What is Click Depth?
Click depth refers to the number of clicks a page is away from its homepage.
All the pages directly linked to the homepage are considered at depth 1. The homepage is always at depth 0.
The pages with greater depth usually do not perform better because search engines will try hard to reach them.
Pages after depths 4, 5, and onwards are less likely to crawl by the search engines because they have more depth and a few chances of ranking.
What is the optimal click depth of a page?
Pages deep inside a website have fewer chances of crawling by search engines. A click depth of 1-2 is ideal for optimal website performance.
Usually, pages maximum at a depth of 3-4 perform better than those at a depth of more than that.
It is ideal to have your most important web pages maximum at a depth of 4 or below that.
Above this range, crawlers may face difficulty in locating them.
What is a bad click depth?
Is click depth a Google ranking factor?
In 2018, Google John Mueller discussed the click depth during a YouTube hangout. He clearly stated Google gives importance to pages that are easily accessible.
Let’s say a website's homepage is the most powerful page on it; Google will give weightage to those directly linked to it than those away from the homepage.
That is why most experts recommend placing your most important web pages at a maximum click depth of 4.
Pages directly linked to a website homepage have more authority, and it gradually decreases as the pages move far away from the homepage.
To get the attention of Google, it is ideal to keep all your important and relevant pages directly linked to the homepage.
Strategies to improve the Click Depth of your website
Here is how you can improve the click depth of your websites.
Avoid broad hierarchy for the navigation menu
The first and foremost thing that you should see is the hierarchy of your website navigation menu.
If your website has only a few primary categories and a large number of secondary categories - where searchers have to click several times to reach a certain menu – it will have a high click depth.
For that, you must focus on developing your website's navigation menu in a way where only a few secondary categories lie under the main navigation menu.
It will allow your visitors to reach their desired pages in a few clicks.
Internal linking of web pages
Internal linking is the practice of linking one page to another on a website. This helps Google reach the other important and relevant pages on your website.
Internal linking also aids visitors in accessing the other relevant information on your website without going to the main navigation menu. It saves time and your web pages from high click depth.
Make sure to add internal links to your high authority pages or those having low click depth.
Avoid overdoing it
Your website may have thousands of pages, so linking every page to the homepage will not work. Internal linking is a good practice to reduce click depth and improve performance.
Overdoing it may lead to a cluttered website where a crawler may get confused while exploring the website.
Click depth is important for larger websites with too many pages or product categories.
Google says it gives importance to the pages that are easily accessible, but it does not clearly indicate that click depth is a ranking factor.
Whether it is a ranking factor or not, what matters here is the user experience. You must take user experience into account first and ensure that all your website’s content is easily accessible by the users.