An optimum user experience (UX) design is vital to increasing traffic to a website and maximizing its visibility in online searches. Creating an effective website structure is the first step, after content requirements are collected. Website structure is the blueprint of the site. Creating it involves the strategic design of key facets, as described in this article.
Information architecture and navigation design:
Information architecture is the grouping of content into logical categories. Navigation design is the user-friendly arrangement of these categories in an intuitive flow through the website.
Both these elements of UX design are crucial to the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking of the website, as discussed further below.
For information architecture, content should be grouped into chunks in a way that makes sense to the user. If not, visitors will drop off the site, affecting conversion rate. Meaningful headers and sub-headers (internal links used to navigate the site) should then be assigned to these groups to create a smooth navigation flow. A thumb-rule is to create a hierarchy that is broad but not too deep. This way, the main categories are available at a glance on the homepage, and important content is not buried within the content structure – both will ensure a low drop-off rate.
After the basic framework is ready, content is designed with a sound marketing strategy in mind. The first step is to research and create content about key aspects: the primary goal of the business, products or services offered, its USP/differentiator with respect to competitors, and so on. Including strong keywords to reflect these aspects will give the site a competitive edge and help search engine crawlers to find and effectively navigate the site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Search engine algorithms determine how high a website appears in its search results. They assess the relevance of anchor text and internal links, so appropriate keywords sould be used in them. A thumb-rule is to link deeper vertically within the sitemap rather than cross-link between headers at the same tier.
The algorithms also assess the quality and relevance of backlinks (not quantity, as in the past). Generating backlinks to the site from external sources (through guest blogging and other strategies) will help get a higher SEO ranking and enable crawlers to reach the site from elsewhere.
In conclusion, if these strategies are adopted during the website design lifecycle, it will maximize traffic and visitor-to-customer conversion rates, thereby increasing revenue.