As soon as you hear the words “site architecture,” the first thing that might come to your mind is probably SEO. No doubt, Google loves a site that has clearly defined architecture and is easy to crawl and index. But this does not mean that your site architecture planning is limited only to SEO. Don't miss out on the bigger picture!
Site architecture isn’t just an effort to trick search engines into ranking your site higher. It’s so much more than that. Instead, site architecture should be a strategic effort that allows both organic and paid visitors to navigate easily and use your site for its intended purpose.
This means that site architecture is the older brother of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
When dialing in your conversion rate optimization, it’s recommended to focus on more traditional efforts. Typical conversion rate optimization efforts require brands to set up competing versions of the same page in order to see how they can improve them.
It’s like a battle fought amongst the web pages.
After a week or two of waiting and measuring, the best performing pages win. One of the page stays up while the others are discarded. Henceforth, the process of experimentation begins on the performance of the winning page to check if anything else can be improved. Sometimes, the brands conduct some multivariate tests to check if the changed elements are yielding any improvement.
Your site’s architecture focuses on building a platform that is easier for the user to navigate. If you happen to look into what site architecture actually is, you’ll typically see a graph that offers a genealogy like the depiction of how pages on your site interact.
It is very much assured that no two sites will be exactly alike, but the below given hierarchy style is a pretty standard example. You start from a homepage and then navigate through a series of categories and subcategories until you’ve found what you’re looking for. If this process is fluid then your users will have no issues. But, if the architecture is muddled and the user finds it difficult to find a page, then it’s possible that users will leave.
But does site architecture have a genuinely positive effect on your conversions? Indeed, YES.
A good site architecture that leads to good user experience can clearly act as a solid basis for Conversion Rate Optimization.
But breaking down the user experience of your website isn’t a simple process.
It requires a great deal of data gathering and analyzing to get to a point where you can indeed create a site architecture that works well for conversions.
This method is known as honeycomb model that shows how exactly your user experience can be broken down to help optimize the conversion rates.
If you can fulfill all of the requirements in the honeycomb model, then you optimize your sales funnel paths naturally for conversions.
Reason # 1 – It gives your site utility – The first step is to create a website that is useful and usable. The first step of the honeycomb model is to create a website that is useful and can be easily used. This addresses the utility and the function of your site in a few ideas that are easy to understand. But this does not mean they are easy to implement. When building out your site architecture, make sure you create an experience that helps your user find what they came for. This ultimately determines how people interact with your website. And how they interact with your website will, in turn, determine how many conversions you get in the long run.
Reason # 2 – It creates positive momentum – The next step is to create a positive, desirable, accessible, and findable momentum. Sometimes the user leaves the site because they cannot find a product, this means your site architecture can increase bounce rate and hurt conversions in a very direct way. So your goal should be to reduce bounce rate and create a site that is both easy to navigate and builds natural forward momentum. Also, the architecture of your site should be conducive to both a desktop user and a mobile user. If you only focus on one or the other, you are missing a significant portion of your potential audience, and thus you are losing conversions. Moreover, if your storytelling is engaging, you further gain the momentum.
Reason # 3 – It ultimately clarifies value – The last step is to create a credible and valuable site. If in case you fail to deliver a promise by creating a confusing site, then you’ll never be going to see any real improvement. Your users don’t always come to your website via the homepage. There’s a good chance they could enter at any given point, so long as they have the right URL. Your goal then, with your site’s architecture, is to provide value at every stage. Elements such as your permalink structure even play a role in helping your visitor understand where they are and what value your site offers.
Make sure you get your website designed and developed by only a professional web application development company. Assess your website development service provider to determine if they can help you build a user-friendly, responsive website with good site architecture. Only reliable website development companies have experienced UX professionals who can help you to determine the best information architecture, workflows, menu structure or website navigation paths.
Conversion rate optimization is a nuanced and technical field.
You need to invest a lot of time and effort to learn the ins and outs of what works and what doesn’t, and that often trips up brands that seek to experiment and grow their online presence.
Site architecture is the backbone of conversions, and following the honeycomb model and will surely help you improve your user experience.
If you do so, you will have more utility and your site user will be able to navigate without any hassle. From there you can use your site architecture to build positive momentum and keep people engaged with your brand.
Finally, you will have a more clear and appealing value proposition that users can find from any entry point. So now when you know the importance of site architecture for your website’s success, partner with a reliable web application development company to build a website that is fast, secure, easy to maintain, and has a rock-solid architecture.