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Monday, September 6, 2010

Improve Your Rankings with Flat Website Architecture

Posted by @ 9:16 pm
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Optimizing your website architecture is an important step in laying the foundations for any successful SEO campaign. Site architecture can impact the ranking of your website in search results and also the number of pages that are actually indexed.

What is Flat Site Architecture?
Site architecture refers to the structure of your website and the way the each page is connected to another. Creating a ‘flat’ site involves minimising the number of clicks it takes to reach each level of depth across your website.

To show an example, let’s take a look at two different websites:

The major problem with the deep site architecture on the left is that with every level of depth you are losing some amount of link juice. If the majority of your content is two clicks away from the homepage search engines are going to see these as less important than the example on the right where the majority of content is just one click from the homepage.

The flat structure will not only help these pages in terms of ranking, it will also help to ensure they remain in the index.

Using HTML Sitemaps to Improve Crawling
If changing your site’s structure is very difficult, or you’ve got a large website, HTML sitemaps can also be used to help get more pages included in the index.

Following Google’s recommendation of 100 links per page, the following structure will help more pages on your website to be included in the index:

  • Homepage > Sitemap > Category Sitemap > Sub Category Sitemap

Because you have linked to the sitemap directly from your homepage, Google will see this page as important and begin crawling each of the links on this page. Creating a sitemap in the following format can help build out the flat site architecture I’ve mentioned above.

Cross Linking Between Pages
One final tip to maximize the flow of link juice within your site is to use cross linking. This involves linking to related pages from within each level of depth on your website.

For example, if you’re writing a blog, one way to do this would be linking to other articles you have previously written on the same topic. That way, the link juice of the current page is also being shared amongst other content pages on your site which can help to improve the ranking of these pages also.



Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at ineedhits.com, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile






Discussion (4 - comments)

[...] Improve Your Rankings with Flat Website ArchitectureSearch Engine Marketing (blog)Optimizing your website architecture is an important step in laying the foundations for any successful SEO campaign. Site architecture can impact the … [...]

By Improve Your Rankings with Flat Website Architecture – Search Engine Marketing (blog) | Architectureonline.com - September 6, 2010



[...] Comments [...]

By Improving Your Site Ranking With Flat Architecture | DevNewz - September 8, 2010



[...] week I wrote about the importance of flat website architecture and how cross linking can help to improve the ranking of sub pages on your website. This week [...]

By Is Your Website Leaking PageRank? « Miami Beach Web Designer - September 13, 2010



Thanks again for a good read. I like passing these articles along to my clients. http://www.pamhunterdesign.com

By Pam Hunter Design - October 13, 2011




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