Website SEO Information architecture refers to the organization of your content within your website. In other words, we can say it is the structuring of a website’s content so that it is findable by a user as well as a search engine.
Whenever a user lands on our website, they are looking for some information and if we fail to make that information quickly accessible then a user might end up leaving our website even though we had all the information they needed.
This is where SEO Information Architecture becomes important. Your website’s Information Architecture heavily influences how a user engages with your website.
If your website has poor SEO information architecture then you would have what we call a high “bounce rate” i.e; a user abandoning the website.
In this guide, we will talk about how you can approach your website’s Information Architecture so as to gain high user engagement.
The other benefit of having a good Information Architecture is the creation of site links.
Sitelinks are something that a search engine places under to website in SERP to help users navigate the site.
The site links are extremely useful. They not only improve our website visibility but also improve our brand reputation. Here’s is an example of what site links looks like.
How To Create Good Information Architecture
1. Understand The Purpose of Each Piece of Content.
The first and foremost step involves understanding the purpose of each piece of content.
You need to know where the particular content fits with respect to the whole website. For example, if you have a page showcasing some shoes then it makes sense to place them under a category page listing other shoes.
Organizing the website is like organizing your files on a desktop.
You have files, folders, and folders containing folders. When you are organizing the website content, just imagine you are organizing these files on your desktop, that would give you an idea regarding how to go about it.
2. Follow User’s Mental Model
We all have mental models about how things should be.
If you have set up navigation on your website, ask yourself, is this navigation following the user’s mental model.
Typically you have either a navigation page, information page, or an interaction page. You have to make sure that each type of page’s URL follows a proper mental model.
Let’s say we have an E-commerce website selling apparel. We sell shoes, coats, shirts, and all those things. A typical user is looking for some shoes.
He will first go to the shoe navigation page and then check some information about a particular shoe on the shoe information page.
Having a shoe listed under the shirts category is bad information architecture because it does not follow the user’s mental model.
This example shows you how you can think in terms of mental models to come up with Information Architecture for your website.
3. Add Contextual Information
Adding contextual information to the pages not only improves SEO but also helps your users understand what actions are they supposed to take.
For example, on a product page displaying a shirt, it makes sense to add reviews and FAQs on that page. This also helps you improve your conversion rate.
Another example would be adding pricing details to your service offering page. Adding contextual information also helps users make sense of the actual main content of the page.
4. Interlink Wisely
Interlinking has been talked about before also. We already know that it improves the crawling of your website but now you should know that using it wisely helps you create a good SEO information architecture.
You should interlink the pages with descriptive anchor texts. A user should click on the link if they are looking for some more information. When deciding to create an interlink, you should know if the user is likely to seek more information here or not.
5. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is a sign of bad information architecture.
Duplicate content creates a bad user experience. Such content neither creates value for the website nor adds any value to the user. Besides this, duplicate content is not recommended by Google and impacts your SEO performance.
6. Flat Site Architecture
Flat website architecture is the one where every page is at max just 3 clicks away from the homepage.
If you have a simple website then flat site architecture is preferred. Flat site architecture not only helps users find content quickly but also helps crawlers crawl the content efficiently.
If you have pages of your website which are 10 clicks away from the homepage then those pages are likely to be missed by crawlers and hence such pages would not be indexed and ranked.
Industry experts recommended going for flat site architecture. However, if for some reason, you have pages that are many clicks away from the homepage then you can create a direct link to them in the footer. This will also improve your site navigation.
Having good information architecture is a part of a good website UX. But what else can you do to improve your website’s UI and UX? In the next guide, we will talk about that and learn how we can use UI and UX to improve SEO performance.
Search Engine Code Team is comprised of SEO experts and strategists having more than 20 years of combined experience. We keep testing and delivering knowledge of SEO for the community of SEO.