site architecture

3 Reasons Why Designing Intelligent Site Architecture Matters

When it comes to working with websites, most people focus on the design, content or the offpage factors for search engine optimization. But one critical aspect of web design that often gets ignored is website architecture. Having a good user-centric design and architecture impacts conversions, the time spent on your website and search engine visibility. It may seem like a simple aspect of web design, especially if you have a small website, but making sure you design an intelligent site architecture helps in so many different ways.

The first obvious benefit that a good site architecture creates is an improvement in the UX design. Making sure that your website is organized makes it easier for users to find the content that they’re looking for and content they find useful. Creating well themed categories and subcategories and assigning content to tight knit themes is key to making this happen. Creating breadcrumb navigation can also help users immensely as it allows for a natural flow in content consumption.

Site architecture also helps boost your SEO results. By categorizing your pages into tight knit themes, it helps the search engines understand what your website and content is about. This gives your pages more weight for the keyword terms you’re targeting. Cross linking relevant will also help you pass of link value across multiple pages. This becomes incredibly helpful if you need a new page indexed or need to start improving the rankings of your lesser developed pages.

There are visible benefits to conversion as well. It doesn’t matter whether your goal is to get users to subscribe to your newsletter, share your content on social media, or make a purchase. Making sure that your content is organized in a logical manner will help assist in your conversion goals. Building a strong site architecture will help you decrease abandon rates right off the gate. It will also increase content consumption which is often what leads to users taking action on your website.

But when should you start thinking about website architecture? Many companies start out small, so they don’t feel the need to over-think it. This thought may seem logical but it’s ideal to start planning your site architecture from the very beginning. You can think about site architecture and your navigation as the foundation of your website in terms of how influential it will be to how your website performs.

Even if you don’t have much content, you can project what kind of content you’ll create and look at the content you have to start coming up with ideas to how everything will be organized. There is no doubt that your website architecture will change as your site grows but you don’t want to use that as an excuse to ignore it in the beginning. If you have a few themes, then start out small. The important thing is that you set up a good foundation you can expand on later.

In conclusion, website architecture needs to be taken seriously. Ignoring can hurt your search engine efforts, your user experience and your conversion goals. Working on this before the other aspects of your web design can also assist in smoothing out the design process, making it optimal to start your project with it.

Goran Paunovic

Goran Paunovic is a Creative Director of Chicago based ArtVersion Interactive Agency. He has spent the better part of his career helping companies focus their branding and visual face and voice to brands around the world.

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