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What makes a Great Website? Part 1: Start with Great Architecture

Friday, May 01, 2015 by Tom Zulanas

You've got to have a Plan!
While most of us think of content first, if you don't have the Architecture (the plan of how all of that information is going to be displayed - or consumed) - your website will miss the mark.


Take the time to plan how your website visitor is going to experience everything.  This step not only gets your Visitors to the Right spot without too many Clicks; it too forms the way the SEO (Search Engine) spiders crawl and gather your SEO keywords/phrases.


Some of the Website Architecture is Art.

Experienced web designers know where people's eyes go when view the pages--knowing how to use and the placement of images--where logical placements for the menus, etc.  All to enhance your visitors experience.


First Impressions

It only takes 5 to 20 seconds for a First Impression.  That's all the time you have for your website visitor to figure out IF they are in the Right Spot; Feel welcomed & whether they will Click on the NEXT Thing - or quickly Exit your website.That's all the time you have - and that's where Website Architecture is critical.  

So start with your Site-Map to organize your website visitors experience.  Know that the Search Engines will bring your visitors to various pages and NOT always to just your Home Page. Depending on where they enter, you want your visitors to find the information they want and be able to move through your website process easily (i.e. knowing where to click next if they want more details or ready to buy) through a clean and easy navigation.

This is also where the Internal Links to your website become very important; as the Search Engine spiders will crawl through your website and may find many or a couple of broken links.  The Search Engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask.com, etc.) will mark your website down if you have any broken links.  But what is worse, when your website visitors find a broken link ...they just leave - possibly never to return.

One of the latest features that help to convert the visitor into actual sales are Pop-up windows that Invites visitors to a LIVE Chat.


On the technical side, the website architecture also enables search engines to crawl your content correctly; shows how the different pages are structured, displayed, and linked together. You can find a number of free tools to help craft a good architecture together ...such as from the website:

3 Great Website Architecture Tools for SEO:
Xenu Link Sleuth
- use it to Find Broker Links
- Find Duplicate Page Titles
- Find Page with LOW Internet Links
- Find Dead Level Pages

Screaming Frog SEO Spider


PowerMapper


What are other characteristics of a great website?  More to come...

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