How you can Construction Your Web site’s Structure for Search engine optimization


In the event you’re creating a brand new web site, you’ll want to think about the web site’s structure. Structuring your web site in an organized, hierarchical approach provides it the most effective likelihood of rating properly in Google.

However how do you do that?

Web site structure is how info 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 approach 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 searching for. 

The identical rules apply when optimizing web sites for Search engine optimization. 

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

A very good place to start out is so as to add pages that many web sites normally have in frequent to your navigation. 

Similar to:

  • About web page
  • Weblog
  • Contact web page

About web page

Ahrefs' About page, via

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

  • A short description of your web site’s function.
  • A photograph of your crew.
  • Any social proof, akin to evaluations or quotes from prospects.
  • Areas of your workplace(s).

If you would like inspiration, take a look at Ahrefs’ just lately redesigned About web page.

Weblog part

Ahrefs' blog

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

The weblog is a key a part of Ahrefs’ content material. So for those who’re , take a look at 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 follow to incorporate your NAP (title, handle, and cellphone quantity) on this web page.

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

Indicating the principle function of your web site inside your navigation can also be a superb concept. 

In the event you present a particular service, then you may point out this. In the event you promote a sure product class, then point out this as properly. 

For instance, we will see beneath 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 bought the fundamental pages sorted, you may visualize it. 

Visualizing your web site structure is vital for those who work with a crew, because it allows you to sense-check your design with colleagues earlier than it goes dwell.

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

If in case you have a bigger web site, you could discover a instrument like this convenient (it’s nice for constructing extra complicated web sites). 

I like utilizing this instrument, because it’s user-friendly. However you can too use Excel or a pen and a big sheet of paper (if you’re old-fashioned).

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 beneath “Companies.” This hierarchical relationship implies that cat sitting is a service offered by this web site.
  • Related sorts of content material are grouped – Weblog posts #1 and #2 are contained within the weblog. That is logical. 
  • Probably the most vital pages are on the primary stage – For many companies, this can at the least embrace an About web page and a Contact web page.

Flat structure vs. deep structure 

Now that we’ve lined the fundamentals, let’s take into account what several types of web site structure look like. 

  • Flat structure makes it doable to entry every web page in your web site with a minimal variety of clicks. 
  • Deep structure is the place it can 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 complicated websites, you could want a deeper structure. 

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

The underside line is that you simply don’t wish to conceal your most vital content material deep within the web site the place nobody can discover it. Your most vital pages must 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 start out enhancing it utilizing key phrase analysis

It’s vital to make use of key phrase analysis at this stage to know what key phrases your prospects are trying to find which might be associated to your web site.

For this instance, let’s faux we’re constructing an internet site about “cats,” and we offer a service of “cat sitting” for our prospects.

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” beneath “Cat sitting” as a result of when you’ve seen the service, you’ll wish to test 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 investigate teams of key phrases.

Let’s now say we needed 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 exhibits us how we might construction our web site structure based mostly on what persons are trying to find this explicit 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 methodology for various breeds of cats—or you can too use it for another key phrase.

Get inspiration from rivals 

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

The best approach 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 methodology I take advantage of to spy on my rivals’ web site constructions that already rank properly for sure key phrases I wish to rank for:

  1. Go to Key phrases Explorer and enter your key phrase (e.g., cat sitting), and hit search
  2. Scroll right down to the SERP overview and click on on a competitor within the record
  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

In the event you like a competitor’s web site construction, you may hit the “Export” button within the prime right-hand nook to investigate it.

Utilizing the information we’ve gained about these rivals, let’s make some alterations to our web site structure plan based mostly on what key phrases we wish 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 “Ebook a Cat Sitter” to make it extra structurally aggressive with an internet site that’s already rating on the primary web page. 

Website architecture with added structure, via

Spying on rivals’ 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 overall design and construct of the positioning, we have to keep in mind just a few extra structural components for it to carry out properly in engines like google.

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

Right here’s what I believe it’s best to embrace:

Add title tags and meta descriptions

Title tag and meta description, via

In the event you’ve learn any Search engine optimization 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 price being conscious of them.

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

Use breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs example, via

Breadcrumbs aren’t a alternative in your web site’s essential navigation, however they’re nice at visualizing the hierarchy between pages.

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

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

Use descriptive Search engine optimization-friendly URLs

Descriptive keyword and targeted URL, via Google Chrome Search

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

Try our information beneath for extra info on creating Search engine optimization-friendly URLs.

Use a desk of contents

Table of content, via Ahrefs Blog

Desk of contents (ToCs) permit 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 crucial a part of your web site structure, because it helps engines like google perceive the connection between pages in your web site and helps guests navigate it. 

Try our information beneath for extra info on inner linking.

Use associated hyperlinks

Related links example, via Ahrefs Blog

A more moderen addition to the Ahrefs Weblog is said hyperlinks. These are on the backside of our weblog content material beneath “Preserve Studying.” Associated hyperlinks are a comparatively low-effort approach to enhance your inner linking.

Use creator bios

Author bio, via Ahrefs Blog

Ahrefs’ weblog makes use of creator bios, they usually assist to offer belief with Google and guests. Creator bios sometimes embrace social hyperlinks. They’ll additionally present credibility if used accurately. 

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

3. Get the technical bits proper

Technical Search engine optimization is one in every of, if not the, most vital components of Search engine optimization. There are a variety of things that it’s worthwhile to take into account when constructing and designing an internet site’s structure.

Listed below are a few of the most vital issues to think about.

Use sitewide HTTPS

It shouldn’t come as a shock that your web site ought to use HTTPS. Google made HTTPS a rating sign all the best way again in 2014. In consequence, 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 pleased with its construction, it’s price creating and submitting your sitemap.xml file(s) inside Google Search Console.

Right here’s the place the sitemap.xml file must be situated in your web site:

Try Google’s information beneath for extra info on constructing and submitting a sitemap.

Add a robots.txt file

A robots.txt file tells engines like google the place they’ll and might’t go in your web site. It’s one other file that it’s essential to have in your web site structure. 

And right here’s the place the robots.txt file must be situated in your web site:

Try our information beneath for extra info on robots.txt.

Use <a> hyperlinks

You’ll want to guarantee your hyperlinks are simply crawlable for Google. Listed below are just a few examples of what’s acceptable and what isn’t for Google.

Really useful

<a href="">

<a href="">

Not advisable

<a routerLink="merchandise/class">

<span href="">

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

See Google’s information beneath for extra info 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.

Try our information beneath for extra info on cellular Search engine optimization.

Use canonical tags

Canonical tags are a snippet of HTML code that defines the principle model for duplicate, near-duplicate, and related 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 seems to be like:

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

Try our information beneath for extra info on canonical tags.

Use structured knowledge

Structured knowledge is a standardized approach to offer details about a webpage. It helps engines like google like Google to higher perceive what your content material is about. 

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

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


Article structured data illustration, via


Example of FAQs structured data, via

The best way these enhancements are introduced is usually extra distinguished than a typical natural end result, usually making it price implementing.

Audit your web site’s construction

When you’ve determined in your web site’s structure and set it dwell, it’s tempting to depart it. 

However it’s price doing a periodic assessment utilizing a instrument 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 number of analysis. However for those who design it with Search engine optimization in thoughts, it can pay dividends in your web site within the lengthy run.

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

Acquired questions? Ping me on Twitter. 🙂



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