A good eCommerce website structure
A well-structured eCommerce website is absolutely critical to the success of your site and the overall user experience. An eCommerce website structure should always have an optimized navigation system and an user-friendly interface, in order to attract more and more potential customers to your website and make more profits.
Benefits of a good eCommerce website structure
Some benefits of a good eCommerce website structure include:
- Website speed optimization : a website that have a clear structure require less front-end coding, the ability to send fewer requests to server and most importantly, faster load times. Not only that, search engines like Google can discover the website faster, which in turn improves your website’s SEO.
- Site links : those links will be shown in the search engine result pages when people are looking for your website. They help with attracting more customers to your website, and your brand can really benefit from them. On the other hand, search engines will most likely ignore your site links along with the website’s description if your site is poorly structured.
Building your website
So here are some tips on building your website’s structure :
- Creating a hierarchy: If you are building a new eCommerce website structure from scratch, having a hierarchical structure will definitely be useful. A typical hierarchy tree will have the home page at the top, main or sub category pages in the middle, and finally the item / product pages at the bottom.
- Simple navigation system: The best illustration of your hierarchy structure should be your drop down menu – which must always be user-friendly and easy to follow. In addition, you should be aware of some certain rules when it comes to designing menus for your website:
- Simplicity is key : the simpler your ecommerce website’s structure, the better it is to navigate. Avoid creating redundant menu and sub menu pages unless necessary. A popular rule of thumb is that your homepage can be reached from any pages in the website with just less than 3 clicks.
- Take advantage of side menus : when users select a category in your main menu, the website should take them to a sub menu (or sub-category) with all types of products in your database. Users can then narrow down their selections to find exactly what they want.
- URL Optimization
- The shorter your website’s URL is, the better.
- Keywords must be separated with dashes instead of underscores.
- If an extra character is not needed, don’t use it.
- Try to include a shortened description of your product.
- Lower case only.
- Mobile and desktop interface: Since most of eCommerce websites’ traffics nowadays come from mobile devices, you’ll want to focus on how your website should look and feel when users are navigating it on their phones and tablets. Because of the limited space in a mobile device, copy the desktop interface and put it in the mobile version is probably not a good idea. So what businesses normally do is building separate menu specifically for mobile devices with even more simplified navigation menus.
eCommerce websites can expand very quickly, and if you don’t have a decent website’s structure from the start, you will certainly fall behind in the competition. A good eCommerce website structure can help users search for what they want as fast as possible, and search engine will be able to discover and understand your website more efficiently, which ultimately improve your site’s SEO.