How you organize your website content on your site determines how well customers can navigate and how fast your pages load. A good browsing experience that delights visitors is also an experience search engines like and reward through higher rankings.
Search engines are like your customers — they both like easy-to-navigate, fast loading pages. Organization should go hand-in-hand with content planning and website design. This will shorten redesign time later.
If you already have a website with good content but are still not attracting the right kind of visitors, you may want to get an audit of your site done to check whether reorganizing the content could improve your website performance.
Navigation, Theming, and Siloing
Your customers do not want to sift through several web pages to find what they need. When your customers can find the information they need, it makes for good user experience. That in return, makes search engines favor your site, ranking it higher for relevant search terms and send more targeted users to your site. To effectively organize a website, start with a content inventory — make a list of the different types of pages, the various themes and the relationship between them. This will give you an idea of how the content can be organized on the site.
Once you have done a content inventory, you can start organizing the content on the site. A well-organized site lays a good foundation for your search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing efforts.
- Navigation – Grouping similar categories and pages makes navigation simple with a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) mindset.
- Page Theming – Users want to find information relevant to the keyword or keyword phrase they searched for.
- Content Silos – Similar pages using the same themes should be connected using URL structures.
The primary navigation is the most important for user experience. Display the essential pages where users can find them, and search engines can quickly index them. Each section within a category should be included in the secondary navigation, making it easy for users to click from one page to the next. Linking relevant pages together within the text is another clever way to help users know which path to navigate.
Anchor text located in the footer will link users to more pages with similar content. To make navigation easy to remember for users, providing breadcrumb navigation allows them to easily go back if they know where they want to go next within your website.
Having relevant keywords within your navigational links makes searching and navigation easier and less time-consuming. This takes the guessing game out of where users and search engines should go next.
For a mobile website, the navigation is usually organized in an accordion menu. That can change how the links appear.
Pages similar in content or that follow the same theme should groupwithin the navigation menus. Start with the most searched for keyword phrases and choose one or two to develop your content around. For each sub-level page use the next lower searched keywords, and continue until you have covered the content according to your goals.
When writing your web content, use the most searched for keywords or phrases as your first heading or H1. Use other relevant keywords for the sub-headings. Your headings should be everyday user language, not technical jargon which leaves users confused. It is important to keep up with your competitors on word count as well. Your word count should be close to the competitor in ranking position number one.
The best organization tip would be content siloing. Each landing page will have vertical links within the navigation menu. Therefore, each sub-page will link back to the landing page, not necessarily the other sub-pages. You can link horizontally to other relevant content within the navigation silos using inline text links.
You have to determine how many pages you want in each silo; how in-depth you want to get and keep the visitor engaged. Use your content strategy to decide how much content is needed. You may decide to use sub-silos rather than an extensive amount of sub-pages.
Deciding on How Many Landing Pages to Use
You do not want a cluttered website; however, you need all relevant information available that your visitor could be looking to find. You need a landing page for each different concept or service. Not all of your visitors will start at the same landing page; this is why content siloing is so important.
When your landing pages are indexed, Google and other search engines can crawl them, rank them, and have them available for searchers. Knowing who your target audience is will help in determining how many landing pages are necessary.
Benefits of Content Organization
Organizing the content on your site logically can have many benefits:
- Customers will find the information they are looking for quickly which will reduce the chances of them giving up on your site and going elsewhere.
- If the content is organized, a customer may discover a product or service he/she did not previously know.
- Having the correct menu structure and framework to absorb any new content added will mean your site is scalable and can grow as your business grows.
- Grouping or categorizing content into subject areas will lead to lesser confusion about the pages among the users.
- Search engines are starting to think more like humans in an effort to make sure their search results are more meaningful to their users. As a result, they will only show pages that they think will be easy for humans to navigate and understand. Hence, even from the SEO perspective, your website will rank higher in search results only if it has well-organized navigation and pages. Higher rankings in search results can lead to more clicks and business for you!
Owning a website does not necessarily mean that you know everything about handling its content. Taking the help of experts in dealing with your site content can go a long way in helping you achieve the results you want. It can also save you a lot of precious time.
At Flying Cow Design, we have content strategists experienced in search engine optimization and content management. Our team will review your site and give you suggestions and recommendations for better organization of your site’s categories and pages.
Contact Flying Cow Design today to discuss the various options that are available to you for better organization of your site content.