The Importance of Website Structure to User Experience

website structure shown with 3 boxes of varying sizes on a screen

When it comes to engaging customers on the internet, nothing is more important than your company’s website structure. Structuring your website to maximize potential sales should be on top of your priority list.

The engaging structure increases potential sales but can also help with SEO. That means better rankings in Google and other major search engines. Without a good website and design, your business website can easily get lost in the fold.

Keep reading to find out which website structure is optimal for your business and why this is important.

How Website Structure Impacts the UX

It’s essential to recognize how your website structure and design impacts the user’s experience or UX for short.

Simply put, user experience is how a potential customer experiences your business’s website. Everyone knows first impressions are crucial – the landing page for your business is no different.

When thinking of UX, try to imagine the feelings a potential customer will have when visiting your website. Will they feel joy or excitement? Do they feel comfortable with your service? All of this adds up to the overall UX, which can often make or break your business.

What is Website Structure?

While the idea is simple–how your website is presented to visitors–many businesses often do not have a well-designed website.

When thinking of how your website is structured, think of your favorite company, such as Amazon or eBay, and how they organize their site. Is there a menu at the top of the page? Are their products easily located with clear descriptions?

All of these questions add up to the overall structure. When it comes to your company website, try to envision how a potential customer will navigate it. Having a clear and organized structure makes finding a product or service simple. It is imperative to consider since potential customers often only stay on a website for 10-20 seconds.

Why is Website Structure Important To UX?

Attracting and engaging potential customers is critical for your business to succeed. That is why structuring your company website is vital to the UX. Without a straightforward design, visitors will simply click on and leave your page within seconds.

Not only this, some potential customers may not be able to find your company website at all. SEO, or search engine optimization, is often a deal-breaker when trying to get ranked in Google and other popular search engines.

While it sounds complicated, SEO is essentially optimizing your site and content to get a higher ranking in a search engine. The better the ranking, the more visible your online business becomes. That means more clicks, impressions, and more customer conversions.

A cartoon woman stands looking at purple boxes and connecting them with lines

How to Set Up Website Structure

When planning the structure for your company website, begin by creating an overall goal. What specific pages do you want available to potential customers? How pleasant an experience?

Just as you wouldn’t build a house without a set of blueprints, you should try to plan out your website beforehand. That means thinking about how you want it structured. 

Without all the bells and whistles, such as animations and colors, your structure is what remains. If a visitor can find product information and other user pages on your site, this means your website structure is sound. 

Steps For Creating Your Structure

Below is a list of essential steps for structuring your website.

Know Your Business

Who are your customers? What niche does your company fall into? What services or products does your company offer? All of these questions are important in knowing how your website will engage visitors.

Know Your Keywords

Again with that pesky SEO. Simply put, good SEO relies on keywords that will get your company ranked in popular search engines. Many tools can help you figure out what keywords to target on your company website.

Know Your Competition

What do you like about competitor’s websites? What features or structure can you do better? Just as you wouldn’t go into a market without knowing who all the major players are, so should you with your company website. Think of how you can differentiate your company and gain those potential customers.

Create a Group Chart For Your Website

Starting with your main page, create a chart that organizes how you want customers to find pages on your site. 

Create Your URL Structure

With your page layout created, decide how you want your URL structured. The URL is essentially the web address for your company website. What URL will customers see when they click on your page? Is it easy to read or too complicated? Please keep in mind that when creating this, you avoid using hyphens in your site URL.

Use HTML and CSS For Your Design

Crucial for SEO and visibility. Keep your site design simple and optimized for search engines.

Once you have a basic idea of your company website’s flow, think about keywords or anchors that visitors can click on to explore your site. Internal links lead to customers finding more information, and more importantly, spending more time on your website.

Create a SiteMap For Your Company Website

Create a file that contains all the pages of your website. That allows easy updates and fewer headaches when trying to find pages. Please note that sitemaps also help your company website get found in Google and other search engines.

Cartoon characters use a protractor to draw circles

Different Types of Website Structure

Now that you know how to design your website let’s go over a few types of website structures.

  • Hierarchical Model: One of the most common structures. Sites that utilize this model have a homepage that branches off into categories and individual pages. 
  • Sequential Model: Guides potential customers through a procedure, such as signing up for a service or step-by-step instructions.
  • Matrix Model: One of the oldest structure designs allows visitors to find information through site searches or internal links.
  • Database Model: Ideal for companies that want to focus on metadata and classification structures. These types of websites rely heavily on metadata links for customers to find the right page or post.

Ideal Website Structure: Pyramid Structure

When designing your company website’s structure, you might ask what these types of models have in common?

The answer to this is a pyramid-style structure that allows potential customers to find the right product or service.

When choosing which model to follow, always ensure that your website’s structure is sustainable for future growth. Make sure your company site adds new categories and pages when necessary without being too shallow or impenetrable.

Parts of the Pyramid

While it may not seem important, you’ll want your website to have a pyramid structure that allows potential customers to find related information. When discussing this structure, think of a pyramid that has your home page at the very tip.

The home page is what your visitors see when they access your company website. That is where they’ll be navigating from as they look for your products and services. You must engage your potential customers here.

As you move down the pyramid, you see a second level with different categories and subcategories for your company website. Here’s where customers will find relevant products, services, or information on your website. Having clear and informative categories and subcategories makes website navigation easy while allowing customers to find that right page or post.

At the base are the individual pages and posts. Here’s the bread and butter of your website. These will include your products and services as well as information to engage your visitors.

Having a strong pyramid structure helps potential customers find what they’re looking for without distractions. By the far the ideal setup to have, as it will optimize your company website for a great user experience.

The Significance of a Pyramid Structure

Sticking to this ideal structure will keep you focused on how you want users to engage with your website’s presentation. The pyramid structure keeps designs simple and straightforward. It also allows you to know how your customers are finding your products and services.

No matter what type of website structure you choose, using this pyramid model should always be the focus. 

When it comes to structuring your website, you’ll always want the make customer’s UX your priority. That’s why you should choose to help you create the best site for your customers.

Whether it be designing or simply consulting with an expert, allows you to create the company website you need. No longer do you have to feel the stress of losing customers because your website isn’t performing as well as you know it should.

Visit today to get your online business started!