Why Is A Flat Site Architecture Important?
Flat architecture is an important type of architecture for SEO and usability. Flat architecture is about having the most important links linked from the home or top level pages. Lesser the number of clicks needed to reach the product page flatter is the site architecture. Sometimes the most important high converting product pages are buried deep and this may result in the page not getting enough link juice to rank. One way to improve the ranking of such pages is by promoting them up higher in the hierarchy so that Google passes more link value.
The Problem With Deep Level Pages
On the other hand, deep level pages might not get crawled and indexed because search engines couldn’t discover them in the first place. Sometimes these pages might get discovered via a sitemap but don’t necessarily have the ranking ability because they are low on internal link equity.
Having an optimized site architecture has its own benefits –
- Promotes crawling and indexation of deeper level product pages.
- Distributes link equity to important money pages.
- Increases the overall relevance and ranking ability of the linking and the linked to page.
How To Find Pages Which Are More Than 3 Clicks Away From Home Page?
Step 1: Open ScreamingFrog and enter the site URL. (Download)
Step 2: After the crawl is finished pick HTML as a filter.
Step 3: Browse through all columns in the report and you will find a column called “Level”. This column shows how many clicks deep is the particular page is from the HomePage. Click on the arrow next to “Level” to sort the table. The HomePage will be displayed as level zero.
Internal Linking Strategies To Improve Site Architecture
Use Relevant Internal Linking
Internal linking helps Google bot crawl through various pages of your ecommerce store effectively and frequently. Good internal linking passes PageRank and anchor text value. Relevant internal linking boosts the on-page SEO value of the linking page. Linking pages which have the same topical relevance helps both the linked and the linking page. Even the anchor text used to link a particular page also helps search bots understand the content and the context of the linked to the page.
You can do this by linking to relevant products from each product page or linking to relevant subcategories from categories or linking to a category or product pages from your blog articles.
Link consolidation is a technique which is used to culminate closely related pages on to a single page. This helps PageRank flow to the most important pages only. Using this technique a site’s terms, policies, about and contact section can be clubbed into a single page so that the PageRank flows to other important pages.
So in the above case instead of distributing a page’s SEO value over 6 different pages, it has been consolidated on to a single page. Thus we utilize both crawl budget and PageRank effectively.
For example, a separate URL for customer reviews of each product might not make sense if you have very few customer reviews for each product. Each page on your online store should serve a purpose.
A common example for link consolidation occurs in pagination series. Google suggests using a Rel=”Prev” & Rel=”Next” Tag? for a paginated series.
Link To Orphaned Pages
Orphaned pages are which don’t have a link pointing to them from any page of your website. This makes it difficult for users and search engines to discover them. Even though they are discovered via Sitemaps they might not have the necessary internal link equity to rank in search engines. To see if your site has any orphan pages follow this tutorial.
Replace Broken Links
Broken links are links pointing to 404 pages. It may happen that you discontinued a product and the page started to show a 404 error. When such a page is linked to from other product or category pages it results in broken links. Instead of a broken link if the link points to a page which has a ranking potential the internal PageRank is retained. Broken links are also bad for usability and it affects your ecommerce site’s SEO negatively.
To check if your online store has broken links follow this tutorial.
Breadcrumbs are trails of links which helps the user navigate back and forth through pages. By using rich snippets information around breadcrumbs one can tell search engine bots about the informational structuring of the site.
In the example below the breadcrumbs above the product, image signifies “Tollyjoy Anti Skid Socks – Navy” a product under the subcategory of “Baby Accessories” which is under the category called “Baby”.