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What Is Website Structure? Why Structure Is Important?

With a clear overview of what pages need to be created and how you anticipate that visitors will want to browse through them, your designer is much better prepared. When you have a list of 50 or so keywords, you can start identifying which are the most important and which of them merit separate pages on the site. Ready for a slick new website, increased traffic and more converting customers? Tell us a little about your business and we’ll reach out to get your project underway.

Adding anything else to your menu except your major categories might be distracting and unneeded. If you’re creating a parallax website, be sure to include a permanent header menu that stays visible throughout the scrolling process. 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. Yoast SEO has some handy tools to make internal linking so much easier.

This is why we’ve chosen to tackle website navigation design from A to Z. If you’ve organized your site’s content in a meaningful, logical way, you’ve built a solid infrastructure to support active users. Your navigation interface—like a main navigation bar or dropdown menu—must be carefully planned to guide users through the complexities of your site. Search Engine Optimization itself is an attempt to decode the algorithms of search engines and create websites according to what they will like.

Search or internal links are the best ways to navigate through all sorts of sites. Adding this hierarchy and categorizing to your pages helps your user 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. Finally, just like on your homepage, you shouldn’t add too many links to your menu.

how to plan a website structure

This is why we often anchor global navigation bars with the “Contact” page. In order to have a navigation bar made up of linked pages, you must decide which pages to include and group together. Generally, the navigation structure of your website creates an integrated system of information that helps users understand your website and locate information.

The internal linking suggestions even include other content typesMoreover, our tool allows you to indicate which articles you consider to be cornerstone content on your site. This way those articles will be shown at the top of the internal linking suggestions. 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.

Internal Linking With Yoast Seo

But what order or associations you make is ultimately up to what’s best for your company. In short, what information is most useful to your customer or potential customer after viewing your homepage? Broadly, data suggests that 86% of site visitors and consumers want to see information about a company’s “products and services” after viewing the homepage. Broadly, global navigation is guided by a system of best practices, and when including a global navigation bar or footer on your site, we find these basic rules to be fundamental. Communicated visually, a website’s navigation structure shows the amount of clicks or interactions it would take for a user to access the deepest information on a website. Beyond devising the systems and mechanisms that a user employs to find information, web designers also approach navigation by devising a website’s navigation structure.

how to plan a website structure

Internal link building with site content is a key tool to aid Google in “crawling” your site—or how the search engine finds, indexes, and ranks your pages. If Google indexes one of your pages, an internal link to another page will allow Google to access, index, and rank the secondary page, as well. Breadcrumbs are used as a navigation aid to help orient users within a website, particularly when many categories and subcategories of pages are involved. Breadcrumbs are also important when a user lands on deeper pages of your website from an external source or search engine. The “global” in global navigation refers to your whole site, and therefore, global navigation bars or menus should exist identically on all pages.

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A website is a collection of web pages and related material that has been published on at least one web server-like content delivery network and is recognized by a shared domain name. So, your website should be a portal into exactly what you have to offer as a business. A customer should be able to judge your business from your website.

Often, a “Contact” or “Donate” page in the navigation bar does not have a dropdown menu, and, instead, features a change in design to indicate a lone page item. While global navigation may contain subpages, clicking through to a page or subpage does not reveal an additional hierarchy of menu items. Navigation menus stay the same regardless of where a user is on your website, helping to maintain an uncomplicated hierarchy of information.

Ask yourself – if you were a website visitor, what information would you need to drive you to convert? Even better than asking yourself these questions is asking your visitors. Do some market research to find out what your visitors are looking for on a website.

  • That’s because tag pages can be perceived as spammy, low quality, and can sometimes be mistaken for a search result page.
  • How a web designer mixes and matches various navigation systems to fit the needs of your website is the foundation of good navigation design.
  • Generally, the navigation structure of your website creates an integrated system of information that helps users understand your website and locate information.
  • This gives an opportunity to guide visitors where you want them to go, by designing the menus, buttons and calls-to-action accordingly.
  • Nowadays, it also considers the content around the link to gather extra information.
  • The “global” in global navigation refers to your whole site, and therefore, global navigation bars or menus should exist identically on all pages.

Nearly all websites employ structural browsing—like systems of menus or sidebars—to help users find pages and like groups of content. 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. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-planned site – it’s well worth the time of planning and testing your intended structure. Your site will be unstoppable once it’s easy to navigate and has all the right content in all the right places. Once you’ve gathered enough feedback (asking one person isn’t enough), iterate on your original plan.

What Is Navigation Design And Structure?

If you have a big site with lots of categories, this may clutter your website and makes your main menu a poor reflection of the rest of your site. Where it makes sense, it’s perfectly fine to create a second menu. Structuring your website is crucial for both its usability and findability. Many sites lack a sound structure to guide visitors to the information they’re looking for.

Landing pages are the pages you want your audience to find when they search for specific keywords you’ve optimized for. For instance, we want people who search for ‘free SEO training’ to end up on the page about our free training called ‘SEO for beginners’. You need to approach the content of your most important landing pages differently than your other, regular pages. The word ‘taxonomy’ is basically a fancy term for a group of things – website pages, in this case – that have something in common. This is convenient because people looking for more information on the same topic will be able to find similar articles more easily. For instance, eBay has one menu at the top of the page – also called the top bar menu – and in addition to that, a main menu.

Yoast SEO Premium makes internal linking a breeze by automatically suggesting relevant content from your site to link to. 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. You should let Google know which page you think is most important.

how to plan a website structure

While better site structures result in higher ranking in search engines as for how a site is structured is an important ranking signal for Google. Over time, tags have become less popular – search engines actively remove them from their indexes. That’s because tag pages can be perceived as spammy, low quality, and can sometimes be mistaken for a search result page. But, if you create tag pages strategically, you’ll maintain a high-quality site. 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. It presented the user with several relevant links organized by topic, allowing them to pick next they wanted to go.

Step 2: Define Content Types

If your site is larger, you can divide these sections or categories into subcategories as well. Beneath your categories or subcategories are your individual pages and posts. In addition, the most prominent links on your homepage will be seen by search engine algorithms as important. The “SEO juice” from your homepage will flow to other pages on your site, in thinner and thinner streams the further away they are. Essential to UX, 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is critically important. Further, nearly 8 in 10 consumers say they would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device.

Step 4: Differentiate Between Category And Tag Pages

Make changes based on what users said what difficult to understand or navigate. Don’t return to the people you spoke with in round 1 since they’re already primed to understand your site and you won’t get first-impression feedback from them. You don’t want search engines to see content from two pages on your website and have them compete for the same search result ranking.

Whats The Right Way To Structure A Website?

The structure of your website has a significant impact on theexperience for your visitors. If visitors can’t find the products and information they’re looking for, it’s not very likely they’ll become regular visitors or customers. Entirely redesigned, the New York Times’ navigation structure now makes sense for the actions, behavior, and accessibility of mobile use. After you’ve answered the above question, simplify your navigation and devise a structure that is as flat as possible.

Starting a blog/website nowadays is not a difficult task but increasing its visibility and improving rank is the huge task we face afterward. This is the biggest challenge for bloggers, small businesses, and personal website owners. For example, an e-commerce site might have long-form content such as user guides or manuals.

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. Often, global navigation bars include links to service how to plan a website structure pages, product pages, contact pages, blogs or case studies. Local navigation works alongside global and hierarchical navigation to aid way-finding within certain subpages—or serves as a means to jump from page to page through linking. Usually, a user is given a set of additional menu items at the same hierarchy as their current page.

Creating a visual representation of your site layout can go a long way. That’s what a sitemap does – it shows the hierarchy of your website. Take the content types you defined in step 2 and organize them into a layout that makes sense. Linking between pages doesn’t define the site structure, but it does help with user discovery.

A consultancy site might have short-form content like an “About Us” page. A non-profit might include a mission statement or information about past donors. Once you understand the goals of your site, consider what types of content will help you reach those goals.

A good structure should, therefore, lead to a higher ranking in Google. Now a sitemap can be just a list of pages, like you find with the sitemap.xml files that search engines read. But for the purpose of planning it’s good to prepare a visual representation, commonly seen as an outlined list or a breakdown chart . Therefore it’s useful to establish which pages are your “cornerstone pages” that you want to focus on. In addition to aiding horizontal way-finding, local links are also important techniques to aid SEO.

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. GAP indicates that clicking on a section header will lead the user to a section landing page. Using Analytics, web and UX designers can track user navigation paths and flow throughout a site to determine which pages should take precedence in navigation. Trajectory’s global navigation system also extends to the website footer. But looking at these models demonstrates the necessity of using various mechanisms of navigation to create a balanced and efficient website. How a web designer mixes and matches various navigation systems to fit the needs of your website is the foundation of good navigation design.

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