It is not enough to just create a website and have content on it. Its structure is another significant thing you have to take into account. It is the way that the various pages on your site link with each other. If your website has a well-designed structure, you will get better user experience, higher ranks on search engines, as well as better navigation. It is what will determine whether a visitor will want to explore deeper or abandon the page. Here are 10 steps that will improve the structure of your website and drive more traffic and conversions.
1. Understand your business
You might already think that you know all there is to know about your business. However, when consulting with your website designer to come up with a good structure for your business, you will have to identify some key elements of your business. For instance, the industry it is in, your competition, what you are offering, as well as how much you will be selling them. With this information, you will be able to determine what you need to do to make your website stand out from the rest.
2. Do some research on keywords
Now that you know what business you are in, your next step is to find out what keywords you will need to use to make your website easier to find on search engines. You will need to understand who your customers are, what they need, as well as what they want to achieve. Compile a list of phrases and words they can use to find your site. You will need to update your keywords regularly to ensure that your content remains relevant.
3. Conduct a competition analysis
Similar to keyword research, you will need to identify who your competitors are and what keywords they use to drive traffic to their site. Take the list of words you found and check which businesses are already ranking high on them. You can then include words that have low competition but can drive traffic to your site.
4. Determine the hierarchy of your content
Here is where the real website structuring begins. The human brain likes it when things are arranged logically and all pages balance with each other. Your site should have the main categories placed on top followed by their sub-categories. It will help with the creation of the pages’ URLs. However, do not create too many subcategories as it commonly happens in a health site and ensure that the numbers of subcategories are the same for all the main categories.
5. Menus should be visible
To make your website userfriendly, you will need to make it easy to navigate to different pages on the site. For this reason, the menu should be placed in a position where it is easy to locate. According to studies, 50% of users rely on the navigation menu to learn more about the site. Improve your visitor’s first impression by placing your menu front and center.
6. Improve the structure of your URLs
The URLs of the various pages on your site are usually displayed on search engines when people search for your content. Instead of using IDs such as letters or numbers that do not make sense to the visitor use words relating to the document. For instance, structure.com/about or structure.com/about/services.
7. Use HTML or CSS
Using HTML makes it easier for web crawlers to navigate your page. HTML is what provides the structure for websites while CSS is used to control the format, layout, and presentation of your site. If your navigation is not easy to access, web crawlers won’t find it and will result in a low rank.
8. Interlink your pages
Write many articles on those words you would like to rank for. You should then link these posts with each other. These links have three main benefits:
- They make it easy for visitors to navigate the page
- They establish a hierarchy of information in the site
- Increased viewers for your sites’ pages
9. Boost Orphaned articles
These are the posts on your site that most of the others do not relate to. They are usually not easily found by visitors and search engines because they do not have many links from the other articles on the site. To identify them, sort all the articles on your site by the number of links. You can then increase the number of links to the articles to make them more visible.
10. Create your site map
A site map is a hierarchical list of all the pages in your site. It helps both the users and the search engine to navigate the site. Most search engines use the site map to learn about the new pages on your site.
If you do not define the structure of your website, then it will only be a website full of articles and content that do not make sense to the user. It will be difficult for search engines to find the most important information you want to pass across and hence the ranking will below. Improve the structure of your website using the above 10 steps and you will make it not only userfriendly but also SEO friendly.
Author – Dylan Menders