Click Depth Explained
Click depth is the number of clicks required to navigate to a page on a website from the homepage. It’s one of the most significant aspects of SEO and it’s often overlooked, but it’s important that you reduce it, to improve page performance.
Google favours sites with a lower click depth. More weight is given to pages in the search results, with less clicks to reach them as it deems them to be more important. On the flip side of this, if it takes a lot of clicks to reach key pages, they have less weight and could be contributing to poor SEO performance.
One of the SEO Insights from John Mueller of Google, said this is less about URL structure and more about actual clicks. Good news for those with existing websites where a complete restructure may not be viable, (financially or otherwise). Whilst a web build or rebuild should seek to keep the navigation short for key pages, it does mean that you can tackle the issue by doing lots of clever internal linking, without necessarily utilising lots of resources.
Essentially, if you want a key page to rank better than others, make it easy to get to from the homepage.
What You Can Do
In short, make your content easy to find. The simplest way to do this is to shorten the path, to reach key pages. You can do this by:
Updating your homepage with anchor text…
Whilst you don’t want to overwhelm the user with too much info on your homepage, you can update the copy to include links, using anchor text. This is a bit of an ad hoc way of doing it and may mean cherry picking pages, to include, but it will help.
Improving your internal link structure…
Where possible, link up all relevant content, not just from your homepage, but other top line pages, such as second level pages. If you post blogs, include links to these key pages to help spread the weight back. Perform an internal link audit across your site to look for internal link opportunities.
Changing your navigation content…
You will need design resources to change the content in your navigation, but that doesn’t mean a site restructure. You can include links to important pages you want to rank, by furnishing your navigation with drop-down lists of important pages and sub-pages so they’re reachable from the homepage.
Using a breadcrumb trail…
Development time is required for this but using a breadcrumb that is clickable enables users to navigate quickly to key pages without hunting around.
Pulling through content to higher level pages…
If you have second-line category pages, pull through what content you can from deeper pages to save on the number of clicks required to reach them. An example here would be products. Some sites may have category pages, then sub-category pages, then product listings. Cut out unnecessary steps and include drop down lists on category pages where you can list everything.
If you are a new business about to have a website design or you have an existing site undergoing a restructure, this is a great opportunity for you to look at your sitemap and page content, to reduce the clicks to the pages you really want to perform well.
Need some advice on your website development or SEO performance? Whitefish Marketing is an established Kent based digital marketing agency, offering a range of online marketing services from SEO, PPC, website development and social media management to help grow your business’ presence online. Give our friendly team a call on 01303 720 288.