As a small business owner, taking advantage of social media platforms will help you reach your targeted audience easily and help you gain strong online visibility. Think of platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram helping you get new clients and grow your brand. In recent research, Pew Research Center found out that not less than 70% of social media handlers/users visit their social accounts daily. This knowledge along with learning how to plan a website layout is what your business needs.
Our previous post talked about the benefits that small businesses stand to gain in using social media marketing. However, that’s not the end, as you should also know how to plan a website layout to maximize social media for small businesses. Knowing how to plan a website layout for your business means you can give exhibit the appearance of a professional site if your business is just starting out. In addition, it will go a long way in helping you earn visibility, rank in search engines, and have high-quality scores for ads. Because you are probably new to this, this article will explain everything you need to know about how to plan a website structure.
The article will help you on how to plan a website layout. It includes what a website structure or layout is, why you should plan a website structure, some must-have pages for your new websites, how to use your website layout to maximize social media page, and a step-by-step approach on how to plan a website layout to maximize social media for small businesses. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
What is a Website Layout?
A website layout otherwise known as a website structure describes or shows how one page on your website leads to the other. The website structure also reveals the different pages on your site and how these pages get linked to the other through internal links.
In another way, it shows the passageway through which visitors will navigate the pages of your website. In these passageways, information on the website is viewed as organized. This makes it easy for a visitor vising the website for the first time to navigate your site. This means that your home page, posts, contact page, “about-us” page are well mapped out and organized before designing. Simple enough? Good!
Why do you need to Plan a Website Layout or a Website Structure?
Sadly, many small business websites look more like digital business cards rather than official websites. The reason is not far-fetched. Often, most of these businesses tend to jump quickly to their website visual appearance without taking out time to know how to plan a website layout. It is shocking how only a few web designers and owners understand why the structure of a site is important, what it takes to build a good website layout and how to plan a website layout. This is why it is important you ensure your site is built by professionals like our amazing team at Iconic Digital World.
Moreover, as a small business owner, the aim of having your business website is to bring in customers and clients who will become your stable customers. For this reason, learning how to plan a website layout or structure is as important as creating the site itself.
Let’s look at a few reasons why learning a good website layout is important, thereafter; we look at the must-have pages a good website should have before finally learning a step-by-step approach on how to plan a website layout to maximize social media for your small businesses
(a). A Good Website Layout Improves your User Experience
User experience is how a website visitor interacts and navigates easily with a website. It is also measured by how long a visitor stayed on your website. Research revealed that the average time spent by a visitor on a website is about 45 seconds.
If the designs, that is the colors, graphics, white space, fonts, and other visual elements that give your website its beautiful look are taken down, would your visitor still be able to navigate his way through your website easily? If your answer is positive, then you’re on the right track!
(b). A Good Website Layout makes your website easier to crawl:
Google and other search engine algorithms send “crawlers or spiders” when a new website is up or a webpage is updated to find every page on your website. Learning how to plan a website layout will ensure you have adequate knowledge to keep your site simple and easily accessible by search engine crawlers.
(c). A Good Website Layout Improves your SEO:
Search engine algorithms like Google, and Bing takes note of data such as bounce rate and time spent on a website. If a website has poor CTRs (Click Through Rates) and dwell time, it will not do well with SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). However, if a visitor stays longer time on your website and can navigate his way easily on your website, your website would perform well in search engines result pages. Therefore, learning how to plan a website layout will enhance your SEO (search engine optimization) and will improve your ranking.
(d). A Good Website Layout gives your Website Sitelinks:
Sitelinks are extremely important to websites. They are hyperlinks to website subpages. They appear under Google listings assisting users to navigate or walk through a website. Also, because site links occupy additional search results screen space, it pushes competitors in the same niche down the result pages. Whoa! this gets interesting!
Sitelinks SEO experts use site links to measure how a site can be trusted. John I. Jerkovic, an SEO expert, recommended that all sites should try to get site links, as it means authority and presence.
However, as important as it is, a site owner cannot add any site links to a site. Google adds site links via secret automated algorithms. So, how do you get Google to add a site link to your website? The answer is found in planning and having a good website layout. Do you get the trick? Don’t miss out on this.
Sitelinks are mostly determined from the user’s behavior, the number of times a webpage is accessed, the time spent on a webpage, and from the content of a webpage (if the page has commercial transactions, etc). Explore this special trick today before your competitors.
(e). Planning your website Layout Prepares you ahead:
Researching and planning your website structure will help you know what potential clients are searching for ahead and how you will compare with your competitors. In addition. With your research done, you will know what pages to create and not to create, you will avoid missing page descriptions, duplicate titles and supplicate page descriptions, and you will also know what contents you will need.
Our expert team can help you get ahead of your existing competitors no matter how long they have been in the game. With our super creative website designs, your web development, and SEO are a walkover.
Top 5 Basic Pages for your New Websites
To effectively rank high in Google and have high-quality scores for ads, here are a few must-have pages for your new website:
Do you have it? Good, however, don’t stop here like many small business websites.
ii. Contact Page
Don’t forego this for your contact information. Both are different and you need them
iii. About Us Page
This establishes trust between you and your potential clients. We will talk more about this as we go further.
iv. Individual Service Pages
Every part of your service deserves a service page. If you’re selling “electrical materials”, you should have a different page for this. If you’re also offering “house wiring” as a service, you should also have a separate page for that.
v. Optimized Blog Posts
Constantly optimized blog posts. It’s that simple!
How do you use your Website Layout to maximize your Social Media page?
Is a website part of social media? Partly yes! Social media and websites are two separate entities; however, they work hand-in-hand for businesses to maintain a strong presence online.
According to research, it was discovered that there are about 4.2 billion people who are active on social media platforms, and this is almost double the figure five years ago! What this means is the majority check social media platforms for updates then they check websites. From checking the weather forecast to knowing what is happening in another country. From needing a new job to finding a lost friend, social media is most people’s go-to. Websites have links to their social media platform so users can visit the company’s social media pages, and also, a company’s social media platform has a link to their website.
However, to fully register your presence online, your small business needs both a website and social media to survive. Both work hand-in-hand. To build a plan a good website layout, web designers, website developers, and social media marketing experts must work together. So, taking out time to learn how to plan a website layout to maximize social media for small businesses is important.
When you know how to plan a good website layout, your websites and social media pages can be shaped to attract potential clients and keep existing clients. Social media utilizes images, videos, ad interactive ads. Websites and social media should be attractive, constantly updated, and actively represents your brand.
Step-by-Step Procedures on How to Plan a Website Layout
All that said, let’s look at the step-by-step ways on how you can plan a website layout and maximize social media for your business.
These steps will guide you in creating a website with a great user experience, allow crawling and indexing by spiders, and also give you the best search engine result page listings and rankings. Sounds juicy, right? Let’s get started:
The below step-by-step approach on how to plan a website structure applies to new and existing websites.
1. Organize your website pages:
Organizing your website pages is the beginning of knowing how to plan a good website layout. This is the first step in how to plan a website layout. This is because the organization is the navigation through your site. You can use a spreadsheet program such as Excel or Google Sheets, a whiteboard, or word processors. Your web pages can be in a hierarchy form or patterned arrangement.
However, here are a few things you should know when organizing your website pages in a hierarchy:
- Write out the categories and subcategories you want in their simplest form
- Ensure each subcategory relates to the main category under it
- Try to even the subcategories for all the main categories. What this simply means is, if one main category has twelve subcategories, the other category should also have similar or slightly different numbers say ten to thirteen subcategories.
2. Create your URL Structure
The second thing to note as you learn how to plan a website layout is creating a URL that follows your website page hierarchy. A URL is a unique identifier used for locating a particular file from the vast array of files on the internet.
Basically, a URL comprises of:
- Protocol: (HTTP or HTTPS)
- Subdomain: (www)
- Domain Name
- File Name
A simple URL gives the best user experience. If you have your webpage hierarchy well thought out. This shouldn’t be a problem. So, let’s say, for example, your webpage hierarchy looks like the one given above, your URL structure should look like this: http://www.copaost.com/blog/page.html.
A domain name is more like your website identifier and the entry point to your website. So, you must choose a great name for search engine optimization purposes. Let’s take a few tips for coming up with a great domain name.
- Choose a domain name that is easy to spell and should be as short as possible.
- Choose an SEO-friendly URL devoid of numbers and symbols and contains certain keywords that describe the content of a web page such as “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/how-to-fix-a-broken-window-pane” rather than “https://www.example.com/index.brb?id_drb=450&plc76pas” which is not friendly and does not clearly describe what the webpage is all about,
- Use a proper domain name extension such as “.com” for your business website as oppose to “.net or .co” except you’re using other extensions such as .gov, edu, or, .org
- Use a more general address to accommodate future business growth such as Amazon.com. With this address, you are not limited to your present business niche.
- Make it catchy so it gets people’s attention.
- Research your intending domain name to be sure it has no registered trademark.
3. Create your Site Navigation Code:
4. Create a shallow and Simple Webpage Navigation Structure:
The next step is to create your navigation structure. One important thing to note when you learn how to plan a website layout is to avoid too long or deep navigation. Ensure to use shallow navigation. Too deep or long navigation can bore or confuse a user.
From users’ and crawlers’ perspectives, a website that requires fewer clicks to get to one’s destination is more preferable to one that involves more clicks
5. Use Simple Header for your main Navigation Webpages:
A header that lists out your main navigation page will enhance a better user experience. It can be in form of drop-down menus, disappearing menus, image-based navigational structure, or text links. While the first three may be unique and fascinating, a text-linked header will enhance your SEO better.
Also, you can choose to add a footer menu, however, ensure they follow the same order as your header menu.
6. Create a Prominent About Us Page:
One important thing to take along as you learn how to plan a website layout to maximize social media for small business owners is to let people know who you are and what your business is all about. Don’t confuse potential customers. Ensure your homepage visuals represent your products and services well enough.
In addition, have an introductory text blurb at the top page that describes you and your business. Your header and footer navigation menus should also have the “About Us” page links that are easily accessible.
7. Create an Engaging and Interesting Website User Interface
Of the many things that go into how to plan a website layout comes this. Yea! This is what every website owners and designers look forward to. Ensure that your website interface leaves a memorable and positive impression on your users. Implementing the following can help us achieve this.
- Get exclusive with your graphics! However, ensure they are compressed and optimized for fast loading to avoid getting penalized for ranking by Google.
- Use easy-to-read fonts. Avoid too dramatic texts else your information loses its quality.
- Research on your competitors and implement the idea that works for your business.
- Research on what your potential clients want and let them have access to it easily.
- Be consistent with your brand colors and stick to them!
- Incorporate call-to-action buttons where it is easily seen.
- Let your contact information be easily accessible.
- Respond quickly to clients and engage them with content.
8. Optimize your business websites for SEO
We can’t emphasize this enough. It is one of the most important aspects to consider when researching how to plan a website layout.SEO practice is an ongoing practice that helps you register your business presence. Its practice makes a huge difference for websites. When you apply the practice of SEO to your website, it increases your chances of getting crawled and indexed by search engines.
After your website is crawled and indexed, it competes with other websites with similar content. The website with the best-optimized content and designs shows up first on the search engine result pages.
Here are the basic things you should know about as you learn how to plan a website layout:
- Implement keyword research.
- Build a mobile-friendly site.
- Incorporate high-quality backlinks.
- Utilize internal links throughout your site to keep users clicking and reading your quality content.
- Design a fast-loading speed website.
- Link your social media account to your websites. (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc).
- Have your website secured by installing an SSL certificate.
- Create a plan to publish quality content regularly.
Many times, small business owners try to optimize and design their websites themselves. They often end up with a weak/bare website structure. This greatly waters down their usefulness to the business, costing them traffic that would have likely lead to more conversions. You wouldn’t want that. For the best service yet, contact us at Iconic Digital World and you’d be sure to get a great website layout that will earn you visibility in search engines.