Website structure plays an integral part in your brand. It helps shape user experience, SEO rankings, and a whole host of other aspects that sell who you are.
Unfortunately, too many website owners are left scratching their heads wondering why their site just isn’t performing without even considering that the way their site is set up is more than likely the biggest issue.
In fact, more people are likely to leave a website if it’s unresponsive or had poor content structure. Like it or not, your site has only a few fleeting seconds to make a good and lasting impression before a user will decide to stay or leave.
Why Is Website Structure So Important?
There are three reasons why.
First, a well-thought-out website structure is one that provides a good user experience, regardless of what device they may be using. If your site doesn’t provide a good experience, users are less likely to come back.
The third is avoiding keyword cannibalization. Even though the content of your site can be similar, it is also distinct enough that bots can distinguish between one page and another, while also distinguishing the intent.
Types Of Website Structures
There are typically 4 types of website structures that are used today. Each has its benefits and drawbacks depending on what you will be using your site for.
This can be considered the most popular kind of website structure as it typically starts as a larger category and then branches off into smaller pages. E-commerce websites probably make use of this kind of website structure. The biggest benefit is that these sites can typically handle a lot of data at once.
This kind of website structure is a bit more streamlined. You would typically see this used for startups or small businesses, especially during the check-out process where you will be asked to consider additional products. This usually occurs when checking out an online course. Typically, you would want this kind of website structure if you want to highlight additional benefits to what you initially have to offer.
This website structure relies heavily on metadata to create a searchable catalog that your intended users can go through. Since search features are becoming more and more popular, this is something to consider when building your site. It should be noted that this is one of the most complex website structures, so unless you are an expert on website building, you might want to hire someone to do it for you.
This is one of the oldest website structures around. This kind of structure is usually good for wiki-type pages, especially when it comes to things like fan pages or internal company training. Despite things like Wikipedia being a matrix-style website, keeping it simple would help keep things from getting overwhelming.
What Type of Website Structure Is the Best Fit?
This entirely depends on what kind of site you are looking to build. Does it make sense for your brand? Does it make sense for your business?
If you already have a lot of organized data, then maybe hierarchical or database website structures are your best fit.
If you want something delivered in sequence, then sequential would be your best bet.
If you want something closer to a Wiki style, the matrix would be the way to go.
Figure out what best suits your needs and make the plans you need from there.
Also read: Do Links from Guest Posts Even Work?
Tips for Your Website Structure
There are a few things to keep in mind when developing your website structure:
· Optimize your site for people – don’t worry about bots
· Keep the number of links reasonable
· Utilize heading hierarchy
· Have a shallow navigation depth
· Leave a breadcrumb trail
· Keep doing keyword research
· Use a schema markup guide
Even with all of this, it always helps to have a plan in place. Before you even start building your site, it helps to perform market research to develop and analyze your target market. Learn who your competition is. And don’t rush it! It’s easy to get overeager.
Once you have completed your research, then choose your URL and website structure. Remember to keep the user experience in mind. This would also include an internal linking strategy for the content that you create.
From here, you would want to create a sitemap file that helps search engines navigate your site. Usually, this can be done within about 20 minutes.
Finally, even after the site is published, it helps to run regular user testing to uncover issues that you might not have found during the initial setup. This step usually helps whenever any changes to the site take place.
Also read: Tips To Simple Online Marketing
With how much website structure impacts SEO and user experience, it should be clear how important this is for getting traffic and your site’s ultimate success. Focus on your intended audience, and there should be a few issues.