A Quick Overview of Website Architecture Best Practice
Nothing is worse than getting lost. Whether you are in an expansive corn maze or a bustling city, not being sure of your exact location, what can happen or where to go next can easily make you feel anxious, nervous, and downright scared.
The stress only worsens when you are lost just when you need to be somewhere. This sense of being lost is the same with how website visitors feel once they arrived on a chaotic website.
In this modern world where people crave for instant gratification, most people are never fond of trying to find what they need for hours on end. Today’s online users have this irrational impatience that makes them feel like they are always on an endless rushing game. This is the reason why only half visitors even bother to spend 15 seconds of their precious time engaging with the sites they visit.
When you are marketer, making sure that you structure in your site in an easy to navigate and intuitive way is critical if you really want to retain or even capture the attention of your target audience. If you fail to do, those visitors that you worked hard to get might end up bouncing in just a matter of seconds. And the moment people leave your site due to your messy and complicated user experience, even search engines won’t bother to see you in a good light.
If you think you can use some help to structure your site in such a way that will make it rank well in Google and engage your target audience, now is the best time for you to learn more about website architecture, its important role for SEO ( Thai SEO and English SEO) and user experience together with ways on how to establish a sound architecture for your site.
Table of Contents
1. Website Architecture – Definition and Importance
2. Tips to Create an Excellent Website Architecture
Website Architecture – Definition and Importance
Website architecture is basically the way you structure your website or, to be more specific, how the structure of your site can help users find information in a quick and easy manner and drive conversions.
A good website architecture can strengthen and improve the user experience of your site. If your website has been structured in such a way that it is intuitive enough, it would be a seamless experience for users to find the information or details they are searching for.
Aside from that, if you have a strong user experience, this translates to strong and better search engine rankings as well. Users are going to more time on your site or even link to the web pages you got. Both of these are heavy indicators that the content that your brand makes is indeed of good quality. In addition, more solid website architecture can also facilitate more effective crawling of your website by search engines.
Tips to Create an Excellent Website Architecture
Now that you know what website architecture is all about and what makes it important, it is time to learn some tips for developing your own sound and solid website architecture.
- Save your users from the need to think long and hard.
Websites which are tricky and difficult to navigate tend to have a higher bounce rate. No user will ever want to waste their precious time trying to look for the information they need on your website. Once you make them do this, they will simply leave and worse, they might not even think of coming back. So, learn to empathize with your users and give them a more intuitive web experience.
For example, the moment a user clicks on the Contact Us tab on the homepage of your site, they will expect that they will get directed to the page that contains your contact details. From your contact page, you also need to create a simple navigation path that will direct them back to the homepage of your website.
2. Take inspiration from the website architecture of your industry’s top players.
Your customers are probably familiar and used to the respective website architectures of the major brands in your specific industry or niche. This means that if you have your own e-commerce store, it might be great if you can analyze the website structure of Amazon and try to emulate it. This way, you can make your site seem more familiar, thus easier and simpler to navigate as a result.
3. Be consistent with your website.
The navigation format, link displays, and design principles of your website must all follow and stick to a consistent and uniform pattern. When you keep these elements the same, your users will stay on your website longer as it will make it easier for them to seamlessly click on links and navigate to other pages.
4. All your internal links should make sense.
Any internal link that you use must direct site visitors to other pieces of useful and relevant content. Also, every time a user comes across a certain internal link on your site, it must be easy for them to understand right away the specific piece of content where the link will be directing them as well as the reason why that particular content has been linked to the page where they are currently on. ( be sure to avoid Redirect Chain Issues on your site ).
However, an important caution with internal linking that you need to exercise is to avoid stuffing keywords to the anchor text of your link. For so many years, Google has been seeing so many people who stuff the anchor text of their internal links with keywords in an attempt of beating their algorithm. What they don’t know is that the search engine develops specific algorithms to penalize such actions.
It is also effective to have a robust sitemap page for your top level navigation or footer. It will help users and search engines find your web pages easier and faster.
5. It should only take 3 to 4 clicks for users to access your web pages.
It doesn’t matter how many pages your site has because your website architecture must allow users to begin from your homepage and go to any page in just 3 to 4 clicks.
This can be done by designing a top level navigation to direct users to all the main categories of your site. From each main category page of your site, ensure that you clickthrough to all of the subcategory pages.