March 4, 2021
How does page depth influence your SEO?
When we talk about SEO, there are subjects that inevitably come up: page views, bounce rate, time spent per page, backlinks etc.. On the other hand, we hear considerably less often about page depth. So wrong, since it is a fundamental criterion for your site’s PageRank.
What is page depth?
This term refers to the tree structure of your site. The depth of a page is defined by the number of clicks that separate it from your home page. If we define your home page as page “0”, all pages accessible directly from it will be considered as level 1 pages. If, on the other hand, you have to go through one or even two additional pages to get to the content of your site, we will then speak of level 2 or 3 pages. And so on.
How to measure the page depth of your site?
To do so, two options are available to you. The first one, a little archaic, which consists in manually mapping the tree structure of your site. But whether you tackle this task on paper or screen, be patient. The more content you have on your site and the more internal links there will be, the more laborious this work will be.
Fortunately, there is a much simpler way: crawlers. No, Google does not have a monopoly on robots. You can therefore use one of these little wonders of technology, which in just a few moments will manage to scan your entire site, in every nook and cranny.
Like their colleagues at Google, they will give you details about all the characteristics of your site: indicators, broken links, duplicate content, site mapping, page depth and sometimes even recommendations for improvement. But to access such powerful tools, you will of course have to pay. There are also free tools, but unfortunately they are much less efficient. Some tracks for your research: Botify, Screaming Frog, Xenu, Link Examiner, Free SEO Toolkit …
Why improve the page depth of your site?
Well first of all because it is an essential point of the inevitable “Google Guidelines”. As always, the American giant dictates the rules. Indeed, the search engine explains that pages exceeding level 3 will not be systematically explored by its Google Bots. The consequence ? Well, no indexing, so no referencing. One can hardly be more persuasive. But this decision is not arbitrary. Indeed, a high page depth generally indicates a complex tree structure, built layer on layer, which does not facilitate navigation.The consequences: your traffic and site performance suffer severely.
Imagine for a moment: you are looking for content on a site and you have to click on 2, 3, or even 4 different links to find the information you are interested in. First of all, many people get discouraged before they get there. But also think about your site’s indicators: your bounce rate exploding, time spent per page collapsing, traffic getting lost and pages staying in the shadows…
How to improve the page depth of your site?
To make navigation on your website more fluid, you must improve the page depth of your site, it is inevitable. Ideally, although Google “allows” pages up to level 3, none of your pages should go beyond level 2. Indeed, there are simple ways to considerably improve the tree structure of your site and therefore navigation, shopping, customer experience or information search.
The Breadcrumb trail
Do you know Greek mythology? The thread that Theseus uses to escape from the labyrinth… Well, it’s the same thing. For a new user, your site is a real labyrinth. It is thus a question of offering a trace, a visual reference point, which allows your visitors as well as Google robots to find their way at any time. Several solutions are available, from the construction of your URLs to the creation of menus, sidebars or vertical bars, etc.
This is the opposite of the external mesh. You’ve obviously heard about it: it’s about integrating links into your content, such as articles for example. However, internal meshing allows on the one hand to intelligently redirect your traffic from one page to another to keep it on your site so that it continues to consume (time, content, products, services …). But it also allows you to reinforce the quality of the page depth of your site and to improve its navigation, performance, and thus its referencing.