How To Architect Your Site To Get More Traffic
Architecting a website is about using internal links is to direct users to other content within your website. However, besides directing users to other content you can also use internal links to flow the link power to your whole site, such that articles that have little to no links also rank on Google. To do this, think of each section of your website as a self contained micro-site – it’s own closed ecosystem focused on a certain subject of expertise. Then make sure every page links to the page below it in each micro-site. Lastly link them all back to the main page of the micro-site.
What we want to do is create a structure which flows the link power automatically to the rest of the website, particularly to the “money pages,” the pages where people contact you or buy stuff but are unlikely to find on Google.
STEP 1: Create Topics and Sub Topics To organize your thinking around topics, so consider the answer to the following questions:
- What are the questions people ask you the most?
- What subject topics is your website currently ranking for?
- What topics are legitimately relevant for your website?
- How would a user search for your content (main search queries)?
- How can you implement clear subject topics?
STEP 2: Using the above concepts, take your specific niche topic and split it into related sub-topics.
Remember, Google will consider you an authority on a subject if you post multiple times about a particular subject (of course, the depth of the content is also strategically important). The topics above can be considered as content buckets, or in SEO speak, content silos. These silos are your micro-sites. WordPress helps you do this through the built-in category feature, so use it. Create a category (which will be a micro-site) for each of your topics.
STEP 3: Organize your site around your content topics.
Once you’ve determined what your content topics are going to be, you want to create a website architecture that flows from the top-down to reflect the topic relevance and hierarchy. Following the top-down approach, create a menu structure which guides the user towards each content category or micro-site.
The best way to do this is to create a page for each category, and then link the menu to each category page. The category page should be designed in a way which showcases most of the content and sub pages in that category.
It’s strategically important that your main category page contains a direct link to each post in that category. This will help the link power flow down from the homepage to each post in the category. It will also help Google crawl ALL of the posts on your site. Google has actually gone on record saying that if there are no links to a page on your site, then Google crawlers are unlikely to find that page.
STEP 4: VERY IMPORTANT. Link the page content BACK to the category pages.
When you acquire link juice to a specific page of your site, we want that link power to flow back into the main category page. We thus need to make sure that each sub page links back to its parent category.
You’ll also want to link to the homepage from each page to flow link power back to the homepage such that the circle is complete. Once you’ve created this structure, you can now start posting content into each category.
To make you internal links even stronger, the articles should also linking towards other posts within the same content topic. You should do this strategically of course by sending more links (especially from already ranking pages/articles) to specific pages you would also like to rank on Google. Link sculpting and topic relevance like this, coupled with high-quality content, will often trump backlinks and domain authority.
By creating a structure like this, you should start to rank solely through the strength of your content and the website architecture.