🎶 In the SHALLOW, we're far from the deep end now 🎶
Both in karaoke and SEO, being in the shallow is preferred.
An underrated part of constructing a website that is SEO-friendly is click depth (also referred to as page depth or crawl depth sometimes).
It's a rather easy concept to grasp. You want all of your content to be floating in the shallow (🎶in the shhhhaaaaaahhalow🎶)...in that it doesn't take too many clicks to find it.
From the homepage of your website, you want the number of clicks to be low (ideally less than 2, but definitely under 3) in order for your users to reach your best pages.
If you think about it, this makes sense. SEO is all about making it easier on the users of your website. Google and other search engines want to reward websites who make it easy on users, so they are more likely to go back and use their search engine again. To reward you they move you up their rankings. Yay! That's what we want.
(It's all about trustworthiness and authority after all.)
So it is logical that an important metric in SEO would be click depth.
A shallow click depth...where important pages are easily accessible within a few clicks...can improve user engagement and make it easier for search engines to discover and index content.
It's a win-win all around.
So you want to improve your click depth? It's relatively easy, but could require some technical legwork. Here's where to begin:
Always have a plan.
Obviously, it's easier to improve click depth with a new website as opposed to an older one. If you are in the process of designing your website, keep its architecture top of mind.
If you're website is on the older side, its construction might be chaotic already (to say the least). You might have orphan pages floating around, or have pages buried deep in the site's graveyard.
However, getting it organized is worth the headache.
Building a URL tree can help you visualize the click depth and keep the restructuring clear to everyone. A URL tree also requires you to plan out your website with thought and logic taken into account...which is never a bad thing.
How as a user would you navigate your website? What's wrong with it currently? Does the flow make sense to you?
The cleaner the structure, the shallow the page depth. Additionally, Google will be able to crawl your website more efficiently, which bodes well for your rankings in the long-term. If Google can navigate your website smoothly than it's likely that a user will too!
If you're in the process of building a new website, however, you're in luck.
You can approach click depth with a blank slate. You can start constructing the website's architecture from scratch, which will be much easier for you and your developers. I usually recommend having 3-4 pillar pages. From there, you can extend off of those pillar pages.
Internal links are a powerful SEO tactic...even if they didn't help you improve click depth. It allows users to find important pages of your website while they're just browsing around.
It improves click depth but also improves your discoverability. Another underrated metric is 'page views per visit'. This will improve that while also shallowing up your website.
The most obvious (but most important) way to improve click depth is have a really clean and simple menu.
Since your menu appears on every page of your website, it's the best way to point users to certain areas or pages on your website.
For that reason, menus play a crucial role in improving click depth. We already talked about the website's structure, but the menus are how users navigate through that structure you've just setup. By strategically organizing your website's navigation menus, you can guide users to important pages with minimal clicks.
(Dropdown menus provide easy access to subcategories and related content too. Don't be afraid to add those. As long as they're aren't too many, it won't overcomplicate your site's structure too much)
Additionally, incorporating a search bar within your menu can further enhance user experience. It won't improve the click depth of your website, but if it's about improving the user experience, this is a must. You want people to at the very least find specific pages or topics of interest.
Remember, the goal is to make navigation intuitive and efficient for both users and search engines.
Got questions about click depth or anything I've written about here? Leave me a comment or email me at [email protected]!