What Should Be Your Top Two Web Development Priorities?
On the surface, it may seem like web development is only relevant to the design of a website; what’s surprising to most business owners is that nothing could be further from the truth. Your website design may be as slick, sleek and dare we say sexy as possible, and still not receive any visitors because of poor information architecture and website infrastructure.
Just as physical infrastructure features like roads and bridges get you where you need to go in life, website infrastructure gets your audience where they need to go on your website. It’s companion, information architecture, is the art of organizing and labeling website content before bringing design and architecture principles to bear on it. It sounds complex, but it’s not entirely confusing. Read on for more information on these critical elements of the web development process.
Information architecture is a web development category that is made up of other building block subcategories. One of the most important is semantic search, which aims for better search accuracy by predicting the intent of the person searching. Rather than matching keywords typed into the search box against a huge database, semantic search is an “intelligent” automated practice that attempts to understand what those words actually mean to the user. This can have an impact on the business owner’s future SEO strategy.
Semantic search, a key component of information architecture, is all about context. If you, the business owner, can “get inside the head” of the user and deliver content with keywords that appeals to the context in which your user is searching, you are practicing good information architecture that can boost your chances of striking SEO gold and getting more visitors. Once the user is there, capitalize on the opportunity to engage, inform, entertain and convince – four steps to getting more sales. This is how your end goal can be met by focusing on information architecture in your web development.
Website infrastructure is primarily a matter of content hierarchy. It can help you create a more trusting relationship with your website visitors, by implementing an internal link structure that they can trust because it is friendly to search engines while still remaining easy for the user to navigate. Users feel confident in website infrastructure that allows them to access any page on the site within three clicks or less (yes, that’s the three click rule!). They also feel good about a website that honors their intelligence, with intuitive keywords on every page – not just the home page.
This benefits the business owner as well, because there is less need for ongoing SEO efforts when you structure your website this way. You can also become more authoritative on each level of your URL structure, as every new topic page that is added will bring additional value to the pages at the top of the hierarchy because of your strategic internal linking. This is similar to the concept of refreshing content, except you are doing it all at once!
It gives visitors a great introduction to your brand, too; when they see that each page is designed to equally inform them, they can’t help but be impressed.
By grasping these concepts, the business owner can see how web development differs from website design, and how information architecture and website infrastructure can ultimately affect your marketing. If you want more website traffic that results in increased conversions (sales!), make these your top two web development priorities.