What is Site Architecture?
Your site’s architecture can have a significant effect on the way your site is perceived by visitors – and search engines. Site architecture is the structure of your website, or how the pages connect to one another.
The easier it is for visitors to find your content, the longer they’ll spend inside your site – and the more likely they are to take action. Filling out a contact form, making a purchase or clicking a Facebook Like button are all actions made by happy visitors…not lost, confused or frustrated visitors who are more likely to press the Back button on their browser.
So, just like the boy in the 1970’s commercials for Tootsie Roll asked Mr. Owl: “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?” you should be asking yourself:
“How many clicks does it take to get to the center of my website?”
(Rule of thumb: it should take a visitor no more than 3 clicks to access your deepest content!)
Here are some ways to improve the way your site is built:
1. There’s No Place like Home
Is your homepage really a “homepage?” Or is it the 1st page your visitors land on, never to return to again once they dive into your actual content?
If you’re creating a free website from scratch, or are customizing your page/menu options, make sure your visitors can arrive home in 1 click from any page.
2. Link your Logo
This is a neat little trick that taps into something site visitors naturally expect. Clicking a website’s logo should immediately transport a visitor to the homepage. Whether your company logo is an image file, your name in bold text, animated clip art, or a mixed bag – it’s easy to link any item in your website to your homepage.
3. Cross-link Pages
Visitors shouldn’t have to “dig” to reach your deepest content. Linking related pages to one another opens up the navigation flow – for your users and search engines.
Cross-links for Photography / Artist Portfolios:
- Most popular photos
- Recently added galleries
- About this Gallery
For eCommerce Sites:
- Top products
- Promotional packages linked from HP
- Customers who bought THIS also bought THESE
- Recently reviewed items
For blogs / Personal / Article Websites:
- Similar posts
- Most popular posts
- Latest posts
4. Text Works Best
For your menu buttons and page navigation, try to use text-based links as much as possible, over images / icons / animations, etc. It’s cute to use a funky CD player icon to link to your music page, but guess what? It means squat to Googlebot. Search engine crawlers cannot “read” anything but text, so elements that are crucial to your site’s architecture should be expressed with words:
5. Save the Personal Expression for your Content
We see too many portfolios with impressive artwork that takes too long to find. We know Wix’ free website editor makes it tempting to express your creativity. But when it comes to providing online visitors with content – don’t be a unique rebel.
Instead, treat your visitors to a headache-free experience with:
- Easy-to-spot links
- Good old-fashioned fonts like Arial and Times New Roman
- Link colors in high-contrast with background colors
A Few Final Words
Most of Wix’ free website templates are pre-built with user-friendly navigation. There is usually a homepage and a menu set up and linked to four or five other pages. If you are using several master pages, it’s especially important to make sure people and search engines can get around easily! Go over these 5 steps.
Make your website is easy to get around, and everyone goes home happy…even robots.