Your site architecture is the structure of your content based on URL structure. It is your opportunity to clearly demonstrate to search engines the depth and breadth of content on your site. But, site architecture is also a flowchart that defines the paths of user experience and flow of PageRank through your site.

Site architecture is where data structure meets user journey. You really can't say that one defines the other. They both require unique and important considerations.

Does this mean that you will have to completely restructure an existing website?

Perhaps. Hopefully not... but, before we can answer that we will have to take a look at what the site structure would ideally be and consider the cost/benefit for doing the work. Some people will read that statement and instantly reject the entire notion. If that is you, it's OK. But you should still go through this course so that you are aware of these foundational considerations and can potentially begin using better site organizational techniques moving forward. Beyond the benefits of SEO and user experience, it is significantly easier and more efficient to manage a website with a well-optimized structure, compared to a site with fundamental structural problems.

After going through this course you will have a very good idea of the size and scope of project required to become a dominant force in your online niche. If you do have an existing website, you will then be able to evaluate the project based on three criteria.


Usually when someone asks, what is the most important thing we can do to our site? They are really asking: What will have the greatest impact? What will get us closest to our goals of higher search engine rankings, more traffic and higher conversions?

How each task fits into the project workflow:

When looking at various tasks and deciding which to tackle first, you have to consider how those tasks fit together. Putting the cart before the horse just doesn’t work. Things tend to be much easier and more effective when done in the proper order. With a house you would build the foundation, then the walls, then the roof… and websites are similar. When working on a brand new site, there is definitely an ideal order of doing things. When working on a site that is already established, this can get tricky and the next question really comes into play.

How much effort is required:

With a new site you definitely need to understand how much effort the entire project will take until you begin to see a profit. At that point it’s really a go or no-go decision. With an established site you may feel that you are too far along to make certain types of changes. But, before you begin compromising you should understand what changes would ideally be made and what the cost vs. impact of each change could be. Then you can decide if it is worth the effort.

When looking at all of the tasks in building or improving a website, using these three criteria to prioritize them, you will find that going through a site architecture workshop will be one of the most valuable things you can do. It’s the difference between a house of bricks and a house of sticks.

OK… So, what exactly is site architecture?

The Three Components of Site Architecture:

  • Information Architecture: The information architecture of a website is the way that the content has been categorized. It is the framework used to present the information. This is most clearly evidenced by the URL structure of every page. This will be a significant focus of this course.

  • Navigation: Navigation is the way you present the structure of your website to visitors. Your site navigation goes a long way to defining the user experience on your site. However, because navigation consists of link structure, and links pass page rank, the navigation elements of your website also influence what the search engines will see as your most important pages.

  • Technical Architecture: Technical architecture, while very important, is not the focus of this course. Technical architecture is a very deep subject that deals with the coding languages, technologies, mobile integration, CMS platforms, modules/plug-ins, API’s, etc… The number of potential combinations of these is limitless. Optimizing the technical architecture is the focus of the next course in this series, “Technical Optimization – Step-by-step page specific and site-wide optimization techniques”.

  • In this course you will be taken through a process that is guaranteed to produce a sitemap for an information architecture that will outperform all of your top competitors. This course will help you understand how to build navigation that will streamline your user experience, support your conversion funnels and optimize your link flow. Your path to success online is about to become much more clear.

    So, What’s The Next Step?

    Next In the next lesson we will dive deeper into exactly