What is Website Architecture?
Website architecture is the structure of your website which is planned and designed for clear web navigation, optimum user experience, and potential conversions. A great website architecture means that users and even search engines are able to find the most relevant information from your website in the quickest and easiest way possible.
SEO-focused website architecture
There are two main aspects when it comes to planning a good SEO-focused website architecture: User Experience and Search Engines.
Happy users lead to high SEO ranking. It means that a smooth browsing experience retains users to stay on your page longer, and Google will in return reward you for this by pulling your SERP rank up.
Search Engines, as you might have already known, crawl your website from one page to another to find the information the users are looking for. Think of your website as a store and search engine as your customer. Your ultimate goal here is that your customers should be able to locate all the products they are looking for at a glance or two. The last thing you want in this situation is to play a treasure hunt with your customers.
Tip 1: Content is KING
Map out your content strategy first before creating a neat website backbone. Only then you will be able to see a bigger picture to categorize and sort out your content. It is very important that you have fresh, accurate, and consistent content for your website.
High-quality content is one of the key factors to gain website traffic and one just simply can’t ignore its importance, especially in the iGaming affiliate marketing industry.
Tip 2: Less is more
Exploring a website should not feel like exploring an unchartered territory without a map. Confusing website architecture will make users frustrated, and it will most probably result in a higher bounce rate.
Even if you have hundreds of pages on your website, users should be able to land on any desired page within three to four clicks. In order to do this, you first need to create a top-level web navigation format that can direct users from your website’s homepage to the main categories, from which they will land on second-tier category pages, and smaller subcategories subsequently.
Remember that the attention span of people nowadays is shorter than the lifespan of a goldfish. Make sure you can impress them within that short amount of time.
Tip3: Be consistent
Link display, page navigation flow, content grouping, and design elements should follow a consistent flow throughout the pages. For example, if your links are red and underlined, you should not change the style into a different format for links on certain pages.
Let’s say your blog is always updated with daily fresh content. Users can easily browse through these new articles if they are already familiar with your navigation pattern.
Tip 4: Create internal links that make sense
In all honesty, it is very frustrating to keep clicking one link after another just to end up at a wrong page. Usually, it is because the anchor texts are misleading and thus us landing on unnecessary websites.
When someone looks at an internal link on your website, they need to know which piece of content it will lead them to and why it is linked to from that page.
Also, avoid keyword stuffing in the anchor text at all cost because search engines consider them as spams and penalize you for such kind of behavior.
Tip 5: Learn from the masters
Website architecture depends heavily on your target market and business goals. It also goes hand-in-hand with website localization.
If you are a brand new online casino/ affiliate website, it is best to learn from the forerunners of the iGaming industry. Try to look out for their top-level categories, internal link formats, how easy/difficult it is to navigate those websites and improve their weaknesses.
Smaller details like language options, currency format, date/time format, and payment gateways are also very important, especially if you are localizing your iGaming website for an international iGaming market.
Tip 6: Submit a sitemap
A sitemap is an XML/HTML file which includes all the URLs of your website. Submitting information about your site content structure allows search engines to easily crawl your website and index each page. Submitting a sitemap is an important initial step in planning your website architecture, and it is surprising to see some of the “professionals” skipping this part.
Google stated that “a sitemap can improve the crawling of your site” especially for the following types of websites:
- New websites with very few backlinks
- Websites with a large amount of archived content that is not properly linked internally.
- Very large websites
- Websites with rich media content
A sitemap can be as simple as a hierarchical list of links, or even a visual sitemap graph. You can easily generate your own visual sitemap using website architecture tools like Treejack, Slickplan, and Dynomapper.
At the end of the day, no matter how you choose to visualize your sitemap, the most important thing is to submit this data to search engines for better online exposure and better SEO results.
As we conclude, here is a refresher of all the tips we’ve mentioned above:
- Content is KING
Without a definite content structure, your website architecture plan will be chaotic.
- Less is more
Anyone who visits your website should be able to find any information they want within 3 to 4 clicks.
- Be consistent
Stick to one format when it comes to creating internal links, placing page elements, and grouping content.
- Create internal links that make sense
Internal links on your website should be short and sweet to avoid miscommunication. Also, avoid stuffing too many keywords in the anchor texts.
- Learn from the masters
Look out for top players in your niche industry and study what they have done to their websites. Keep a sharp eye on the smallest details as well!
- Submit a sitemap
Submitting a sitemap helps search engines like Google easily crawl your website, and this will give you a better SEO exposure than those who don’t.
Header Image Source: Photo by William Iven on Unsplash
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