The structure of a website is key to offering not only information and content correctly but also its positioning.
If you are thinking of creating a website from scratch and you are not very clear how you should begin to structure each of the pages and contents with this post, we want to make it a little easier for you so that you can make the right decisions from scratch to start designing it.
Throughout this post we will see all the details regarding the type of web structure we can meet, but also if you want to know more about the parts of a web page we recommend that you take a look at this other post that we have written.
Better understanding what the structure of a website is
We could define the structure of a web as the way in which all the elements are arranged and related to each other that make up said website.
When we talk about elements we refer to the type of content that a page can contain.
Without going any further, those contents or more basic and common elements could be: pages, posts and taxonomies.
In general, the more content your website has more complex and larger is the structure of your website.
Thus, any website has a structure in which the relationships, distribution and organization of all that content that make it up are defined.
The importance of having a good structure
It is essential since it affects other aspects of a website such as:
- Usability: the way users can browse our website
- Design: how our website is displayed and works
- SEO positioning: visibility in search results (SERPS)
- WPO: optimization of our website to load fast
- Sales / conversions: products that they buy from us on our website
It is therefore an aspect to take care of if we want, for example, that when a user visits our website they carry out the actions that lead to our objective, or what is the same, that they do not get lost browsing it or end up finding a 404 page not found error.
And how do we distinguish a bad web structure?
The most obvious symptoms can be:
Internal links that point to pages that no longer exist, offering a 404 error.
This is an error that can cost us the departure of a user of our website by not finding the content they were looking for or to which we have linked.
It is important to check links and redirect URLs when necessary.
Pages whose hierarchical relationship with respect to other pages is not correctly defined.
An example is that of subpages that are not shown like this in menus or sections of the web.
Another example would be subpages of services that are not linked to these and do not show that relationship clearly for the user.
A simple way to show those hierarchies of a website to the user at all times is to use the element breadcrumbs.
By using this element, the user knows where they are on the web and the relationship of a page with the rest, being able to go back to a higher level by clicking on the text that is shown.
Difficulty for the user to navigate through the web from one page to another passing through different levels.
Notices duplicate content by Google. This is a common error in the generation of similar or identical content, not allowing the user and search engines to distinguish between what is the most important content on a website.
Duplicate content is also an error that does not help us with the positioning of our website. A correct content strategy avoids these types of problems, common in websites that generate a lot of content.
Bad coding internally of the elements and parts of a web. We have the most obvious examples with the markings of the titles in H1, H2, H3.
If on a page instead of an H1 we put all the titles an H2 we will not be establishing a hierarchy or structure in that content.
Always try to establish a coherent title structure and with a certain hierarchy for the texts you are writing.
A very useful element to better define the structure of a page are the indexes, very common for example in news or posts.
The same happens with sections such as the header or footer.
Poorly optimized taxonomies.
It may be the case of having an infinity of categories and subcategories but lacking associated content.
It is also possible that the user cannot find that content that is linked to those taxonomies.
How should you structure your website?
Before starting to shape the contents of your website, it is convenient for you to know the types of web structures.
Of course the type of structure to choose will depend largely on your type of business or web project.
We are not going to have the same type of structure for a website that is a Landing Page as in an ecommerce.
In the first type of website we have a single page in which all the content is displayed, there are no internal links, levels, hierarchies between pages, etc.
In the second type of web, on the other hand, we can have many pages, levels, categories, products, etc.
Types of structures
Silo-type structures: They are structures in which there are several levels and within these the pages cannot be linked to each other, only in the case of belonging to the same group (for example, a category). Pages are linked from higher to lower levels and vice versa.
They are also known as pyramidal in shape, at the top level would be the home page and at lower levels pages such as services, who we are, etc.
Mixed type structures: They have the same characteristics as the silo but in this case the link can be to any page of the entire structure.
Cluster-type structures: These are the most complex to implement and are aimed at websites with a large amount of content that you also want to position. In them, the pages are organized in relation to a type of category or common theme, linking them together.
Some aspects to keep in mind
1- Create a pyramidal structure for your website that has clear hierarchies and has a certain sense of order and relevance to your content.
The upper part of “that pyramid” is the home page, the most important on your website and then one level below services.
2- Establish a correct hierarchy and internal linking design.
Internal links, in addition to sending a user from one page to another, serve to determine the relationships between pages and content as well as the relevance of one or the other.
A correct internal linking on your website favors the linkjuice, a term we use to refer to the authority that one page conveys to another in terms of SEO.
It may interest you: How to optimize the Local SEO of your website
3- Optimize your categories to be able to correctly organize all your content.
It is necessary, especially in ecommerce, to define very well a number of categories and subcategories so that all content-products are correctly organized.
In addition, we must take into account the size of categories and subcategories so that they all have a similar amount of assigned content.
You must also take into account a correct hierarchy, although it seems obvious it is not always done correctly, for example it can occur with certain frequency in the creation of subcategories that actually correspond to another main category of a product.
And one last recommendation regarding the categories:
Unless you are a huge ecommerce or a huge communication medium, do not mess with creating categories and subcategories, for most websites having five categories is enough and optimum.
It is better to try to narrow your content into fewer categories and subcategories than many.
4- Define and highlight your most important pages or content
What are the most important contents for the achievement of those objectives that you have set for yourself with your website?
In a hosting company like ours it is obvious, to sell our hosting plans and domains.
In our case, we highlight the access to the pages that host these services through our navigation menus.
In this way we are making the structure and hierarchy of our website visible as well as giving them the same relevance at the design and usability level as they have.
Having a well-designed and organized main menu is key.
Having a website in which its contents and pages are well structured is necessary, as we have already seen, and depending on the size of our website, the complexity to put order may be greater.
The implementation of the structure of a website is necessary from the first moment we start with a website, now it’s up to you to take all this into account.