• Impact Web Design

URLs, Domains, Architecture, And Depth

The goal is to have a clean web architecture.

To put it another way, it is about ensuring that:

  • All pages are accessible by navigating from your site's home page: you do not have an "orphan page."

  • All pages are accessible from the home page in a small number of clicks, ideally in four clicks

  • URLs are short and readable.

  • URLs reflect the position of the page on the website

  • Your subdomains communicate with one another.

  • There is no duplication in your subdomains.

Bad architecture VS Good architecture



Source: Backlinko

Make sure you've got good navigation.

1. Google ensures that any visitor to your site will be able to simply navigate to any content.

2. The site's structure makes it easier for Google to analyse the site and understand its content.

  1. Depth With Screaming Frog

  2. Orphan Pages

  3. Lost And Duplicated Subdomains

  4. Poor Quality URLs

  5. Categorised or Root URLs?

  6. Breadcrumbs


1. Depth With Screaming Frog

The number of clicks required to get from the homepage to a given page utilising the shortest path is referred to as page depth. Maximum recommended clicks = 4

Screaming Frog ➜ Site Structure ➜ Crawl Depth


If your website has a lot of depth pages, you can:

Add navigation

  • Links from your header/footer

  • Links from your home page

  • Sub-navigation pages (category home page)

  • Intensify your internal networking by cocoon (links in the content itself, page recommendations at the end of the article)

  • Eliminate unnecessary clicks


Categorise your pages

  • Subdivide too large groups of pages

  • Group the groups of pages with poor/little content

2. Orphan Pages

An orphan page is any page on a website that has no links leading to it. These pages are inaccessible because there are no internal links used by crawlers or visitors to reach the page when browsing through your website.

Screaming Frog ➜ Reports ➜ Orphan Pages


You've identified a lot of orphan pages.

a. Unused pages/drafts ➜ Remove them (with the appropriate redirect)

b. Isolated landing pages ➜ Deindex them

c. Useful pages ➜ Connect them to your navigation

3. Lost And Duplicated Subdomains

  • Identify your subdomains: Site Analyser ➜ Sub domains ➜ Copy

  • Enter your subdomain URL on Google and see whether it is receiving traffic

  • Use this tool to identify how many pages on this subdomain are indexed by Google


If you identified that an old subdomain is still in use or that a development subdomain is incorrectly referenced, you must deindex the whole subdomain.

Make sure your subdomains do not include duplicate pages/content from your main domain.

  • Set your pages to no-index

  • Request a crawl/de-indexing from Google

  • Add 301 redirects to the appropriate content

  • Prevent the domain from being indexed again by password-protecting the site (WP example)

4. Poor Quality URLs

Screaming Frog ➜ URL


You need to modify your URLs if they contain:

  • Special character

  • Underscore

  • Unnecessary words

  • Long slug (more than 4 words) that doesn't include the main page's keyword

Use the 301 redirects!

5. Categorised or Root URLs?

Categorized URL: impactwebdesign/training/seo

Optimized root URL: impactwebdesign/training-seo

Short root URL: impactwebdesign/seo

A. Categorised URL


  • You reflect the categorised structure of your site

  • You systematically and consistently include your category keyword

  • Slashes make it easier for the visitor to read


  • E-commerce: you expose yourself to additional duplicate content/canonicals to manage

  • You risk increasing the redirects based on your site's re-categorizations

B. Root URL


  • You are avoiding unnecessary keywords if your site is not focused on SEO interest categories

  • You directly edit your page's entire URL

  • It is easier to manage because many redirections are avoided

  • Duplications may be prevented more easily


  • You must manually incorporate category keywords into your slug.

  • Reading can become more difficult, especially if the categorisation is precise.

  • You do not indicate your classification.

6. Breadcrumbs

Facilitate navigation, display your categories.


If you are using WordPress: Yoast ➜ SEO Settings ➜ Breadcrumb

You can create it manually if you are using another CMS.