What URL Structure to Use for Local SEO
When it comes to organizing your local website pages, it's important to keep your site visitors and search engine crawlers in mind. Not only do you want a clear outline for where potential customers can find information, but you also want to create an easy "web of pages" for search engines to crawl and find related content.
There are various structures to choose from when setting up your website pages. All have their own pros and cons. Here are a few of the different structure options.
You could choose to just set up a bunch of single-topic pages which are all linked from a menu that organizes them by category.
You could use the silo structure where your pages are grouped into categories and linked together within that category only.
You could use a pyramid structure that still separates pages into categories but allows you to internally link where ever you can on the site (cross-category).
So what URL structure should you use for local SEO? You should use the pyramid structure to build your site URLs and organization. Not only with this take similar pages on the same topic and group them together, but it will also give you the freedom to link the pages internally wherever it makes sense, across any category of topics.
Why You Shouldn't Use Single-Topic URL Structure
What do I mean by single-topic URLS? These are URLs that have no hierarchy. Meaning they are simply a domain name plus the page. There is no division of topic or category. Here is an example single-topic URL
Why is this a bad option for local SEO URL structure? By not adding any hierarchy to the URL itself, you are missing out on the opportunity to tell Google that this page also relates to other pages within the same topic on my website.
If you are a plumbing company, you certainly offer more services than just water heater repair. By nesting water heater repair inside a broader topic, you can then relate smaller and more specific pages together via a broader topic.
Another issue with single-topic URLs is that you have to manually rely on internally linking all your pages together so that you don't end up with orphaned pages on your website. Orphaned pages on the site are pages that are never internally linked. When you think of your site as a web, it's important to remember that you need to build a connection from one page to the next by linking from one page to another on your site. If your pages become orphaned, Google will have a more difficult time finding the pages and they are less likely to be crawled and indexed.
Silo Structure vs Pyramid Structure
There are two commonly used methods for structuring your website pages, the silo structure or the pyramid structure.
With both methods, the url will look something like this,
To put it simply, you will determine broad topics within your nice or industry. From there you will break down the topic into smaller topics. You will set up your URL to categorize by broad topic (plumbing) and then smaller pages to describe specific aspects of the topic using related keywords (water heater repair)
Here is how each URL structure would be visually laid out.
The silo structure intends for you to only link to pages within that specific topic silo. This is great for making sure that your related pages stay on topic. However, it orphans that topic for every other topic on your website.
The pyramid structure also categorizes your topics into groups but allows you to link your pages with various other topics where it makes sense. The important thing to keep in mind with this is that you should only link where it makes sense and the content is relevant. This gives you more opportunities to build that web and gives Google more pages to crawl.