I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Websites are like onions. There are so many layers to them and if you get these layers right, they won’t end up making you cry.
See, all these layers or your site navigation/hierarchy/map/layout etc. (whatever you know it as) are really important and is often overlooked. Good site navigation planning (mixed in with the good content etc.) is pretty much what [good] SEO is all about… And, really, most peeps/pets/search engine crawler bots just like being able to find things where they are expected to be.
So with this in mind, these are my site layout “to-do’s” before you move onto the actual design phase.
- Take the time to think about where you want your audience to go or do, and try and get them there in 2-3 clicks (max). Be intentional with your layout design.
- Try have no more than 7 main categories max unless your eBay or not able to group similar things. I’m not sure why 7, but it’s a number that seems to work (and also the 2-3 click thing), you kind of want to keep everything in reach.
- If you are building an eCommerce site, make parent categories a part of the product hierarchy.
- Get those subcategories out there – if a subcategory can be listed under several parent categories – do it! With so many different classifications for things, this will help your viewers find your product/service quicker. If it’s just listed under one, it might lead your viewers to think that you don’t have that product.
- Have more than one page, search engines rank pages and not the website as a whole, so the more info you are putting out there to the world, the better.
- Those google bots are shallow end swimmers and don’t like the deep end. So try and get the good stuff in those top clicks – but don’t overcook it – keep it logical (and simple).
- bonus tip – have an escape plan. Make sure that you can easily navigate through and out (without having to hit the back button). You want to keep your viewers moving in a forward direction, especially for those with eCommerce sites, personally speaking – that “recently viewed item” usually ends up in my shopping cart because it was easy for me to find as I was navigating through.
Anyhoo, I think that’s about it from me, for now. I do believe that your site navigation is a really important feature to your website and I really hope this helps. Taking care of this first will really drive everything else you need for your site.