Optimizing your Site Structure for SEO


No one tells you, setting up a blog by yourself is hard work. And the longer you do it, the more you realise you didn’t know anything when you started. There’s a lot to learn. There’s researching domains & hosting and how to use a platform (like WordPress). And then you need to learn how to set up your site structure for SEO and how to publish posts. And then there’s SEO and marketing.

Site structure refers to how you set up your pages and includes tags, categories, and links. Site structure is one of the things bloggers can take for granted. Yet it is important to Google. And a good site structure can help you rank higher in search engines. 

Are you uninterested in this? We are sure you will love our post – New Zealand Top 6 Travel Highlights. As ranked by the Editor of Travel Bugs World.

As part of the #TravelBlogTips chat that we host every last Sunday of the month, this month we chatted about site structure for SEO and how to optimize it. We learned and shared some great information about blogging, as we do every month. Further, we realised we had a lot to learn. 

Thank you to all the #TravelBlogTips chat participants. One hour is not enough time for you to go through the responses. As hosts of the chat reading or responding to all the replies, we feel that no one learned more than us. So this month we are sharing that knowledge with you. These are the most helpful ways to improve your site structure for SEO.

Optimizing your Site Structure for SEO

Basics of Site Structure for SEO

We know the basics of site structure, and we use categories, tags, internal/external linking and a site map to help our ranking. What other people had to say at the chat was of interest to us as we had postponed working on our site structure for far too long.

We found the most important thing for bloggers is clear navigation and that their readers could easily find the information they required. And while many bloggers claimed they were not looking at their site structure for ranking purposes but ease for their readers, Google likes structured information. Thus, it seems like the other bloggers, and we are on track. 

And due to the motivation incited by this chat, three of the chat hosts focused on their site structure this last month. As stated by blogger and chat participant Why We Seek, “There’s always room for improvements…It’s a learning process!”

How Categories Can Help Your Blog Structure

The aim is to have categories showcasing what your blog concerns. This way, Google and your readers will know what your website is about and what it offers to readers. Overdo the categories and not only will your readers get confused but so will Google. 

While categories are broad, the use of tags to organise posts is standard. Further, the use of subcategories is common practice. An example from travel bloggers websites is ‘Destinations’ as the category and countries as subcategories. Using categories and tags is a way to structure your site. 

Numerous SEO posts recommend 4-6 categories for smaller blogs. Many of the bloggers at the chat have an average of four categories. We, too, have four categories. The ones we have are destinations, travel tips, resources & travel stories. We also have lots of subcategories.

However, some of our posts are in two categories and regarded as duplicate content due to this. Many experts say it’s harmful to SEO. Others say it’s acceptable as long as we have many posts in those categories. After some follow-up research, we are now changing a couple of the categories to tags.

Do Tags Help Your Blog Structure

The main use of tags is for navigation and organisation. Travel bloggers use them for topics such as countries or themes like outdoor pursuits, culture or solo travel. We have a lot of tags, and each post is in 3-5. We add a new one if we have a few posts on a specific subject. Some bloggers use up to 10 per post. They use keywords and unique words and use them as a way to link several posts together. 

The bloggers at the chat recognised that tags are for the most significant topics covered in a post. Host Green Mochila adds, “See tags as a way to link a few posts together. Each tag should have at least two posts. Do NOT have competing tags & categories!”

And while tags may not necessarily benefit a blog posts SEO, they do help with the usability of your site which will help to rank in search engines. So thus, they do improve your websites SEO.

Pages and Posts

We have a blog page for our blog posts. And we have pages for our privacy policy, terms and conditions, affiliate disclosure, contact page and about us page. We need to work on a custom 404 error page.

Posts are timely and added in reverse chronological order to a blog page. Pages are for static content, for example, your websites About Us page. Even the beginner bloggers at the chat agreed that the must-have pages included About Us, Contact Us, Home Page and Disclosure Page.

However, we found that many bloggers had not paid attention to their category and landing pages. The reason they are important is they help your SEO. Therefore, you should optimize them for SEO.

Not all themes let you customize your category pages directly, so you then need to add a page. However, this can result in duplicate content on your website.

Ultimately, it is best to have clear navigation between your pages and posts so your readers can get from blog posts to pages and vice versa. 

Creating landing pages to link to relevant posts are great for traffic and for helping search engines see you as your subject.

Correct all grammar errors with Grammarly!


This is a topic we love talking about. We have spent the last few months working on building a strong link structure. We always add 1-3 internal links to our older posts. Also, we add external links to at least one website on each post, though we try to add more. Karla, one of our chat participants who has blogged for over nine years, recommends linking to a domain that has a higher domain authority than yours.

Linking is crucial as it shows search engines that your blog has relevance. By linking to other content of your website and other websites, you prove this. Internal linking also helps to keep people on your site and promote your other posts. Further, the use of anchor text is vital for SEO, as is linking to a keyword.

Most of the bloggers in the chat indicated they tried to remember to go back to add internal links to older posts. However, it is one of those tasks that get forgotten. If it makes you feel any better, we are like that too! But we have now added it to our monthly schedule – titled “Website Maintenance”. It includes doing a site audit, checking speed and links.

We recommend you learn as much as you can about linking and use links to promote your content. In the words of SEO expert Neil Patel “Add as many links as would be helpful for the user.” However, we try not to overdo external links for fear of losing our readers to another website.


Backlinks are a highly valued subject. It’s the holy grail for bloggers! A year ago we added external links from a blog post to a tourist board, and they then linked back to us in their press release section! Our domain authority went up from six to 13. We were ecstatic and began to see the value in building backlinks.

But how? That was the question on everyone’s lips at the #TravelBlogTips chat. Ours too, so we read all the chat responses methodically.

Guest posts for other blogs are one of the best ways to build backlinks. A guest post involves writing a post for another website in return for a backlink. Make sure to favour sites with high domain authority and make sure the link is DoFollow. Then again, don’t disregard Nofollow links. While they are not helpful for SEO, they do still increase traffic and give link juice.

Look out for collaboration opportunities with other bloggers. We have done a couple of these with success.

Further, blog commenting is helpful to build backlinks. While most are Nofollow links and will not help your SEO or domain authority, it does help with potential traffic and building relationships with other bloggers.

Moreover, many bloggers use content syndication (third-party sites republishing your content from your website). These are websites like Flipboard, Medium, Quora and LinkedIn. We do use Flipboard, but beware as issues such as duplicate content and its consequences remain debated. Plus, your duplicate content could outrank your website. We suggest you do your research and decide for yourself about the cons and pros. 

Award-winning travel blogger Megan Jerrard from Mapping Megan says ” To build quality backlinks, obviously write awesome content. But also network – make friends with people! When you have genuine relationships, you can link swap without having to cold pitch and send spammy emails!”

Landing Pages

Landing Pages are on our to-do list. They help with your SEO and your traffic. Therefore, we feel guilty for leaving them on the to-do list. But a bloggers life is all about “so much to do and so little time”. And we are full-time travellers and only part-time bloggers. Okay, all excuses aside it seems many bloggers at the chat have landing pages on their to-do list. 

Besides the home page as the landing page, bloggers use newsletter sign-ups and category pages as landing pages. Creating landing pages for your destinations means you can promote all your content on a particular country on that one page.

Chat host Clarissa Laskey affirms, “They are SEO boosters”.

Cornerstone Content

Cornerstone Content is the best and most important posts on your website and the ones you will internally link other posts to. It’s also the pages/posts you want to rank highest.

We have two cornerstone content posts and are working on creating two more. We will also create a “Start Here” page as cornerstone content. Further, an ultimate guide or a country guide is good cornerstone content. 

We found many of the bloggers who were present at the chat are working on cornerstone content. They are making their most in-depth posts cornerstone content.


We hope this post on Optimizing your Site Structure for SEO was beneficial to you. We never considered our site structure in as much detail until the #TravelBlogTips chat. Our goal was always getting content out!

We found many valuable articles while doing further research on this topic, so we are sharing a few with you for further reading. Additionally, these are websites you should follow if you are serious about growing as a blogger.

Speaking of growing as a blogger, check out our recent posts.

*Travel Bugs World is reader-supported. This blog post contains affiliate links (meaning we may get a small commission if you buy through our links.) You won’t pay any more if you use these links, and it helps support the site. We Thank You.


15 Replies to “Optimizing your Site Structure for SEO”

  1. I think my biggest missing piece is cornerstone content. I don’t really get it. I feel like everything on my site is cornerstone content! I have to look more into duplicate content as well. Off to read more of your blogging tips 🙂

  2. Thought I’d left a comment but maybe I was too busy thinking about what I need to add to my to do list after reading your amazing post. I already do most of this but there is definitely room for improvement. Going to try and get my head around cat vs tag.

  3. This is a very useful post, Oli. We are already using some of these practices in our website, but we also learnt a few new things reading this. Thanks very much and warm greetings from Baracoa, Cuba!
    Manuel & Roberto

  4. Love this post! And you are so right…I didn’t know anything when I started my blog. Very timely as I’m auditing all my posts for SEO optimization so thank you for sharing. And good to know about your #TravelBlogTips…will join you next time!

  5. Great article and very informative. I do most of these but must admit that I’m still not 100% sure of my category set up. I only have 4 but I use tags instead of sub categories. Thinking about changing to sub cats but need to research!

  6. Excellent tips and necessary things every blogger needs to implement! Just hard to find the time sometimes. I know I can definitely work on a few of these more!

  7. Thanks for sharing the wealth with this knowledge! I’m bookmarking this list to come back to. With my baby blog, I will re-read this 50 times and probably remember something I’ve been *meaning* to get to every time!

  8. So much to learn! Margo and I are still new and haven’t spent as much time as we should/need to at doing some of the above. But maybe someday! Thanks for sharing!

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