If your website is poorly designed and difficult to navigate, that leads to users clicking away. These potential customers go back to Google and find another source to access the product or service they were looking for. Search engines take a website’s structure and navigation into account in terms of rankings. So in this day and age, if your website is hard to get around, it can have a negative impact. If your website is properly structured and easy to navigate, this should create more leads and conversion and thus better business. The importance of web structure and navigation is that it provides better user experience and improves SEO. In this article, we will describe the importance of website structure and navigation and how to improve these on your website.
What is Website Structure and Navigation?
The website structure characterizes how a website is organized and how someone would find content. It is the way a website chooses to display its information through menus, sidebars, and the like. Meanwhile, website navigation is how a user would go through different parts of the site and the ease of this process. Website structure and navigation go together hand in hand because web navigation is dependent on web structure.
Why is Website Structure and Navigation Important?
These factors are so important because they improve user experience, boost search engine rankings, and increase leads and conversions. Overall, this creates a more successful business that thrives online and leads to more satisfied customers.
If your website is inaccessible and people are unable to use it with ease, then potential customers will not trust your business. If people do not have faith in the integrity of your business, they will not purchase goods or services from you. Search engines highly regard web navigation as a factor for rankings. That’s why it is imperative that your website performs well in that category.
5 Important Reasons to Improve Website Structure and Navigation
Increase Duration of Time Spent on Your Site
The easier your website is to navigate, the more time visitors will spend on it. A website that has a clear and thoughtful layout encourages users to peruse the site and dive deep into it. There are so many websites out there. Users these days want sites that are simple and easy to use. If your website is difficult to navigate, visitors are not going to stay on it. The more visible and accessible your sidebars, links, and other directive tools are, the more users will be inspired to explore. A well-structured website incentivizes interaction, which means visitors will stay on longer.
Higher Likelihood of Sales
If users spend more time on a website, they become more likely to make a purchase. It also means that visitors will trust a website and therefore complete a transaction. When your website has a pleasant interface and users can access the content they need, this increases the conversions. The easier a website is to use and the less frustrated potential customers become, the higher the chance that your business makes a sale.
Better User Experience
No one wants to go on a website looking for information or a product and be unable to find it because of a flawed structure. It is much more enjoyable for the visitor if everything is neatly organized and easy to find. They should not have to waste time trying to figure out how a website works. The reason people go on a website is because they are trying to access something. It makes their experience better when they can find what they are looking for easily with seamless navigation and structure.
Appealing Design and Aesthetics
A website that has good structure and seamless navigation presents better than one that seems disorganized and hard to get around. More than likely, a well-structured website will have a better design and look more appealing than a site that lacks this. Once again, visitors will want to stick around a better-looking website that has simple, clean displays and navigation. It makes for a more attractive website that both users and search engines approve of.
Search engines take a website’s structure and navigation into account when calculating rankings. In fact, it is a significant factor. Search engines do not want to direct their users to a website that runs poorly. The previous factors are important, but do not mean much if your website is not getting seen and has low rankings. So by taking the time and effort to improve the structure and navigation, your web design can also improve SEO.
How to Improve Website Structure
As we have discussed there are many benefits to having sound website structure and there are various ways to improve this.
Plan Out and Decide Your Website Hierarchy
Site hierarchy dictates the layout of your website and how it displays information. Your website hierarchy is the basis for the rest of your website’s organization, so it is paramount that you choose one that works for your needs. With site hierarchy, less is more. You do not want an overcomplicated design that confuses your users. Main categories should be labeled clearly and be specific, while subcategories should relate to the main one. Most websites only need to have a small number of main categories. There should only be a few topics prioritized to ensure quality. In order to maintain balance between main categories and subcategories, there should be approximately the same amount of subcategories for each main category.
URL Structure That Goes Along With Site Hierarchy
The premise of URL structure is that when you click on a main category and then a subcategory, the URL should follow that hierarchy. So, it should begin with the name of the main category, and follow with the subcategory. This ensures that your users are being taken to the right place and that your site structure is intact.
Make a Header That Shows Your Navigation Pages
The purpose of this is that it lists all your main content in one, easily accessible location. The best one to enhance SEO is a simple top navigation menu because it is clear, concise, and gets the user where they need to go. These text links with corresponding anchors help improve SEO and provide a seamless user experience.
Establish an Internal Linking Structure
The importance of a website’s internal linking structure cannot be understated. It provides navigation, solidifies website hierarchy, and improves search engine rankings. Internal linking involves placing links on every page that go to and from another page on your website. The main navigation header works as a form of internal linking for main categories and subcategories. The purpose of internal linking for search engines is that it tells them which pages are the most significant and how to access them.
How to Improve Website Navigation
Optimize Mobile Site Navigation
Since so many people use their mobile devices to search things online, it is imperative that your website is properly fitted for mobile users. A smooth navigation experience for mobile visitors helps retain users and widen your website’s reach. In order to optimize your site for mobile users, you will need to simplify the design and only include essential information.
Seamless Site Search
If visitors are coming to your website and initiate a search, that usually means they have the intent to make a purchase or at least shop around. If they find what they are looking for with ease, that means you have a potential customer. And they could possibly become a repeat customer since the process was so painless. Proper search navigation is important so users can find exactly what they need and so they come back for more. A functioning search navigation tool is especially important if you have a website with a large amount of content or products.
Include a Mega Footer
Even if your website structure and navigation is relatively simple, users get tired of going from main category to subcategory. Amega footer is the perfect solution. It encapsulates the primary content on your site and provides navigation links so users can go directly where they need to. A mega footer also helps with keywords and boost search engine rankings because it is such an extensive platform to display information.
Menu Order Prioritization
People generally remember the first and last items displayed on a menu, while forgetting the ones in the middle. So, place the items you want to direct the most traffic to at the beginning and the end of your menu. You can put the contact or purchase category at the end to drive up conversions. The order in which you organize your menu steers users’ navigational choices.
- Why is website structure and navigation so important?
- What is the difference between website structure and navigation?
- What is hierarchical website structure?
- How to optimize my navigation for mobile websites?
- Does website structure and navigation improve SEO?