How to work out the structure of the site for promotion
August 10, 2023
Table of Contents:
Site structure is a set of all landing pages of a web site, arranged in a logically defined hierarchical order. Thanks to the correct structure of the site, it is easier for users to navigate it and find the necessary information.
Correctly compiled site structure and correctly segmented semantic kernel - the key to successful search engine promotion. The structure should be given special attention, as it will help to avoid many problems in further search engine optimization.
Types of site structure
For commercial websites, two main types of structure should be distinguished, which are interrelated and complementary: vertical structure and horizontal structure.
Vertical structure is a set of pages with all services, categories, products and other pages. This structure is present in almost any online store and is the basis of the site.
A horizontal structure is a set of tag pages containing entities that have common properties or characteristics. For an online store, these can be pages with a selection of products of a certain color, size, etc.
Developing the structure of the site
Creating the right website structure for SEO consists of several steps:
- Analyzing the structure of an existing website (if there is one);
- A detailed study of the services or range of products that the site offers;
- Collection of tokenized queries;
- Analyze sites from the top of the list for as large a pool of high-frequency indicator queries as possible;
- Parsing of all queries, their cleaning and formation of a full-fledged semantic core of the site;
- Formation of the structure of the site.
Let's take a closer look at each item.
Analyzing the structure of the current site
First, you need to check the entire catalog of services and products of the current site and the main commercial pages.
First of all, attention should be paid to the following:
- product listings;
- product cards;
- pages of services;
- article section;
- the contact page;
- other pages.
Special attention should be paid to analyzing and working out tag pages of horizontal structure, which are usually pages with products that have certain properties and do not fall into the vertical structure.
In-depth analysis of semantics and structure elaboration will allow you to plan your work for several months in advance.
Detailed study of the services or product range on the website
Not always the subject matter of the site to be promoted in search engines is familiar to the optimizer. For effective work with the site it is necessary to study as deeply as possible the services and goods that the company offers.
To do this, it is necessary to immerse yourself in all the business processes in which the site is involved. Some products have specific properties and characteristics that are not obvious at first glance.
Communicating with the customer, sales managers, reading informative articles and analyzing competitors' websites helps in achieving this goal.
Collection of token requests
Let's start by brainstorming a list of queries. Initially, you can imagine yourself as a potential client and come up with a list of queries that will be used to find the services you need in search engines.
For example, if the site is engaged in renting apartments for rent in New York, then the marker queries can be like "apartments for rent in New York, "rent an apartment for rent in New York, "rent a one-bedroom apartment for rent in New York, "rent an apartment for rent near the First Avenue subway station", etc.
These marker queries will help us analyze the top of the results in the future and will become the basis of our future structure. In addition, they can be used to build a full-fledged semantic core in the future by collecting search hints and parsing queries in programs like Key Collector and other services.
Analysis of sites from the top of the list
To analyze the top of the search engine output, it is necessary to view sites from the top 10, typing in marker high-frequency queries in the promoted region. It is necessary to pay attention to the structure of competitors' sites and queries for which landing pages are optimized, and compare this with the current site (or outline how the new one will look like).
Let's consider the example of the same apartments. Let's say you need to develop or check the structure of a site that deals with renting apartments for rent in New York.
There are 10 apartments for rent in different metro stations. For example:
|Metro||One room.||A two-bedroom.||Three-bedroom.|
|m "First Avenue"||2||1||1|
It is logical to assume that our main query is "apartments for rent". We analyze the Google top in incognito mode, not forgetting to set the region:
From the TOP we can see that in addition to aggregators, sites have mostly homepages, hence, on the promoted site the homepage is suitable for optimization for general queries.
Then we check the output for "one-bedroom apartments for rent", "two-bedroom apartments for rent", "three-bedroom apartments for rent", "apartments for rent First Avenue", "apartments for rent Sixth Avenue", "apartments for rent 14th Street", "one-bedroom apartments for rent 14th Street", etc.
Having analyzed competitor sites that are already in the TOP, we can conclude that there are two options for the structure: either make a vertical structure with a dependency on the number of rooms, and make the metro pages tagged, or vice versa.
Let's focus on the first option, as it is clearer and more convenient.
Semantic kernel formation
After a complete list of marker queries has been generated, it is necessary to collect a database of search queries with the help of some service, for example Key Collector. After parsing is complete, clean the queries - remove inappropriate keywords. There will be quite a lot of them in the automatic parsing mode.
For example, we don't need the query "rent a four-bedroom apartment in New York", because there are no four-bedroom apartments in our example.
Next, distribute queries to landing pages (both existing and not yet created). It's best to make an excel file for yourself with url, page name, queries and frequency.
The number of queries per landing page is determined individually, there is no definite rule. For example, if there are a lot of requests, the most frequent requests with the most complete set of synonyms and different words in the tail of the request are left. For example, out of three phrases "one bedroom apartments for rent", "one bedroom apartment for rent" and "one bedroom apartment for rent" it is enough to leave only the first variant.
It is also worth remembering that in some topics, the output for a plural query can be very different from the output for a singular query. For example, for the query "sportswear stores" in the output will be more aggregator sites and sites with reviews than for the query "sportswear store". Consequently, a commercial site for the latter query will be easier to promote than for the first.
When grouping queries, it is necessary to monitor the top of the results frequently to avoid segmentation errors.
Formation of the site structure
For visual formation of the structure, it is better to use programs that can be used to create mind maps, such as XMind.
Let's form the structure of the site for our example:
You can go further and extend the tag structure, i.e. bring up the following pages:
- One-bedroom apartments near the 14th Street subway station;
- One bedroom apartments near the 14th Street subway station;
- Two bedroom apartments near the 14th Street subway station;
- Studio apartments near Sixth Avenue subway;
- One bedroom apartments near the Sixth Avenue subway;
- One bedroom apartments near First Avenue subway;
- Two bedroom apartments near the First Avenue subway.
The structure should cover the semantic core as much as possible and satisfy the user need. You should not stop at some obvious semantic groups. Tagging structure has a huge potential, even if it is not obviously expressed in competitors. It all depends on the topic, time and budget for site promotion.
Therefore, if a user searches for "studio apartments for rent near First Avenue subway station", it is necessary to create such a page with a selection of the corresponding apartments in order to reach the TOP on this query.
Formation of the correct structure of the site - a prerequisite for successful search engine promotion.
Mistakes at the design stage can create big problems in further SEO work, so this is worth paying special attention to.
The most common problems with improperly designed structure:
- "Cannibalization" of search queries. This is when a search robot cannot identify a relevant page because of the same or similar keywords on different pages.
- Mixing commercial and informational queries. A common mistake is trying to promote an informational query on a commercial page. An article section is created for informational queries on a commercial site, which increases the chances of promoting informational queries.
- Inability to promote low-frequency queries. In the absence of a tag structure in some topics, the promotion of low-frequency queries becomes a very difficult and sometimes impossible task.
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