Link Architecture: What It Is – How to Develop It

Posted in Blog | Last Updated on February 11, 2011

The idea of developing a link architecture for beginners can be a daunting and scary task. For most business owners looking for a website designer in Phoenix is all about wanting your new website to look good. The truth is your website not only needs to look great, it needs to perform great too. Your websites performance depends not only on how it looks on the outside; but how it looks on the inside, how the user interacts with it, and how search engines interact with it. As we discussed previously website design is important in seo, but what good is a website design without a proper strategy behind it?

Link Architecture SEO

Link architecture, or link structure, is the way your links are placed around your website. It is extremely important for two main reasons;

  1. The link architecture of your website helps to conform your user’s experience. A good link architecture directs your visitor where you want them to go with thoughtful navigation and page hierarchy levels. This ultimately affects the bounce rate and conversion rate of your visitor, which above all else is the ultimate goal of your website; to produce you conversions.
  2. Second, the link structure is one of the most vital components to your SEO strategy. It helps to determine; which pages get indexed, how they get indexed your search engine rankings, and your page rank flow.

So what are some things you can do to help you plan for a better link architecture, or organize your existing link structure better. Here are a few tips.

Link Architecture: User Experience

Above all else user experience is the most important aspect of your link strategy. Follow these quick tips to increase the usability of your site

  • Your most important pages should always be clearly visible to your user at the top of your site. Navigation should never be a hurdle your visitor has to overcome. If it takes them more than a few seconds to find the important piece of information they are looking for then chances are you have already lost their business and they are moving on. You need to analyze and research which pages are getting the most page views and how long your visitors are staying on your site. All of our Search Engine Optimization Packages include weekly website analytic reports that provide a ton of useful information on how your site is being found and navigated. Another great way to see how someone navigates your site is to simply watch them. Ask a friend, relative, or stranger in the library to visit your site and watch what links they click on and what information they are most drawn to.
  • Constantly monitor and remove any and all broken links and duplicate content. Your user should not have to read the same things over and over again on your site. It is far better to include a small amount of concise, keyword rich, quality content than to fill your pages with duplications of fluff. For more on choosing the right keywords for your content check out our previous post; How to pick keywords for seo.

Link Architecture: SEO

One of the best ways to describe link building for seo is to describe it with a picture. Link Architecture diagram

Your sites link architecture is like leaky buckets stacked on top of one another. The bucket on top is the biggest, think of this as your home page. Typically your home page has the most traffic, and the most in-bound inks. So naturally it is your highest ranking page. Now think of all the other buckets below as your internal pages. As you link to those pages decide how you want the flow of page rank to get directed. More important pages, or pages you have determined from your websites analytics as the most popular, should get more internal links.

To further this point be sure to to keep your links internal. Be aware that when you link to another site your page rank flows to that site just as it would internally. For the best SEO results you want to keep as much of that page rank flow on your own site as possible.

However, if you must include an external link somewhere in your text, just be sure that you have more internal links on a particular page than you do external links.

Although there are a lot of other technical ways to strengthen your link structure these are some of the most important to get you on your way to page rank success. For more information visit link building for seo.

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Cody Helgeson

Cody is co-founder and head of client services and design at Falling Up Media.

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