Page depth refers to the number of clicks you need to reach a specific page from the homepage using the shortest path. A page directly linked to the homepage is at depth 2 (the homepage itself is always 1!).
If a page needs more than 3 clicks to be reached, it will perform poorly because search engines will have issues to crawl it compared to a page available in one click.
In fact, deep pages have a lower pagerank because search engines are less likely to find them and so to crawl them. If a page is hard to find, crawlers won’t check them as often as pages at depth 2 and so they will lower their chance to be ranked.
Websites need to be thought in terms of tree graph because it offers an overview of the overall structure of the site and of pages performing badly.
How to improve your site structure?
1# Use your internal linking
If you own a large website with a lot of deep pages, reorganizing your internal structure manually could be a nightmare. If you do not want to start again from scratch, you can lower your site’s depth through the help of internal linking, using external backlinks and internal backlinks. It has the advantage to:
- lower the number of clicks needed to reach a page on your website and to facilitate the crawler job
- increase your user experience by providing your visitors additional valuable content
- lower your bounce rate since users will have a better access to the information searched
Every time you create a new blog post for example, check if there is any opportunity to link to something relevant you have already written on your website. You can them create an internal link. But be careful, you should only link to something useful and avoid stuffing keyword strategies on anchor-text.
[Case Study] Optimize links to improve pages with the greatest ROI
2# Use breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs will make it easier for your visitors to know where they are on your website. Categories are essential to organize your site but do not overuse subcategories because it will certainly take more than 3 clicks to get there. To know more about breadcrumbs you can check our previous article.
Head to our article dedicated to internal linking optimization for more details.