Content Hierarchy – Is Flat or Deep Better For SEO?


Building the most effective website in terms of user-friendliness and optimization requires important decisions on content hierarchy which is how web pages are arranged. There are two main structure types: flat or deep. Knowing when to use them can make the difference between great optimization or being ignored in the SERP’s. Achieving the best web design in College Station Texas requires really understanding hierarchy.

What Is Content Hierarchy?

Simply put, content hierarchy is the order in which pages on a website are grouped. Starting from a website’s home page, the main categories linking from there and deeper into the website constitute website hierarchy as displayed on a typical navigation menu. The best web design in College Station TX ensures that beneath main menu category link are other related pages that are set up to be flat or deep, depending on the amount of information a website contains and how it is organized.

Flat or Deep Hierarchy

Starting with the navigational menu, flat or deep hierarchy is determined by how the same information is grouped and dispersed, either in vertical groupings that have more categories and fewer layers, or horizontal groupings with fewer categories but more layers. In either case, information is divided and dispersed in ways that make categorical sense, although how users get there is slightly different. They either choose from more categorical choices to get to the desired page within a shallower navigational layout or fewer, more broad categories that lead to additional layers of more specific categories. It is important to know the targeted audience and how visitors will most likely use the site to achieve great College Station web design results.

Which Is Better For SEO?

Flat website architecture means most pages can be reached within a few clicks. Deep architecture may require a few more steps to get to a specific page, since pages are more “nested”. Flat hierarchy is often the best web design choice in College Station Texas, as it can achieve better optimization through shorter URL’s and more distinct category choices within a few clicks. There are times when deeper hierarchy earns better SEO because it is more specific. Websites that utilize a deep content architecture experience more targeted traffic to many individual pages within those categories, which helps optimization. Deep content hierarchy is especially useful for large websites with many pages of products or information that can be categorized and sub-categorized for easy location; flat works well for smaller websites with fewer categories and no products.

Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each type will often be dependent depends on the number of web pages it has. Web crawlers are likely to favor shallower, flat hierarchy better than deep because pages can be located and indexed faster; however, it doesn’t work when there are many first level pages. Having too many links on a single page works against SEO, despite the fact those links are more easily crawled. For the best College Station TX web design, a better approach is to use a semi-deep or deep architecture to prevent penalties while gaining increased optimization with more direct and specific content.

Those working to have the best web design in College Station Texas must determine whether flat or deep hierarchy is the best organization choice. Both architecture types can have a positive or negative SEO result, depending on the type of website, number of pages, and how those pages need to be categorized!

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