What Your Site Hierarchy Really Looks Like

So many companies I work with focus so much of their time on their home page, navigation, and subsequent pages. Many of them are bloated, with unnecessary marketingese and pages that no one reads – yet they still ensure that they are out there. Designers and agencies sit down and develop the site with a great hierarchy in mind that typically looks like this:
Your Website Hierarchy
They hope that ‘link juice’ is properly flowed from the most important page in the hierarchy to the least important. That’s not the way it always happens, though.

As Google discovers your site and you links get discovered that point to your content, Google begins to develop its own interpretation of your site hierarchy.
Your Website Hierarchy
You may have a single post that is optimized well for specific keywords, and has a ton of links to it, actually driving the importance of pages in your site in reverse with Google. “Link juice” may flow from a blog post to a category, from a category to a home page rather than vice versa.

Of course, in reality, neither hierarchy matters as much as the path that is utilized by your web visitor.
Your Website Hierarchy
Every single page is a home page and you should both encourage and prepare that they will be the entry page into your site and that you have an effective path for engagement – either through a contact form or by developing calls-to-action to landing pages.

It’s difficult to understand that just because you think that you’ve designed a hierarchy that matters and that focuses attention where you’d like it to be, doesn’t mean that’s how your site is discovered and actually utilized! Design accordingly!

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