Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Cheryl L Yancey on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 15, 2018).

Parent Page / Child Page or no?

Parent Page / Child Page or no?

I know WP has an option to make Parent/Child pages, so URLs will look like this:


AND you can manage sub-pages via Appearance >> Menu. (Setting up top-level navigation and sub-level or drop-down navigation, along with various menus like main, footer, etc., etc., etc....)

So my question is... is it necessary to do both (create the parent/child pages along with the top-level/sub-level pages?) Or will a site be ok with just the top-level/sub-level navigation managed in the Appearance >> Menu panel? Does a lack of parent/child pages affect SEO? Is there a benefit to having the parent/child pages? If so, is there a special or strategic way to use the parent/child pages? Or is this simply one of those things in WP that`s not really used anymore?

Google search was a bit inconclusive, so I`d appreciate your feedback. Thank you! 

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Neil Cheesman: I use the above (ie parent/child page )- The one thing I would suggest is that you switch on or use `breadcrumb`s which basically displays to the user where they are...
  • Michael Martinez: It`s a matter of personal preference. There is no SEO advantage either way. And regardless of how you structure your site, what is more important to potential visitors is how readable your URLs are. Search engines don`t really care what a URL looks like.
  • Cheryl L Yancey: Thanks Michael. I`ve noticed that user experience is a huge theme in SEO now, so that makes sense. I had read that it helped search engines read/crawl sites, but I`m guessing that`s not the case. Now that I think about it, I guess that`s what a sitemap is for. duh 🤣
  • Mathias Pantalonias: That`s exactly why I changed all blog posts behind /blog/ a couple of months ago. Blog was at /blog/ but posts were at /. Made zero sense for visitors and GA grouping
  • Mathias Pantalonias: Cheryl try not to rely on your sitemap for a clear information architecture. Think category silo instead
  • Cheryl L Yancey: Mathias ... please explain "try not to rely on your sitemap for a clear information architecture"? I was only talking about communication with search engines, not for human use. Maybe I misspoke (likely!), but I want to make sure I didn`t miss something. Thanks so much for all the good info! :)
  • Mathias Pantalonias: I mean similarly to URL paths/structure being helpful for logic/usability, topical categorization and how you link down through your site for category to subcategory etc is the building block of crawl priority etc.
  • Mathias Pantalonias: Within reason
  • Scott Clark: Parent Child + sibling/child "list pages" plugin is a powerful way to add context to your website. I disagree that parent/child is not relevant to SEO, but only because we also use "see also" sections in our pages that link to child pages. The mindset is around enabling drill-down behaviors, where all child pages are navigationally *AND* contextually children of the topic at hand.
  • Neil Cheesman: I am curious to know why you would need a plugin for this?
  • Scott Clark: As is the case in almost every functional enhancement on Wordpress, you don`t *need* a plugin. I`m an SEO and have only so many hours to whip sites into shape for ranking. I have been very successful advising clients to use this set:Nested Pages (a…Lihat Lainnya
  • Neil Cheesman: I use the list facility which is useful... parent/child are added `automatically` when selected (I can`t recall how it is set up)
  • Scott Clark: Neil Cheesman Yes, this is at the core of the list pages shortcode and others. (wp_list_pages)
  • Benj Arriola: I first think of my content hierarchy which will dictate how my site architecture is. Once I got that nailed down... they are reflected in my breadcrumb navigation and will look similar to my folder structure in URLs. From a UX POV: When users land on any random page of your site from any marketing channel, search, paid ads, social etc., the users will get some idea where that page is in relation to the overall structure of the site, it gives them an idea of the other possible content that may exist in your site with a sense of depth of where they are in your content hierarchy.From an SEO POV: In the whole conversion funnel, you can classify your traffic sessions landing in pages as introducers, influencers and closers. And typically more specific long tail keyword search queries are usually more likely to be closers. They are very near the conversion. While general head terms typically go to introducer or influencer type of pages. More in the research stage, undecided to buy, totally does not know who you are and what your company does. Thinking of this back in the content hierarchy, breadcrumbs and folder structures... you can imagine the deeper you go in your content hierarchy, the longer the keyword phrases, the more specific the keyword will be, child pages if you will, as you were referring to them. But sometimes a general head term keyword is not fit for these specific pages where there will be a misalignment of search intent of the user. And this is where the more general pages go to higher level pages, which you have referred to as the parent pages.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 15, 2018).

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