As a company offering website optimisation services in Manchester we talk about website architecture on a daily basis – and no, it has nothing to do with buildings! It is actually concerned with the technical aspects of designing your website, such as the navigation, and in this article, we will take a closer look at what website architecture actually means and why it is so important.
What is website architecture?
Website architecture is the term given to the structure of a website. It is the framework with which web designers can produce a website where visitors can easily find information within seconds of clicking on the website.
Why is website architecture so important?
Why are we, a search engine marketing company UK, so interested in website architecture? Well, website architecture can bring many benefits to a business including:
The most important thing about website architecture is the fact that it dramatically improves user experience and can therefore increase conversion. If a visitor finds it easy to navigate around your website, then they will be more inclined to spend more time on the site because it is so pleasant to use.
People love things that are easy to find, and so if they find your website easy to use, they will be more likely to share links with their peers making your site more likely to rank for quality content.
What are website architecture best practices?
Best practice when it comes to website design, is making it as easy to navigate as possible. Think about it in terms of your home. Your home is laid out simply, is easy to get around and you can’t get lost. Then design your website the same way:
Make it obvious. Make every link obvious to where it is going and where it is, so that visitors to your site don’t even have to think about it. Use clear anchor text and don’t keyword stuff.
Use relevant internal links. Every link you place on your site should be relevant to your visitor and obvious why the content is linked to that particular page on your site. If you want to boost this then you can do an ethical link building campaign to boost your referring domains.
Make finding the way home easy. Not only should you make sure your visitor can find the information they want easily, but also that they can get back home again once they have done so. One way of doing this is to add a home button to every page, but you could also make sure that by clicking the site logo people can get back to the home page.
Keep it consistent. The design of your website, the links that you use and all of the other elements of your site should stay consistent. This means that all of your site will look familiar to your visitor as they navigate around it.
Use a sitemap. Placing a sitemap in your website footer is a great way to make it as easy as possible for visitors to navigate around. It also allows search engines to see that there are URLS on your site that need to be crawled.
Navigation bars. Visitors to your website should be able to get anywhere on your site within three to four clicks at the most – and using top level navigation is a great way to do this. Use main category pages along the top, and make the sub-categories pages easy to click through
How do you know if your website architecture is good enough?
One easy way to work out how good your website architecture is, is to visit your own website and have a look around. Compare it to a competitor’s website too. Think about:
How easy it was to find the information you wanted
Whether the navigation was frustrating or not
Whether you would stay on the site or head back to the search results to check out another site
If you find it difficult to navigate then chances are your visitors do to and so it might be a good idea to make some changes. As an SEO agency UK we can help you by carrying out an SEO audit for you to make sure everything on your site is working towards helping you reach your potential. So, why not get in touch with us today?