As consumers continue to move to using online shopping and research to make final decisions for purchases, the usability of websites is coming to the forefront of marketers minds. One of the core portions of a functional website for consumers is site structure. If a website’s site structure is lacking and making it difficult for consumers to find the answers, products or services they are looking for, bounce rates tend to go through the roof. Addressing these potential issues head on can increase your site users and conversions with ease. Here are some of the common issues with site structure on websites and what you can do to improve your site’s usability.
Flat Vs. Deep Structure
Deep Structure focuses on creating long paths to reach specific information about a product or service while flat structures focus on providing information with a minimal amount of clicks on the website. While having a person delve deep into your site used to be the preferred method, this is now faux-pas. You have minimal time to catch the attention of a consumer and deep structures are now proven to increase bounce rates, hindering SEO success. According to “The Art of SEO”, any site with fewer than 10,000 pages should have all content available within 4 clicks on the site. If your site has portions that take longer to reach than 4 clicks, it is definitely time to consider updating your structure.
How Can I Fix My Site Structure?
The best way to create a flat site is to focus on your navigation, hierarchies, categories and the display of your content on your site.
Navigation: Make sure your navigation covers all unique content variations on your website. This may seem like common sense, but having your menus and submenus correctly label can keep users from searching. Be sure to have submenu items for all categories of products/services and easy access to supplemental content such as blogs, reviews, case studies and eBooks.
Hierarchy: Be sure that your content is listed in the back-end of your website properly and categorized in a way that makes common sense from a consumer point of view. This will enable you to create feeds of information, products and services on menu pages that assist the consumer in finding their needs quickly.
Sitemap: As always in SEO, ensure that your sitemap is up to date with Google. Whenever new content is added, be sure to submit your sitemap to Google for review. Google recognizes hierarchies and smart site structures. Reap your SEO rewards by updating and optimizing your site structure.