How To Structure a Website
If you are reading this post, our guess is: You have either built a website yourself or by a web design company, and you seem unsure it meets the “perfect” website structure requirements for both the users and also importantly, the search engine.
Less likely also, you are reading this post even though you do not have a website and are just seeking to know how a perfect website should be structured both for the search engine and website users.
In any case, you can satisfy your quest by reading to the end.
Over time, designing a website to facilitate a good user experience as well as easy crawling by the search engine has been a challenge. This is simply because a developer’s understanding of how well a website should be structured is totally different from what users might expect, and in recent times also, how the entire site will be crawled by the search engine.
This is even worse and far more expensive when an already designed website with lots of visitors go through restructuring. Not only will it impact the users’ experience, but it will also affect how the search engine interprets the entire site.
So if you are yet to build your website, this post will really be timely. If you already have your website built, the ideas from this post can be helpful in the long-run.
This is because we will be sharing 10 Sneak-Peek Tips On How To Structure A Website For Users as well as the Search Engine. We took our idea from how the ants build their colonies, and then we blended it with what users and the search engine require in a well-structured website.
We got our Idea to write this post from the video below.
What is Website Structure?
With the rapid growth of the internet and the accompanying growth in the number of web pages and information on the internet, website usability and link structure have become a major concern to many. From my research and understanding of this concern, a website structure is the interlinking of all pages on a website from the front page to the main sections down to the sub-sections. A web structure type includes Linear Structure which is not very common, hierarchical Structure and the Matrix Structure.
website structure types
As stated above, there are three types of website structures namely:
- The Linear Website Structure: This type of website structure is used majorly on websites with fewer numbers of pages, for instance:
A sales page to Cart Page to Checkout and payment page websites.
- Hierarchical Websites: This type of website structure is usually found on multiple pages of websites, and it spells out the major items in hierarchical order.
- Matrix Structure: This website structure is not commonly used because it takes full advantage of the principles behind hypertext, or HTML and as such, allows users to determine where exactly they want to go on the site.
For the purpose of this post, we will be writing on the hierarchical website structure which is the commonly used type for all commercial and personal websites.
Again we will like to reiterate that we got the idea to these 10 Step-By-Step Tips On How To Structure A Website For Users & The Search Engine from the video above, how the ants build their colony.
Just as the ants organize their lifecycle/existence around a basic unit or colony, so also you will organize your entire menus and sub-menus around your singular website.
#1. Plan Your Structure
You really do not want to leave your website structure to chance. Starting out a website design project without planning out the navigation will fail to achieve the business aim in the log-run.
#2. Be purposeful and Logical
You’ve got to know why a particular menu item is where it is and not some other places. We all have seen the ant when they build. They exhibit purposefulness and logic. You may try to answer these questions to ensure you are on track:
- How does this item better represent my brand or how accurately does this item communicate what I do?
- Is it worth it having this item here or Can it simply go to the sub-menu?
#3. Do a balanced Sub Section
Although there is no rule to this, but from experience, it would be best to do same number of sub-sections, and same number of sub-pages
#4. Shallow Depth
User will love your site if in just three clicks they can get everything they want. Make sure your menus are not too deep, as this will impact user experience. To achieve a shallow depth navigation, use the breadcrumb.
#5. List Main Sections In Header & Footer
Since you want to learn how to structure a website, adding your sections into the header and footer is really a thing you should do.
This will ensure that users can find your sections anytime, & irrespective of the page where they are.
#6. Do External Linking
It doesn’t matter how eager you are about retaining your site visitors, the most important thing is user experience and satisfaction even if they will need to be shown other external resources.
#7. Ensure all Links Open In New Tab
One of the things you must do in learning how to structure a website is to ensure that all your links open in New Tab. By doing this, you help site users to keep track of where they are currently, where they need to be, and which webpage they are coming from.
#8. Use Inline Links
Internal links are ones within your content body that lead a user to more resourceful content on the website. If you must know how to structure a website the right way, add as many helpful internal/inline links as possible.
#9. Research Your Competitors
You already have people who already built their site, look at their website to get structuring idea.
#10. Use Short Names And Links
Obviously, you wouldn’t want a link length that users cannot remember when they need it again. Use short links and Property names.
#11. Do Your Sitemap
A sitemap gives you the opportunity to collect all your pages in a single file. This file can either be listed on your site or simply submitted on the search engine for crawling.
How To Create A Website Structure Diagram
For a website structure diagram, we will recommend the following tools:
- Miro. You can learn more about Miro Here or how to structure a website with it
Now that you have a good grasp of How to structure a website, what are you going to do first?
Is it the Website Planning? or complete competitor review? or even hiring an experienced Digital Marketing Agency to do these.
Whatever is your response, please do let us know in the comment box below: