After you have decided exactly what you expect your website to do for your company, it's on to the details. You need to determine what elements (website pages) you will need to accomplish your goals. Then it's time to sit down and figure out how to arrange them so your visitors can navigate from one page to the next in a logical, intuitive fashion.
Most sites can be broken out into sub-sections. Each of these sub-Specials then has pages below them that relate only to that main topic. Along with a link to the home page, links to the sub-category pages are usually placed on the site's main' Navigation Bar'. That's the thing on the top or on the side of every page. It allows your visitors to easily travel from one section to the next without having to backup.
There have been lots of physiological, psychological and archaeological studies done to determine where the Navigation Bar (nav bar for those in the know) should be placed. To our thinking, it really doesn't matter, just as long as it is placed consistently and it is visible as soon as the pages pull up. It helps a lot if it looks good too. Our site is based on the general rules of navigation. If we had a site specific search it might appear in the top left corner under the "Free Analysis" button.
You want your visitors to be able to effortlessly sail through your site straight to your marketing-goal-target-page. Chances are you also you want high Search Engine ranking as well. So before you get all hyped up about techno razzle dazzle, start with a piece of paper and draw yourself a site-map.
When you know how the pages will link to one another start thinking about what will go in the page'title' tag. This is a great place to put your keywords. Keep the names short and relevant to the page content. The page name will become its Domain Name i.e. seotreo.com/website-architecture. The Domain Name is the first thing the Search Engine Spiders ever see, so put your best keywords forward.
The Search Engine software designers (Spider-trainers) feel the word or words that are the hot spots in a link (the ones you actually click on) are very, very important. So if I make my Navigation Bar link copy read About Us it means one thing to the Spiders. If I make the same link read About Search Engine Partner it means something else, entirely. Like our site will get a couple extra ranking points because those goal oriented keywords are inside a Navigation Link.
Remember these critical elements when you start to plan or re-plan your website:
- Do your Marketing Plan first. Decide exactly why you want a website, what you want the site to do for your business and what steps you will take to make that happen.
- Make a list of the website pages you outlined in your marketing plan - be sure you understand how each page relates to the other pages and to your ultimate company goals.
- Create a site map. Draw it out on a piece of paper so you know you aren't creating dead-ends and confusion.
- Give each page a keyword rich name (Domain Name).
- Name your Navigation Bar links carefully with related keywords.
For more read our How to Increase Page Rank section.
Keywords: Website Architecture