Technical SEO: Site Architecture

Site ArchitectureAs we’ve been detailing in our past few blogs posts, search engine optimization (SEO) is not just about filling your webpage with quality content to improve your search rankings. There are numerous other ways to boost your online prominence by optimizing your site’s performance in search engine algorithms.

Some of these methods have nothing to do with what’s in your website, but rather how the website is built or structured. These are technical SEO moves. Your site’s visitors rarely see these SEO maneuvers, but they can play a huge part in how well your site performs in the eyes of search engines, which promote sites that have strong technical aspects.

One of the most important of these technical SEO moves is to improve your site’s speed. A fast website not only gets promoted in search results over a slow one, but visitors hate slow websites with a fiery passion. Further, visitors are more likely to turn from potential clients into paying clients if you have a fast website. Out of the many ways of boosting the upload speed of your law firm’s website, perhaps the biggest bang for your buck comes from simply optimizing the images that you use online.

While optimizing images is an easy fix, creating a friendly website architecture takes some planning before you unveil your site, and some discipline once it’s up and running. However, if done and maintained properly, a good site architecture maximizes the impact of any content-based SEO techniques that you adopt for your site.

Site Architecture

The phrase “site architecture” is an imposing way of stating an idea that you, as an attorney, are completely familiar with. Your website is exactly like the outline you made in law school for, let’s say, criminal procedure, which was divided into sections like:

  • The Exclusionary Rule: Constitutional Remedy
  • Fourth Amendment Protections
  • Government Intrusion Into Fourth Amendment Protected Areas
  • Interrogations and Confessions

If you focused on one of these sections, it would expand into another level of bullet points:

  • Government Intrusion Into Fourth Amendment Protected Areas
    • Searches and Seizures Based on Probable Cause
    • Reasonable Intrusions
    • Reasonable Suspicions
    • Car Searches
    • Administrative Inspections

Focusing on one of these new sections would reveal another level of bullet points:

  • Government Intrusion Into Fourth Amendment Protected Areas
    • Searches and Seizures Based on Probable Cause
      • Warrants Clause of the Constitution
      • Plain View Searches
      • Search Incident to Arrest
      • Exigency Searches
      • Protective Sweeps
      • Crime Scenes
    • Reasonable Intrusions
    • Reasonable Suspicions
    • Car Searches
    • Administrative Inspections

Like peeling back layers of an onion, you went from general topics into more and more levels of detail, and would eventually come to the caselaw that make up the specific rules of criminal procedure.

Your site architecture is exactly the same as your criminal procedure outline. Your website’s home page is like the topic of your outline – here, criminal procedure. The links that you can click on from your home page take you to the pages that make up that first level of bullet points in your outline. The links that you can click on from that page take you one level deeper, and so on.

Aim for Shallow Site Architectures

Search engines prioritize some pages on your website over others. The more layers of the onion that a search engine has to peel away to find a page, the less important it will consider that page to be. Therefore, the same article will help your SEO and search engine rankings more there’s a link to it directly from your home page, than it would if it takes five clicks to get to it.

Flat website architecture

Satisfying this scheme of priorities results in what is called a “shallow” site architecture, with more pages accessible directly off the home page, and few pages located more than a couple of clicks away from it. This will prevent search engines from labeling some of your content as “less important” than others, making all of your site’s content impact your search rankings as much as possible.

One way to cheat a little bit on this is to include a sitemap on your home page. A lot of websites do this, to provide search engines a way to get to all of their site’s pages from the home page in two clicks.

Myers Freelance Handles Content and Technical SEO

Myers Freelance is more than just a legal blogging firm: They also get their hands dirty in the technical aspects of SEO, as well. Contact us online to get started.

Leave a Reply