those factors is how many links lead to a page. By linking content throughout your webpage, you will tell search engines that these pages are important.
Furthermore, search engines index pages by viewing links from your home page. Complicated site architecture can make it difficult for a search engine to find the content you want it to find. Interlinked site architecture makes it easy for search engines to move across your page, finding the content you need.
Site architecture can buld context
Your link architecture can build critical context that can tell users and search engines what your website is about. This context can be critical in creating useful information that can guide the user and search engine into taking your desired actions.
What Are Best Practices for Link and Site Architecture?
Search engines have become more effective and efficient at linking content. Therefore, some best practices have been developed regarding SEO webpage architecture that can help users and search engines find the content you want them to see.
Create a diagram
A site architecture diagram can be relatively simple: You can create a diagram that lists the title of each page on your website and a summary of what content will be on each page. You can then draw lines to connect pages and determine page hierarchy.
From an SEO architecture perspective, this will enable you to visualize what content will be on your page, where those pages will connect, and what content you will emphasize the most. You will also be able to visualize potential gaps in content, enabling you to craft solid content that fits the needs of your users.
Keep your site architecture flat
Flat site and SEO architecture mean a user can navigate your entire webpage in no more than a handful of clicks — normally four or fewer. This enables search engine spiders to find the content on your page without digging too deeply.
Listing several pages and encouraging users to keep clicking to find more information can be very tempting. The problem is that this makes your content less accessible to your user base and search engines, creating barriers that can frustrate users and cause them to navigate away from your page.
Remember, your user’s time and attention are your most valuable and limited resources. Don’t strain these resources by forcing your users to dig deeper into your website to get the desired content.
Don’t create too many pages
If you create too many pages, you risk forcing your users to navigate around your website, draining their attention and making it harder for them to find your content. Furthermore, you force search engines to index more and more pages, ultimately making it less likely that search engine spiders will properly identify the content on your page.
Maximize your metadata
A core of SEO webpage architecture is ensuring that you appropriately use all metadata on your webpage. This includes headers, subheaders, SEO titles, page titles, meta descriptions, and more. By appropriately using and naming this content, your SEO webpage architecture will build a foundation that can be easily discoverable.
Utilize category pages
From an SEO architecture perspective, category pages serve multiple functions. They create context and hierarchy, organizing information in an easily digestible form. Category pages can also provide an easy way for users to navigate the SEO webpage architecture of your site, potentially finding additional products and services in which they may be interested.