Structuring Your Website
Last Updated: Thu May 12 2022
Now that you have one part of your foundation — your keywords — the next step in your bootstrapped SEO journey is to build the proper structural foundation of your website.
A properly structured website which also strategically contains the keywords you researched will position your business well for getting discovered organically
Have a look at the following links:
MyApp (an example)
Notice how there are levels to the URL?
First you have your domain, then after the first
/ you have your next level down.
Let’s define the pages which live in the next level down as
nis the depth of the page in the URL
For all the computer science folks out there, I like to think of these as a Tree Structure:
vocalmatic.com -> root node
vocalmatic.com/languages -> child nodevocalmatic.com/languages/english -> child node of a child node (leaf node)…and so on
english is a
3rd-level page and
languages is a
Why is this important?
Search engines send out a bot that will crawl the Internet and it’s websites, with the goal of sending back what it finds, so search engines can try to make sense of it.
If your website is structured properly with an understandable, logically grouped hierarchy, it will make the crawl easier for the bot and help search engines make better sense of your website.
Which helps search engines make better decisions on which content to surface to their users.
Structurally, this is how to think about organizing your website.
But in terms of how to logically group your pages, it’s best to think of your
2nd-level pages as Category Pages
One classic example is Industries. There might be multiple industries that could benefit from using your product — in this case, each industry can become it’s own landing page.
You can structure your website as follows:
myapp.com/industry -> 2nd-level page linking to 3rd-level pages
myapp.com/industry/education -> 3rd-level page of the actual industry
myapp.com/industry/film -> same
myapp.com/industry/medical -> same
These categories let you logically group these pages based on related subtopics of your main website’s topic.
As for the content of these pages, we’ll cover that in Content and Media Creation.
An Example Out In The Wild
Let’s talk about my SaaS product, Vocalmatic.
In the links above, you’ll see that there are two different
2nd-level pages that live below the domain (root):
and within each of the
2nd-level pages, there are these pages:
Here’s the strategy behind this:
/languages, I added pages underneath it to support what
/languages is all about.
It’s also grouped logically → language related pages live under
/languages . Easy enough.
But take a look at
/auto-transcribe, what I did was added various types of
3rd-level supporting pages:
→ Lawyers, customer support, marketer
These are pages for the types of people and industries that could benefit from my product.
→ MP3 to Text, MP4 to Text
These are actual keywords that I discovered during my keyword research.
Where possible, create
2nd-levelpages which are Product Defining Keywords, and have multiple, relevant
3rd-levelpages underneath it
As in the example above with
mp3 to text, your
3rd-level pages can also have a slug that is a product defining keyword.
The more these types of keywords intrinsically live on your website’s structure, the better.
Now, exact match in the URL doesn’t directly give ranking signals, but imagine the customer search journey, where they see your result and see your URL matching their query, they might be more enticed to click through.
What should be on these pages?
We’ll go over this more in Content and Media Creation, but you want to write unique content on each and every single one of these pages.
It’s tedious and a lot of work, but there’s a reason for this:
When you create multiple pages with unique content, it increases your website’s Keyword Surface Area
What is Keyword Surface Area?
Concept alert! Let me explain what I mean by Keyword Surface Area.
Imagine a plant. Most plants like sunlight. For the plant to thrive, it needs water, a great environment and access to plenty of sunlight.
Leave a plant with plenty of room to grow and you’ll notice that the plant will branch off into more parts so it can gather more sunlight with more surface area.
The same principle applies to your website — as you create more pages on your website, you’re branching out and creating pages (leaves) that will gather more keywords (sunlight).
This is what I mean by increasing your Keyword Surface Area.
Increased Keyword Surface Area == Increased Competitve Advantage
On each page that you write, if Google ranks that page, it means there are keywords associated with that page that is appearing on Google search for. This is where your impressions come from.
This is a first-person source. It’s the actual keywords you can build around because you know for a fact that Google is showing this page exactly for these terms.
It’s one thing to get some data from Google Ads Keywords and other apps
But it’s another thing to get them straight from Google Web Console.
Most importantly, this data with this type of accuracy will not appear on other 3rd-party SEO keyword tools. This data is yours to iterate on!
In Growth + Compounding, we’ll cover how to iterate on your keyword surface area.
Structure your website properly so search engine crawl bots can easily make sense of what your website is about. In the process, you’re preparing your website structure so that when you do create content, you can easily follow a system for choosing where to place your newly created content.
We also covered the idea of Keyword Surface Area, which is the concept that as you generate more content on your website, you’re creating more opportunities for keyword data collection that you can iterate on to further your growth.