Website structures that grow wild
By Helena Wennergren
We all expect it to be easy to find what we're looking for on a website. This also goes for visitors on corporate websites. 95% of the respondents in our Capital Market survey 2021 expected it to be easy to navigate on a corporate website.
A big part of the job when doing a website overhaul is the content structure and navigation. All content should be easy to find. Some content is removed and some is added to meet the needs of your stakeholders. The user journey is made clear and the content is created or rewritten to fit the current needs of the visitors.
Endless needs for new content
After some weeks, months and years, more content is added to the website. New expectations on sustainability might mean a new subsection that has to be added. An updated company strategy means that the content needs to be updated and perhaps requires additional content. The media team might have identified a new need among their stakeholders, and the annual report is released with new content that also should go on the website. The HR team is working hard to adapt to the changing needs of jobseekers, to ensure they get the right people applying for jobs at your company. The reasons for adding new content are endless.
For the first couple of pages and subsections it might work well to add these. But after a while, the content structure goes a bit wild and there are too many pages that must fit in the navigation. Similar and related information is added in several places, making it difficult for visitors to find the information and sometimes to know which version is correct. Even the web editors themselves find it hard to remember where to find everything. The larger the website, the greater the struggle.
In our Webranking research, we actively look for information on hundreds of corporate websites. Last year, we added a criterion about navigation to understand whether the websites that meet the needs for information also provide a good user experience. Although many companies scored ok, 26 companies - out of more than 900 - didn't score on any of the 6 measure points. Among the top 100 performers, only 18 scored 100%, leaving more than 80% not meeting all measure points. This means that a greater effort is needed to ensure that the users also find the information they are looking for. The criterion included measure points such as having consistent navigation without too many items.
The navigation should contribute to a smooth experience
It's quite easy to understand that the more content and information you have on your website, the more difficult it is to provide your visitors with a smooth experience and a navigation that makes it easy to find information. This only proves that the content structure is something that needs to be overviewed on a regular basis.
So how can you make sure your website structure is always doing its best for your visitors? Here are 5 tips when deciding if, where and how to add content to your website in order to keep your content structure user-friendly: