It can be an extremely daunting task to planning for a website. The best way forward in any of these situations is to always have a detailed plan and strategy for the process. A good website design is more vital than ever in this new digital era, an era where user engagement and experience are placed above anything else.
This article aims at enhancing your knowledge on the subject of website design. It will cover topics such as whats is a website structure, how to plan for it, and what you need to keep in mind while designing your website.
What is a website structure?
In simple terms, this is how your website sites will be connected. For example, how your main page will lead to all your other pages showcasing your services or products. Something like a sitemap or navigation for your entire website.
Why should you plan for a website structure?
No one can build a car or construct a house without a plan of action first. The same principle applies to a website structure as well. When we talk about website structure, it also includes the blogs and all internal links to your website as well.
Below all the fonts and colors and designs, what remain is the structure and this is where the true information that the customer or user is looking for lies. Yes, the design elements help a lot and help with the overall user experience and design of the website, but at the end of the day if the user is not able to navigate properly for example, then there is no point in what color you used as the background. If the user is able to access their required information easily it enhances their experience tenfold.
Another important aspect a good structure takes care of is your SEO. the search engine if you have a good structure, will know how your connect is to be connected. This all ties into you having good internal linking when creating content groups for the pages on your website. Not only this but a good structure also helps in making your website easier to crawl. For your website to appear on the search engines it needs to be accessible to a web crawler. Hence having a sitemap for this is extremely crucial.
All this has a direct impact on your SEO. With a good website structure it can help you with the following:
- The internal linking of your website
- The user experience
- Your SEO
- Usability of your website as a whole i.e it’s simplicity
How does planning your website structure helps to maintain your expectations and set certain goals?
Whenever you plan for your website structure it is obvious that you’ll find yourself looking into all your competitors and also doing some keyword research. This process automatically creates a good foundation for your site navigation and content. The process will also allow you to have a rough estimate of the level of traffic you can expect. With all this data you can start calculating the number of conversions you might receive and know what has to be done to get a higher CRO.
Hence you can see how everything is connected with each other. By making an effort into something as simple as looking into what your competitors are doing you get so much information and can make your own plan.
Following are a list of things to keep in mind while making a structure for your website:
- Understanding your buyer/users personas
Whenever you are starting a marketing project you must first create a buyer’s persona. This helps in the following ways:
- This will help you understand your audience and what they need from your website
- By knowing what they need you can start creating more intent-based content to that need
- You are able to design the website to those specifications that meet all these requirements and challenges
- Understanding what your buyers/users path
Once you have understood what your buyer’s persona is, you can start to map out what their journey on your website will look like. This means once they land your website where do they go from there. By adopting this method you can strategize your content in such a way that it leads to more sales and conversions. Typically this is a three-stage process:
- Making your sitemap
Once you know the journey you want to take your buyer on you need to start creating the design for it. A sitemap for your website will clear your doubts on the following aspects:
- The way in which you want to organize your website
- The navigation for your users on the site
- The overall structure of the website
Your sitemap should be created in a hierarchy. Start from the home page and then move based on the importance of the page. Once you have established the basic flow of the website you can move can approach designers and developers to make it all happen.
- The content
After all the structuring is done you can start to focus on the content for the website. For content writing there are two basic points to keep in mind:
- Keywords: even though it is important to incorporate keywords and it does help your website you have to make sure it is not forced in. It should be placed in a natural way within your website.
- Content should be created in such a way that it solves the problem for the user. The connection between the problem and solution should be made simple for them.
- Creating website pages in a clear manner
Whenever you are creating web pages, the goal must be conversions. In other words, the intent for each page must be singular and that intent must be made clear, must be communicated well to your users. If someone lands on your website for a particular purpose don’t make them spend extra time looking for it on the different pages around your website. This will only make your user lose interest in your website faster.