Tag: user experience

10 Steps That Will Improve The Structure of Your Website

10 Steps That Will Improve The Structure of Your Website

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.

Conclusion

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

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5 User Experience Mistakes Made Accidentally by Every Designer

Websites, applications, and products should all be designed with the goal of being obvious, self-explanatory and self-evident to use. Users should not have to rely on complex instructions or manuals to use them, because odds are, they won’t read them. There are a lot of user experience (UX) mistakes out there these days which rely on instructions or aren’t user friendly. Below are the most common UX mistakes that designers make without realizing. 

1. Focusing on the concept instead of the user.

Conceptual models which designers come up with in their mind are fine, but when the designer gets focused on the model and ignores the usability of it, problems can arise. The mental model is how a user imagines that a product or service should be, so a good website can merge the designer (conceptual) model and the user (mental) model. 

When the conceptual model, which is the user interface does not meet the user’s expectations, the user experience will not be positive and the website will lose its customer. 

2. Focusing too much on eye-tracking data.

There is a common misconception that eye-tracking data will give designers specific information about where users are looking and for how long. Although there’s some good benefits to using eye-tracking data, the negatives far outweigh the benefits. As explained by design blogger Terry Cluft of Boomessays and Revieweal, “eye-tracking data will tell you what someone looked at, but you won’t know if they paid attention to it or just glanced at it. It also only measures central vision, dismissing the important peripheral vision.” 

Your design decisions shouldn’t rely completely on your eye-tracking data, and instead look into testing visual or auditory signals. 

3. Reconsider your use of pop-ups.

Marketers rely a lot on pop-ups because they’ve been shown to be a good lead generation tool. Some of the best ways of increasing subscriptions to blogs are through pop-ups, and the studies will back that. However, Google warned websites in 2016 that websites with pop-ups or other intrusive interstitials that are obscuring the content would see a drop in their search rankings. The following year, in 2017, Google decided to penalize all sites with pop-ups and email capture light-boxes. 

These are all measures to improve the experience of mobile search so users can more easily access content without interstitial interruptions. Google also made a distinction between good pop-ups and bad pop-ups. UX designer at State of writing and Essayroo Pamela Anker explains that “if it comes up immediately as soon as the user arrives on a page or the user is interacting with a page, and the pop-up hides the main content, or the interstitial pops up immediately before the user gets to the content, it will likely get penalized by Google.” 

On the other hand, if an interstitial is part of a legal obligation like age verification or cookie usage, or a login to content accessible through a paywall, as well as banners that don’t take up much screen space and can be dismissed easily, Google will allow those for the time being. Read more about the distinctions are design your pop-ups with that information in mind. 

4. Collecting feedback too early.

Another extremely common mistake is collecting feedback from your users too soon, because you might end up attracting more negative reviews. Ideally, wait a couple of days before emailing users if you want fair feedback. People like the time to think about something before deciding, and if you email them too quickly, they might get frustrated at being pressured to respond.  

5. Selecting the wrong users for user testing.

If you’re getting only certain users or ideal users to test your website or app, you’re going about it the wrong way. You should only be testing certain users if your product targets only that group of people. However, for any other situation, you need to design your website in such a way that the least tech-savvy person can use it. You don’t need experts to test your website; instead, look for a user that matches your target audience. 

These mistakes all point to the same conclusion: products and websites should be easy for the client to use. They should be obvious, self-explanatory and self-evident. 

Authors BIO

Ellie Coverdale is a marketing and design blogger at Big Assignments and Top Canadian Writers. She is involved in user experience and user interface projects and developing new strategies for online businesses. She is also a teacher for writing skills at Student Writing Services.

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