When it comes down to it, the actual structure of your website will affect your SEO success just as much as any link building strategy you might setup or any keyword research method you might use. Unfortunately, many companies setup an initial architecture for their website and then move on to things that seem bigger and better. The truth is that you should constantly be analyzing your site’s structure because Google does pay attention. There are certain things that a website’s structure can tell Google about user experience, and therefore this information is used when it comes time to rate your site.

What Your Website’s Architecture Tells Google

There are several different elements of a website’s structure that will affect how Google ranks and rates the website on a Google SERP. Fortunately, these elements are usually very fixable if you know where to look. A few of these include:

  • Site Schemes. This is probably the biggest (and most well-known) factor to consider when it comes to your architecture and is directly related to the navigation of your site. In other words, the form, or scheme, in which your site is created will make a difference.

How to improve: The best way to make this happen and make sure Google notices is to create a site using XHTML or CSS as opposed to Flash or even JavaScript.

  • Site Depth. This idea goes right along with the navigation of your website. You want your visitors to be able to move around your site without getting confused or getting stuck on any one page, but from an SEO perspective, you also want the same for the Google bots. Depth simply refers to the number of clicks it takes a user to get to any particular page.

How to Improve: It’s best if you have a shallow website, or a website where readers can find every page on your website in less than four clicks. If reader’s and bots have to click four times or more to reach one page, it seems confusing and your SEO will suffer.

  • Internal Linking. Building on the last point, internal linking is a great way to improve the depth of your site. Linking internally gives readers another way to click over to another page. This is most often used when a website has hundreds of different pages, making it much more difficult to keep the site shallow.

How to Improve: Internal linking is something that you can add into your content whenever you wish, so take some time to review your articles and include links. Additionally, make it a requirement for your writers to link internally. If you’re unfamiliar with internal linking, you can learn more about it as well as the anchor text you should use when linking here (and a tip—that was an internal link!).

  • URL Structure. Part of a website’s architecture is the URL structure. It makes it easy for Google bots to understand your website if you can integrate your company’s target keywords into the URL structure.

How to Improve: Making this happen really depends on which type of site you use—HTML, WordPress, Magento, etc. Different systems have different ways of helping you to include your keywords in the URL, so you can learn about how to get started when it comes to your specific website here.

In general, helping to improve your website’s architecture should not be a very long or expensive process. Most of the structural changes that you need to make can be made by going into the back-end of your site and changing a few things around, so there aren’t many excuses to not get started right away!