Whether or not a general user is able to find required information from your website does make a huge difference. If a user is able to find required information quickly and easily on your website, the reputation of your website will get better not only among the users but also among major search engines. Search engines look at the structure of your website to understand the relation between different topics.
In other words, a good website structure will not only help the visitors to easily find information they would be looking for but it will also suggest search engines to assign better rank to your website.
Flat site structure vs. deep site structure
The two most common types of website structures are flat and deep. While deep site structures usually make the users to go deep into the navigation to find required information, the flat site structure makes the pages accessible with only a few clicks.
While it may be inevitable for the websites with huge number of pages to have deep website structures, the websites with less than 1000 pages should be given flat site structures.
Deep site structures do not only make it difficult for the users to find the required content but search engines also take more time to index the pages. Flat site structures, on the other hand, not only make the crawling of search engine easier but they also tend to make information highly accessible to users.
Site structure that makes sense
Making a website structure flat is not the only requirement you need to consider. A good website structure is the one that makes it convenient for the search engines to understand the content and relationship between several pages. Although, search engines are smart enough to guess this relationship but making them guess this way would only delay the indexing of your website. So, you can give direction to the search engines.
It can be done by building semantic relationship between different topics. You can start by putting primary pages in the main categories and then adding subcategories and more pages under the appropriate categories.
Navigation and sitemap
Navigation is basically made visible in order to make the browsing experience better for users. And technically, it is a visual representation of the website structure. So, when we talk about making a website structure flat for easier browsing, it’s the navigation which is going to facilitate user in this regard.
So, it is important to develop an easy-to-use navigation. And, it is the task which should not be done in haste. Rather, you should take proper time to make sure that navigation of your website is not only easier but it also represents the good website structure you have been working hard to develop.
Similarly, sitemap of the website is another important page that holds importance when it comes to facilitating indexing of the website. While many site owners add HTML sitemaps, most of the site owners prefer XML. HTML sitemap is used by humans while XML is readable by search engines. It is recommended to have both sitemaps on the website.