The Website Structure Improvement Checklist

It can drastically improve website visibility with some sites reporting as much as 400 percent increase in rich result organic traffic. First, a logical and well-planned structure is ideal for User Experience . 88 percent of online consumers say they are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. Websites that are easy to navigate create a seamless experience for your audience without frustrations. At this phase, a UI/UX designer and QA specialist test the product to find any inconsistencies or bugs and provide feedback. In addition, we conduct user testing and gather data from these tests to learn how users interact with the product.

guide on how to plan a website structure

While PowerPoint or Google Slides are quick to learn and probably already in your toolbox, there are dedicated services for creating more powerful sitemaps. This gives an opportunity to guide visitors where you want them to go, by designing the menus, buttons and calls-to-action accordingly. When a visitor lands on a page, they don’t know what else there is to find on the site unless you show them. The information on the page itself is very important, and in some cases you’ll want them to take action to buy a product or fill out the form already there and then. When you have a list of 50 or so keywords, you can start identifying which are the most important and which of them merit separate pages on the site. Before you embark on the exciting phase of designing a new website for yourself or your client, it’s important to plan the website structure for it.

Gather Data About Your Site Users Before Working On Your Site Architecture

This would also be the right time to bring an experienced UX/UI designer into the mix if you’re still not sure which structure makes sense. They can provide valuable insights to your internal developers even if they aren’t a part of the entire project. This is the greatest opportunity to learn how your visitors navigate through competitor sites. Once you have identified the strengths and weaknesses, you can make improvements so your website delivers a much better experience.

  • You should use card-sorting results as a guide to organization and labeling.
  • For coffee grinders, do people search by blade size?
  • With WriteMaps, you can plan your website structure and reorganise it whenever you need to and regardless of how huge your site becomes.
  • But once the site is launched, the project isn’t over — you should be prepared to address feedback from users adapting to the new site.
  • More so, you’ll have extra knowledge on how you’ll compete with your competitors.
  • This article is intended to give you a hands-on guide on how to improve the websites you create.
  • Namecheap provides you hundred domain possibilities to choose from.

WP Engine offers one of the most innovative WordPress hosting services that help beginners and experts to take advantage of the digital space. For instance, eBay has one menu at the top of the page – also called the top bar menu – and in addition to that, a main menu. This top bar menu links to important pages that aren’t categories in the shop, like pages that have to do with the visitor’s personal account on the site. The main menu reflects the most important product categories on eBay. You need to categorize and link your posts and products so they are easy to find.

URLs should have real words and proper keyword coverage. These keywords are only the beginning of your research. More so because you are searching for keywords and ideas fitting for your site now, you can also save them for future use. It’s important to note that you don’t need all these keywords.

With a homepage, section pages, subpages, and two layers of additional subpages, this structure represents a website with a deep navigation system. To find information, users must navigate 5 vertical levels of pages. A website like this would likely be overwhelming, confusing and difficult to navigate. Communicated visually, a website’s navigation structure shows the amount of clicks or interactions it would take for a user to access the deepest information on a website. Beyond devising the systems and mechanisms that a user employs to find information, web designers also approach navigation by devising a website’s navigation structure.

Think of internal links as a way to tell a cohesive story on a particular topic, with the added bonus of giving users another way to navigate your site. This URL structure offers a logical path for users to follow. It’s very similar to the breadcrumb navigation that many hierarchical websites use.

Trajectory’s global navigation system also extends to the website footer. Search, hierarchical navigation, drop down menus, and local navigation are all employed on the New York Times’ header. The breadth of options in the navigation bar communicates the paper’s range of worldwide coverage and quickly situates the user in the impressive context of the New York Times. The New York Times’ homepage features a ton of information, from headlines and article summaries, to breaking news, recent or notable podcast episodes, and the weather. Yet, carefully designed, the homepage engages several systems of navigation to seamlessly provide access to every major corner of their site. Getting this right means creating a website that’s easy to understand, effective in its communication, and ultimately successful in transforming site visitors into customers.

Keep Links On Any Given Page To A Reasonable Number

To get started, list all the pages that might connect with each other and look for logical opportunities where you can link between them. Second, and perhaps of the same importance as the first point, is Search Engine Optimization . Websites have a short window to make an impression otherwise visitors will go somewhere else. Website structure refers to how information is laid out on your site, the way it is designed, and how the pages connect with one another. Finally, we’ll show you just how to design and develop the right structure for your site.

That’s what happens in a simple website structure and sitemap. How to structure your website layout should contain many objectives to achieve them. Note that it also involves focusing on specific goals. Operative and consistent approaches are part of the solutions.

guide on how to plan a website structure

In this case, you will have no chance to get to the top. Remember, a good post’s content or how easy the competition is not guaranteed to be on top. And it’s like how a sitemap reveals a website’s design. A sitemap file is a map search engines can use to navigate your website. It tells crawl bots which pages are important and how they are connected to each other.

Site Maintenance

For ecommerce site this would likely be an increasing amount of Categories and sub-categories before arriving at product pages. ‘Search-as-navigation’ should also be considered for medium and larger sites. Particularly if a user wouldn’t be able to find what they are looking for within a couple of clicks. ‘Website structure’ could also refer to how your website is set up from a code-base perspective. That is, your website platform or fundamental architecture.

Plus, tips on customizing and managing your website. Hi, I am not an IT professional but am interested in website design as we are re-doing our website. I found your article to be very, very helpful and it is written in simple, layman’s language where any non-technical person, such as myself, can understand. The audience is a mix between agency people, freelancers and “client side” folk. Hopefully skipping stuff that’s less relevant is easy enough.

When you’re designing the site, making sure the user accomplishes each task is vital. However, achieving that objective usually consists of a series of smaller tasks. Each page on your site needs to help build this chain of tasks. Let’s say you want to buy a coffee grinder, so you go to a website that sells them. If you browse around and can’t find one, it’s a sign of bad metadata.

Responses To Site Structure: The Ultimate Guide

WordPress uses so-called taxonomies to group content . The word ‘taxonomy’ is basically a fancy term for a group of things – website pages, in this case – that have something in common. This is convenient because people looking for more information on the same topic will be able to find similar articles more easily. The default taxonomies in WordPress are categories and tags. Then, you have some sections or category pages beneath it.

You need a good internal linking and taxonomy structure to do this, so all those pages can work for you, instead of against you. It’s useful to visualize a website structure in a sitemap. Now a sitemap can be just a list of pages, like you find with the sitemap.xml files that search engines read. But for the purpose of planning it’s good to prepare a visual representation, commonly seen as an outlined list or a breakdown chart .

Visualize The Sitemap

✅My site offers ‘related content’ links to users on most pages. Whether you’re starting a new project or have an already running website, there are several ways in which you can improve your site architecture. When you have idea of the search intent it’s essential to make sure your landing page fits the search intent of your audience. Pages can answer more than one search intent, but you need a clear view for at least your most important pages. Your most important pages are probably often very relevant to mention on several pages across your site, so you’ll link to them most often.

What are two or three specific measurable goals that the site should achieve? Clear goals allow the Web team the ability to focus on what will provide the most impact and move the organization forward. When opened, the mobile menu sorts all sections of the site into groups, and a search bar is featured above the menu items. Since the footer isn’t eating up extra space on your page, get granular and include multiple categories of specific information, highlighting vital pages and articles. Footers are a particularly overlooked and important aspect of site navigation.

Internal Linking With Yoast Seo

Similarly, if the page doesn’t have the content they’re looking for, the local navigation is the navigation they’ll look to first. Testing with more people gives more insight, but there are diminishing returns. When testing past 15 users, the costs are often unjustified. Reverse card sorting validates your menu structure assumptions (or offers feedback for re-arranging). You have a bunch of pages on your website that need to be categorized.

For them, planning goes first when we create site structure design. A website developer is your best bet when it comes to designing and developing a website’s structure. They may work alongside other professionals, like UX/UI designers. As mentioned before, there should be a purpose behind each internal link you use and not overdo it.

For example, you are planning on building a website about online teaching. So, we search for the primary term’ online teaching’. You must start exploring research keywords and terms that can generate traffic. Website structure impacts your UX and SEO, which means it’s crucial for getting traffic and your overall online success. With a lot of planning and thoughtful organization, you can create a website structure that enhances SEO and boosts your rankings.

Why Is Ui Design Important?

Adding this hierarchy and categorizing to your pages helps your user and Google make sense of every single page you write. When implementing your category structure, make sure to add your main categories to the main menu of your site. Your site needs to have a defined structure, because without it, it’ll just be a random collection of pages and blog posts. Your users need this structure to navigate on your site, to click from one page to another. Google also uses the structure of your site to determine what content is important and what is less relevant. This guide tells you everything you need to know about site structure.

Contextual Internal Linking

Data gathered during this phase helps us set project goals and define the project strategy. After that, our team proceeds to the Design Discovery stage. Who are rival organizations that provide similar offerings to your audience? Include an overview of competitive organizations’ Web sites, considering visual branding, messaging, navigation, calls to action and key differentiators. Take a detailed look at your website—its goals, functions, and content. Devise a plan to structure your navigation as simply as possible and as intuitively for the functions and type of website your business requires.

Just because menus and navigation structures look great on desktop doesn’t mean a site’s navigation design is complete. If navigation isn’t mobile-responsive, even the most well thought out navigation design is rendered useless. Banana Republic, like many e-commerce sites, uses page-level navigation to orient users within a site subsection. When hovering over the main navigation bar, categories like “Parks” do not lead to a main “Parks” page.

WordPress will set itself up in the directory that you chose in step 7. You can log in using your new WordPress login details and start setting up your site. If you are using another website host, they will walk you through the domain name registration process. If your information architecture is bad , most guide on how to plan a website structure visitors won’t find what they’re looking for, leaving your site before entering the sales funnel. There’s almost zero learning to get going, and I love that it focuses on the big picture, not little design elements. I’ve done a good amount of testing to find the perfect good-enough wording for those.

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