What is SEO? – Website Structure & Navigation
The methods you use for website structure and navigation from page to page of your website will make a massive difference to the way your pages perform in search.
The first point is that all of your pages need to be linked to through your main navigation as well as by using contextual links from within your content to other related content.
Website structure should be thought of as being in tiers. Your home page is tier 1. Each page linked to from your home page is then classified as a tier 2 page. Any pages that can only be reached via a link on a tier 2 page will be tier 3 pages and so on.
The main rule of thumb is that ‘all your content should be accessible within two clicks‘ from your homepage.
The ‘deeper’ your content is buried in your website, or the more clicks it is away from your homepage, the weaker and less authoritative it is considered to be.
Page hierachy is a key element of search and because of this, you need to make sure that your page website structure is organised so that all of your content can be reached easily.
If Googlebot (the automated search ‘spider’ that searches the internet for content) can find your content by navigating through the links to your pages, and your pages are properly structured, with each page focused on a specific topic or subject, then your content will have a good overall structure.
If you have more than one page trying to rank for similar keywords, you will create a potential conflict for search engines. If you have one page for each topic then it is easy for Google, Yahoo or Bing to rank that page, but, if you have several pages with overlapping content then search engines will have to decide which of them to choose.
In many cases this will result on them concluding that you are trying too hard to rank for that term of phrase and they’ll then not rank any of your pages.
This is a common website mistake but is relatively easy to fix.
If your website is structured with pages buried deep down in your navigation hierachy, you should re-design your site navigation links. The closer a page is to your home page, the more important it is considered to be.