A website’s architecture is key to its success. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of website architecture: why it matters, and how to create one that drives conversions.
This article will outline a simple, actionable method for creating a website architecture that drives conversions and usability.
A cohesive architecture gives visitors a well-defined path while guiding them through each sale step.
Use this method to increase your conversion rate.
What Is Website Architecture?
“Website architecture is the planning and design of a website’s technical, functional, and visual components before it is designed, developed, and deployed.” Website designers and developers use it to design and develop a website. “Techopedia.Com.”
Website architecture is the foundation of your online presence. It’s how you organize and prioritize content so that visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for and convert.
Website architecture is the blueprint that you use to create a website. It’s a series of decisions about how your website works, looks, and communicates with visitors.
Your site architecture is like a foundation for your house: it gives your entire business structure and stability. Without it, it’s tough for visitors to find what they’re looking for on your site or understand how they should interact with it.
Website Architecture Refers to Organizing Your Site’s Pages and Content.
The navigation structure (aka navigation scheme) The navigation scheme (or design) is how you present links to your website’s pages — where they’re located on the page, their color, size, shape, and style. Good navigation design helps visitors easily find what they want within your site.
The internal linking scheme (aka link structure) Linking within a single page or between multiple pages helps people understand how related pieces of content fit together—which pages are related to each other, what topics are covered on each page, and so on. When done correctly, links act as signposts that tell users where they should go next (and where they’ve been).
Why Is Website Architecture Important?
The site architecture makes up your website’s “bones,” so to speak. It includes everything from how many pages you have on your site to how they’re organized; what links you provide and where you place them; what kind of content you display in each area of your site; and how the user interacts with it — down to the color scheme used for each page.
Website architecture is important because it helps visitors find what they’re looking for on your site and increases conversion rates.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is about improving visitors’ experience on your site to get them to take action — like filling out a form, buying a product, or even reading an article.
If you can create a website architecture that makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for and complete their desired action, you’ll see an increase in conversion rates.
A poorly designed website fails to engage visitors and frustrates them. This can lead to high bounce rates, low conversion rates, and poor page rankings in search engines.
On the other hand, a well-designed website drives higher engagement and better conversion rates by providing an intuitive user experience. Research shows that users spend more time on websites with good designs than bad ones.
The Different Types of Website Architecture
In the early days of the Internet, web pages were simple HTML documents served up by web servers. Today’s websites are significantly more complex and dynamic than those early pages. They often use multiple technology tiers to serve up content, dynamically generate content, or both. The architecture used in these modern web applications is known as multi-tier architecture.
The Different Tiers in A Multi-Tier Architecture Include:
Client Tier: This is the browser or other application that requests and consumes the application’s data.
The database tier stores persistent data such as customers and orders within your application. Databases used by applications can vary greatly in size and complexity depending on your needs but will usually contain relational data tables with rows and columns of information.
What Matters the Most?
When it comes to website architecture, two things matter most:
- The user experience
- The conversion rate
Both of these things can be achieved through good website architecture. However, it’s easy to get caught up in your website’s other aspects and forget about these two critical factors.
The User Experience
The user experience is an essential part of your website. After all, if you don’t engage visitors and keep them coming back, you won’t have any conversions.
Here are some tips for creating a user-friendly site:
Make sure it loads quickly. People don’t want to wait on your website; they want to get what they came for and leave. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, that’s too long. Check out Google’s page speed test tool to see how fast your site loads (and how it compares to other sites).
Simplify navigation and make it consistent across pages. Don’t make visitors hunt for what they’re looking for—make sure that each page has only one or two main calls to action and that those CTAs are always in the same place on every page. And be consistent with your visual hierarchy throughout the site so people know where things are located at a glance.
Use appropriate design elements for different types of content and calls to action—like video thumbnails for video content or buttons instead of text links—but don’t go overboard with a fancy design for its own sake!
The Conversion Rate
The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take the desired action on your website. A high conversion rate means that most people who visit your website take the desired action. You can also consider it the percentage of visitors who buy something, download something, or sign up for your newsletter.
The conversion rate is important because it tells you how effectively your website converts visitors into customers. Search engines also rank websites based on their ability to convert visitors into customers.
If you want more traffic, you must have a compelling reason for people to visit your site. And if you want them to convert into customers, you need a clear call to action that tells them exactly what they should do next.
The conversion rate will vary depending on the type of business and industry you’re in and how well optimized your website is for conversions (i.e., whether it has a good user experience).
Tips for Creating a Website Architecture that Drives Conversions
Write a Strategy Down.
The first step is to analyze your current website architecture and write a strategy down.
- Identify the high-level goals of the website. Think about what you want your site to accomplish for your business (e.g., convert more leads, increase sales, attract subscribers). Then figure out how you can use the website to achieve those goals.
- Determine who the users are and how they will interact with the site (e.g., what content they need or want to see?). You should estimate the number of users and their technical abilities (e.g., do they know how to use technology?). This helps you match user requirements with content or features on your site to meet their needs while also achieving business goals.
- Create an outline of critical pages and content needed to accomplish these goals (e.g., products page, services page, subscription page) and make sure that each page has a specific purpose for both users and the business itself.
Create a Sitemap!
A sitemap is a hierarchical representation of the pages on your website. It can be as simple as a list of links with page titles or as complex as a visual representation of the site. It is helpful for both users, webmasters, and search engines to understand the layout of your website. A sitemap can be combined when using schema markup, which we will discuss in another section below.
Use simple text descriptions or elegant drawings that represent each section and how they relate to one another. You should include each URL, its corresponding title, and any meta information such as location in the site hierarchy, metadata, or keywords relevant to that page’s content.
How to Create a Website Architecture that Drives Conversions?
If you’re struggling with this, here are some tips for creating a website architecture that drives conversions:
Use the Right Navigation Structure.
If you want to increase your conversion rates, it’s essential to understand how people browse and interact with websites.
Websites are not just simple brochures that display information. They’re complex ecosystems where users interact with text, images, and videos in order to find the information they need. Therefore, it’s essential to understand how people behave on your website to optimize your website architecture and improve your conversion rate.
When designing a website architecture, you must use the right navigation structure. This involves ensuring that it’s clear where each page leads from another, so users can easily find their way around your site.
There are four main navigation structures: hierarchical, topical, visual, and mixed. Hierarchical navigation is used when transparent relationships between pages (e.g., an e-commerce site). Topical navigation is used when there are no clearly defined relationships between pages (e.g., a news site). Visual navigation is used when there are no relationships between pages, but they have some form of commonality (e.g., a portfolio site). Mixed navigation is used when both hierarchical and topical relationships exist between pages.
1. Use breadcrumbs in the header
2. Use breadcrumbs in the footer
3. Avoid using multiple levels of navigation (no more than two).
Get Rid of Unnecessary Links.
Don’t just remove links that take visitors away from your site; remove any internal links that don’t make sense or are no longer relevant. For example, if you have an article about how to make pancakes and it contains a link to another article about making waffles, either remove this link or update it so it points to a relevant article instead.
Next, think about how people navigate your site and adjust accordingly. For example, if most people arrive at your homepage from search engines and then click on an internal link to get deeper into your site, consider adding more internal links throughout the site, so users don’t have to keep clicking back to find new content (and thus stay on your site longer).
Create Landing Pages for Each Target Audience.
For example, if you’re selling shoes online, your website should have an easy-to-read navigation system and clear product descriptions. Your site must have high-quality product images if you’re selling wedding dresses.
It’s important to create landing pages for each target audience so that customers can easily find what they need on your site. For example, if you’re selling wedding dresses, you’ll want a separate page for bridesmaids’ dresses, mothers’ dresses, and flower girls’ dresses — all with beautiful photos and descriptions of the products.
Create a hierarchy of landing pages based on user intent. Each page should have one specific purpose, so visitors know precisely why they’re coming there. For example, you could have separate landing pages for contact, testimonials, product information, and customer service help articles.
Use the Right Keywords to Drive Traffic to The Appropriate Landing Page.
The primary step in creating an effective website architecture is to optimize your site for search engines.
Use keywords relevant to your business and include them in your title tags, meta descriptions, and the body of your content. This way, when someone searches for those terms, they’ll find your website listed prominently on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Know Your User:
Analyze your audience. Use Analytics to understand:
- Who your users are.
- What they want.
- How they behave on your site.
- What do they like and don’t like about your site.
Finally, use insights from the above information to inform the content you put on your site, its design, layout, etc.
First, Focus on Your Most Important Pages.
Keep best practices for conversion-focused pages in mind as you create the content for each page. Ask yourself if:
- The pages are easy to find.
- The pages are easy to navigate.
- The CTA is visually appealing.
- The pages have a clear call-to-action (CTA).
- The content on the page is easy to read, such as using bullet points instead of long paragraphs and including headers and images that break up text blocks.
Create a Hierarchy of Value
Now that we’re armed with an understanding of the importance of web architecture, it’s time to discuss how you can use this knowledge to create a site that drives conversions.
Use Intuitive Navigation.
Visitors can quickly and easily find the information they need when your website is well-laid out. This makes for a better user experience, making people more likely to stick around and eventually make a purchase. So how do you achieve this?
Keep It Simple.
Ideally, a visitor should be able to navigate your website in three clicks or fewer. Don’t overwhelm them with hundreds of menu options; instead, focus on the most important pages to your business. You can always add additional pages later as needed. Start by creating a main menu containing your most essential navigation options; on larger sites, you may also want to consider adding drop-down menus as secondary navigation tools.
Focus on Pages Customers Care About Most First. Even if you only have time and resources for developing certain parts of your website right now, prioritize those aspects that are most important for driving conversions—for example, product detail pages and the checkout process if you’re selling products online or lead generation forms if services are what you offer instead.
Highlight These Pages First As I mentioned earlier in my discussion about designing effective landing pages, make sure these primary pages don’t get buried too deeply within the site structure—ideally no more than two clicks away from the homepage—so customers aren’t distracted by other content along the way.
Lay Out Your Main Pages in an Intuitive Way. Try putting yourself in customers’ shoes and thinking logically about what they would expect next after viewing each page type; then organize your main menu accordingly rather than focusing purely on internal organizational systems.
Creating a Website Architecture that Drives Conversions Is More Complex than It Seems.
Creating a successful website The architecture for an individual website is more like creating a work of art than building a house. It’s easy to see why: a website is a collection of pages assembled at its core.
But having pages isn’t enough. The quality and cross-referencing of those pages are crucial, as are the high-level strategies behind the site structure.
Architecture can make or break your conversion rates by simplifying processes, amplifying value, and guiding users towards conversions through strategic design choices. A well-thought-out architecture will also improve the user experience, which has impacted conversion rates directly.
Website architecture can be challenging to get right. It’s often tempting to cram all your content onto a single page so you can show everything off at once. And perhaps you’ve done something like this in the past and driven some traffic, but at the same time, you also neglected key conversion-driven elements, such as calls to action or a clear call to subscribe to your mailing list.