Website Structure Best Practices
Having a website nowadays is essential to a business. It is a great tool to show your audience more information about your business. Some website can be small while others can be massive, it all depends on who your target audience is and where the content you are writing is relevant to them.
Why Is Website Structure Important?
Website structure is referred to as how a website is set up, how individual subpages are linked to one another and what hierarchy it follows.
A good site structure will make it easy to navigate and find the information your audience is after. Making sure you have a good website structure will help to improve your user’s experience by creating a positive encounter with your company,
this will in turn make them more likely to trust your business and purchase your service/product you provide. Good site structure also helps to enhance your SEO to rank higher in the search engines. As website structure is one of the main features of website design, it shouldn’t be dismissed.
Set Your Business Goals And Target Audiences
This should be done before you have a website as it is one of the main fundamentals for a business nevermind a website. Once these are set you are able to decide how to approach your website structure so that it will link to both your business goals and target audience.
Do A Competitor Research
See what your competitors are doing and see how that can benefit your business. Competitor research falls under two areas that you need to look at:
- Competitors website – Look at their website structures, how the navigation is organised, what pages fall under different services sections and the layout of their homepage.
- Keyword research (SEO) – Looking at competitors will help you to find out what industry-related keywords to use for your own site’s to try and rank on the search engines
Look After Your Site’s Content
You should make a list of what content you alright have and what you need to publish and what possible categories it can fall under. Grouping your content properly helps your site structure by making it easier for your audience to access the content they want.
Decide On What Content Should Be Posted As What Type
For example, WordPress has two main post types -Pages and Posts. Depending on your content will determine what your content gets posted as.
- Pages – Are for permanent content like the services your company provides and what is your business.
- Posts – Are for content that is current and will get updated; like news, blogs, projects, and testimonials.
Create A Buyer Journey
A buyer journey on a website is the process a user goes through when they are purchasing a product or a service on the website. Sometimes this can be forgotten about but it is extremely important as this is where you will be gaining your income to your company. You want to make this process as smooth as possible so your customers won’t leave their basket before completing the purchase.
Make Use Of Taxonomies
Taxonomies help to classify published content by adding labels to the content. In WordPress, posts can have two different types of taxonomies, these are categories (hierarchical grouping) and tags (stand-alone labels).
Taxonomies also help search engines as it helps them to sort and rank the content in relevant ways.
Create A Simple And Logical Navigation
When you think of website structure you visually picture a website’s menu. This is partially correct as the main navigation show the site structure mainly for just the pages on the website whereas site structure is about everything on the website.
When building your website’s navigation there are some rules you should try and follow to make it easy for your visitors.
- Don’t use too many horizontal categories – Have 7-8 max.
- Don’t make it too deep – Have 3 subordination levels max.
- Try and keep it symmetrical and balanced – For example, it can look odd if one subsection has a lot of pages and then the other one only has a couple.
Decide on the Website’s URL Structure and Permalinks
Website’s URL structure and permalink can differ from website to website but they do link to the site structure. Some companies website’s URL Structure is similar to the layout of their navigation menu when it comes to subsections (eg. https://your-websites-name.com/category-name/title).
Some good practices to do when it comes to websites URL structure and permalinks are:
- Edit permalinks that are too long and include unimportant words.
- Keep the permalinks about 60 characters in length to rank your pages better in Google.
- Remove stop words like conjunctions and pronouns
- Use hyphens to separate words in permalinks, which helps both the users and search engines see what the page is about.
Add A Sitemap For The Website
A sitemap is a file that has all your website’s pages, posts, media and how they are interrelated. Sitemaps help search engines to crawl and categories your site faster as it acts like a roadmap through your content.
Website structure is extremely important for any website. By following these practices above, it will help to ensure your website is structured to benefit your company in more ways than one.