A professional yet customer-friendly website is a must-have for any online store. A professional and well-customised website can work as:
- A communication platform for customers
- A platform to display skills, goods and services
- Branding engine
- Marketing tool
- Interacting platform with potential customers
An effective website should be able to perform the above-mentioned tasks and even more.
Creating a superb website structure is not always going to be easy. It can be a time consuming and involved process, and it should involve thorough research.
The following are some tips that will help in building a website structure that will effectively work for your online store.
Tips for building a website structure that works for your online store
1. Have a clear idea of how you want the website to be
Before you go about building your ideal business website, keep the following in mind:
- What you want the website to look like
- Who are the target market of the goods and
services in your online store
- What will be the primary functions of the website
A keen consideration of the factors mentioned above will give you a rough idea of what your website will look like. Blindly diving into creating the website structure might be the one misstep that sets you up for failure.
Look at what your competitors are doing
How your competitors operate and what kind of business website they have will give you a good indication as to what already works in the industry. While creating a website structure, conduct thorough research on your competitor’s website.
Use your competitor’s weakness to your own advantage. If you realise that they lack a certain feature, ensure the feature is brought out strongly in your website structure. This way, your chances of capturing disgruntled clients and turning them into happy ones for your business increases significantly.
2. The website structure should be user-friendly
Imagine you have just clicked on an online store link only to find the website has hundreds or thousands of subpages. Imagine how frustrating it can become when the pages do not create shortcuts or links for clients to easily access whatever they are looking for.
It can be very annoying, and in most cases, the customer will not spend hours scrolling down your website. They will instead move to your competitor's website where they will find a more organised and user-friendly website structure.
Your website needs to be user-friendly. Meaning, your clients should never struggle to find what they want. To make your site user-friendly:
- Incorporate crawlers that can help the audience and clients access subpages
- Include links to the pages you consider the most
- Alphabetize the pages for easy access
- Have an easy navigation flow through the website pages
- Use clear fonts and font sizes
Make the content attractive and readable
Readability of your website is a key trait that most people ignore when putting up the organizational structure of the website. If there are huge blocks of text or the grammar is not up to par, then your potential customers will move to the competitors.
It is recommended that the clients should be able to get a good grasp of the information therein by simply glancing at the different pages.
Incorporate useful and enticing calls-to-action
Effective call-to-action buttons are essential in helping out your clients perform actions. Call-to-action buttons make it easier for your clients to find their way around the website. Besides, people appreciate being ushered in a specific direction; it takes that whole aspect of indecisiveness out of the equation.
Effective call-to-action buttons could include ‘order now’, ‘register now’, and ‘give a review’. They should also be easy to find and strategically placed around the website.
The bottom line is this, never leave your customers hanging when they visit the different pages within your website. Always have a call-to-action button telling them what to do next.
3.Incorporate ways that will bring traffic to your website
Creating a website that will not attract the right kind of online traffic is entirely pointless. In fact, when you are putting up your website, your chief purpose should be to structure it in such a way that it attracts traffic. This means making it easy to navigate, populating it with interesting and highly shareable content as well as incorporating several call-to-action buttons encouraging people to share your content with their friends and family.
The best ways to bring traffic to the website structure include:
- Sensitivity to SEO
- Encouraging sharing of your page’s link
- Include images and Alt Texts to your web structure
Having traffic comes with some advantages, key among them being acquiring new clients, who might also refer their friends to the goods and services you offer.
4. Have a well-developed URL structure
To have an effectively functioning URL structure, it is only logical to create a hierarchy of your online store. The hierarchy should have the main idea of the business, which is further subdivided into smaller units. It is important that the hierarchy has a few yet uncomplicated elements. If it is complicated, you risk tiring your clients.
The URL structure of different concepts will depend on the hierarchy you created. For instance, if ‘Harry’s online shoe store’ develops a hierarchy, and one of its stores is located on Dewey Street, the URL of this particular store could be something like www.harrysonlineshoestore.com/location/dewy.
Furthermore, it is recommended that the URLs have real words of the different components of the hierarchy and not mere symbols or short forms and abbreviations. This will help clients locate you quickly as well as easily remember the name of your website and store.
5. Always go mobile
Over 60% of all online shoppers surf the internet on their mobile phones. For this reason, your website structure should be friendly to mobile users. For this reason, create a computer version, but also create a mobile version of your website structure tool.
Unavailability of a mobile version will surely see the online store lose lots of potential clients.
In the recent past, Google algorithms have been putting their search priorities on the mobile phone users.
When customising the mobile version of your website structure, consider the following factors:
- Font Size
- Image clarity and whether or not they can be
- The layout of the page
Many online store owners overlook the importance of having a reliable and informative website structure for their stores. Many, if not all successful online stores have well-built website structures. If the website is poorly built, the store is definitely missing out on something quite crucial.
If the website structure is well-built:
- The sales are most likely to increase
- Interactions with clients will be a lot much
- The marketing of the goods and activities will be taken to a notch higher
A well-designed website structure for an online store incorporates aspects of SEO, easy navigation, well-organised information, images, calls to action, interesting and eye-catching designs, and readable information.
Putting together an effective website structure can be daunting, but it is definitely worth the effort for your online store.