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What Is Website Structure? Why Structure Is Important?

Product landing pages significantly differ from cornerstone articles. The latter are lengthy, where product landing pages shouldn’t be that long. Rather than complete articles, they how to plan a website structure should be focused. These pages only need to show what your visitors need to know to be convinced. Cornerstone articles are the most important informational articles on your website.

Once you’ve decided which pages to include in global navigation, you must decide how to order them—often an analytical and data-driven decision. How a web designer mixes and matches various navigation systems to fit the needs of your website is the foundation of good navigation design. Linear navigation is where one page links to just one other page. It’s similar to how a PowerPoint presentation works.

Users may click through a hierarchy of navigation to find content, but to locate or leave a page, users must navigate back up and down the site’s structure. The linking of content—usually from one page to another—is an essential local navigation tool. But imagine a collection of pages on a website linked to one another with no hierarchical organization or pattern of linking. All the links are embedded in text, and a user navigates through the website only through linked pages. Local navigation links should be closest to where the user needs them. Content is first, but once the user is done reading the content, they’re going to reach for the local navigation before looking at the global navigation.

how to plan a website structure

I’ve done a good amount of testing to find the perfect good-enough wording for those. Testing with more people gives more insight, but there are diminishing returns. When testing past 15 users, the costs are often unjustified. The limitation of these online card-sorting tools is that they can’t be used with the Modified-Delphi method. Test subjects (representatives of your ideal customer whom you’ve recruited for this purpose) get a set of index cards with terms already written on them. Gather feedback, iterate, and move on to planning your site structure.

On your site, you might have blog posts that are quite similar. If, for example, you write a lot about SEO, you could have multiple blog posts about site structure, each covering a different aspect. Consequently, Google won’t be able to tell which of these pages is the most important, so you’ll be competing with your own content for a high ranking in Google.

One of the greatest methods to ensure that your website’s user experience is excellent is to build a website that works flawlessly. With NinjaSites, businesses can get right into making the best business website structure. The kind that will keep visitors glued to your page long enough to convert them to actual customers.

Structure Your Website

A slug is the part of a URL that comes at the tail end. Using a readable name in the slug instead of the page’s ID number makes it easier for crawlers and people to read and comprehend its content. Categorization is an important component of a business’s website structure. With proper categorization, businesses may assist consumers in making faster and easier selections.

It’s a more lightweight option focused on visualizing sitemaps, and it allows you to show what content sections you’ll have in the designs for each page. While PowerPoint or Google Slides are quick to learn and probably already in your toolbox, there are dedicated services for creating more powerful sitemaps. This gives an opportunity to guide visitors where you want them to go, by designing the menus, buttons and calls-to-action accordingly.

While CSS-effect dropdown menus and vanishing menus may create a unique or fascinating user experience, they do not improve SEO. The strongest type of SEO is text links with proper anchors. It’s commonly thought that all pages from your website structure should be accessible in three clicks or less from the homepage, and the correct structure can help you achieve this. In the early days of the internet, this was a frequent term. It presented the user with several relevant links organized by topic, allowing them to pick next they wanted to go. Search or internal links are the best ways to navigate through all sorts of sites.

To prevent that from happening, you need to not only fix your site structure but keep an eye on it while adding new content. Site structure should definitely be part of your long-term SEO strategy. Slickplan is one example, that basically organizes your web project and allows you to navigate through a visual sitemap. You can add files to each page in there, or create simple drawings and add text. It even allows you to export text right into WordPress if you map the fields correctly.

Contextual Internal Linking

Next, go on a mission to find all the content your company currently owns. Your goal is to discover everything, from PDFs to videos to old photographs, that you can use to create content for your website visitors. Since the footer isn’t eating up extra space on your page, get granular and include multiple categories of specific information, highlighting vital pages and articles. Footers are a particularly overlooked and important aspect of site navigation. Viewing the “Women” page on Banana Republic’s website, for example, shows users additional lateral or vertical movements within the context of women’s clothing. Fordham University’s website, an expansive collection of pages, uses breadcrumbs to help orient users.

This could be a simple spreadsheet, but you can use more visual tools like LucidChart or MindNode too. Adding this hierarchy and categorizing to your pages helps your user https://globalcloudteam.com/ and Google make sense of every single page you write. When implementing your category structure, make sure to add your main categories to the main menu of your site.

how to plan a website structure

It gives you insight into how your customers think and mentally classify items. A website is made of various pages and posts and it needs to be categorized in an excellent website structure which will enable the users to navigate through all the content easily. Once you’ve come up with some subject ideas, it’s time to do some more in-depth keyword research to map out pages and articles that will fit into the topic clusters you’ve created.

What Your Website Structure Says About You & Your Business

Your most important pages are probably often very relevant to mention on several pages across your site, so you’ll link to them most often. Just remember that not only the page you’re linking to is relevant, the context of the link is important as well. Furthermore, it’s not always necessary to put everything in just one menu.

  • When opened, the mobile menu sorts all sections of the site into groups, and a search bar is featured above the menu items.
  • Diagrams, process charts, quick page layouts, website mock-ups, and more .
  • Opening the dropdown menu reveals the hierarchical structure of the New York Times website.
  • They help visitors determine where they are on your site.
  • Changing the placement or design of your global navigation menus can prove confusing, disorienting, and ineffective.

There are multiple ways to get website information architecture right. Here’s the method that’s worked for me over the years. The goal is to come up with the architecture of the site. The deliverable might include sitemaps, site-flow diagrams, and wireframes to convey how the site will work from a practical perspective. And don’t ignore this as site structure is the base of any website and is one of the most important SEO factors. Try to keep the main category between two to seven unless you are having a very big site to manage.

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This process is applied to website structure overall as well as to the structure of tools used on the website, like a Contact Form or Quote Tool. Local links are used in a New York Times article to direct users to other relevant content. On GAP’s website, for example, hovering over a main menu item, like “Jeans,” reveals hierarchical pages and underlines the main item.

A hierarchy structure is when one page links to a few pages which in turn link to several others. For example major directory sites uses an hierarchy structure to categorize websites. This system is best suited for directories, information websites and certain shopping sites. Tullis and Wood recommend testing 20–30 users for card sorting.

Further, nearly 8 in 10 consumers say they would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device. Instead of linking to a handful of pages from your homepage, then expanding with ever-more sub-pages and categories, keep things simple, specific and precise. Group pages in tailored and targeted categories, rather than ever-expanding headings of general topics.

Internal Linking With Yoast Seo

Users often begin on the main page and go to more particular pages by clicking through the pages one by one. The user can only go forward or backward in this mode. Are you thinking about building a website for your business? This website structure guide will help you get started. When you have idea of the search intent it’s essential to make sure your landing page fits the search intent of your audience.

What Are The 3 Main Types Of Website Navigation?

For static websites, the structure can be referred to as a sitemap and will resemble an outline. For details on this process, you’ll want to check out our article, Creating a Website for Your Business. For large company websites or e-commerce websites, you’ll want to explore Information Architecture. Just because menus and navigation structures look great on desktop doesn’t mean a site’s navigation design is complete.

4 Important Reasons Why You Need to Start With a Blog Webpage Builder Blog webpage builder is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Read this article to find out why you should start your blog today. This won’t be a problem if you already have a solid website structure.

You should write some main articles and write various posts about subtopics of that topic. Then link from these related posts to your cornerstone articles, and from the cornerstone articles back to related posts. In this way, you’ll make sure that your most important pages have both the most links and the most relevant links. Google uses the context of your links to gather information about the page you’re linking to. It always used the anchor text to understand what the page you’re linking to is about. But the anchor text isn’t the only thing Google looks at.

Two Types Of Website Structure

Pages can answer more than one search intent, but you need a clear view for at least your most important pages. If you add a new unique tag to every post or article, you’re not structuring anything. Make sure each tag is used at least twice, and that your tags group articles that genuinely belong together. Beware not to try to link to too many pages from your homepage, because that will cause clutter. And a cluttered homepage doesn’t guide your visitors anywhere.

Search engines, on the other hand, are trying to set up algorithms to decode what the people who search will like. Thus, SEO is all about creating websites that will be found and appreciated by people who search, and that’s how your website structure plan will help you with user experience too. Your website must have a clear structure; otherwise, it will just be a random collection of pages and blog entries. These days there is software that can help you get website structuring done without any hassle.

It’s best just to use the same design for every single page so that it won’t confuse the users. If you don’t like having things the same on each page, make it so that your entire website has a recognizable reoccurring theme, like a logo or a mascot. Also try to keep in mind your abilities at web designing. Don’t try to make anything too complicated or else you might get a bit discouraged. Doing it online is cheaper, doesn’t require logistics planning, and can be done without geographical limitations. This is where the test participants create their own names for the categories.