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Lesson 5 Navigation on the Web
Objective Web navigation applies the principles of Information Architecture

Web Navigation and Principles of Information Architecture

Components which enable Web Navigation

Information Architecture of a Website ties into its SILO’s

The information architecture (IA) and silos of a website are two interconnected concepts that play a crucial role in website usability, SEO performance, and user experience. Let's break down their individual roles and explore how they work together:
  1. Information Architecture (IA):
    • Focuses on the organization of content: IA defines the overall structure of your website, outlining how different pages and sections connect to each other. It's like a blueprint that guides users through your website, helping them find the information they need quickly and efficiently.
    • Key elements: IA considers navigation menus, page hierarchy, internal linking, and labeling conventions.
    • Benefits: A well-structured IA improves user experience, reduces bounce rates, and increases conversions.
  2. Silos (Content Silos):
    • Group related content together: Silos are thematic groupings of content on your website. Each silo focuses on a specific topic or sub-niche within your broader website theme.
    • Benefits: Silos offer several SEO advantages, including:
      1. Improved keyword relevance: Each silo focuses on a specific set of keywords, making your website more relevant for those terms in search engine eyes.
      2. Enhanced link building: Internal linking within each silo strengthens the authority of individual pages and the silo as a whole, attracting more backlinks.
      3. Topic authority: Silos demonstrate your expertise in specific areas, potentially boosting your website's ranking for relevant searches.
  3. How IA and Silos Work Together:
    • IA guides users to relevant silos: The IA should clearly indicate the presence of silos and make it easy for users to navigate between them. This could involve using clear category labels, consistent navigation menus, and breadcrumb trails.
    • Silo content supports IA: Each silo's content should be internally linked to relevant pages within that silo and to related content in other silos. This creates a strong internal linking structure that reinforces the IA and helps users explore your website comprehensively.
    • Silos inform IA design: When designing your IA, consider the existing silo structure and ensure the website's overall structure supports easy access to and navigation within each silo.
SEMrush Software
In essence, IA provides the framework for your website's content, while silos organize and categorize that content. By working together, they create a user-friendly and SEO-optimized website that delivers a seamless experience for your visitors.
Here are some additional tips for optimizing your website using IA and silos:
  • Identify your core topics: Define the main themes or niches covered on your website.
  • Group related content: Group pages with similar topics into distinct silos.
  • Create clear silo pages: Each silo should have a dedicated page that introduces the topic and links to relevant content within that silo.
  • Use internal linking strategically: Link relevant content within each silo and between related silos to create a strong internal linking structure.
  • Monitor and analyze: Use analytics tools to track user behavior and identify areas for improvement in your IA and silo structure.

By implementing these tips and understanding the interplay between IA and silos, you can create a website that's not only user-friendly but also optimized for success in search engines.

Website Navigation

Website navigation is important to the sucess of your website. The navigation system is like a road map to all the different areas and information contained within the website. Using a consistent navigation scheme from page to page helps the website visitor learn your website navigation system.
There are different types of website navigation:
  1. Hierarchical website navigation: The structure of the website naviation is built from general to specific. This provides a clear, simple path to all the web pages from anywhere on the website.
  2. Global website navigation: Global website navigation shows the top level sections/pages of the website. It is available on each page and lists the main content sections/pages of the website.
  3. Local website navigation: Local navigation would the links with the text of your web pages, linking to other pages within the website.

Website Credibility

Credibility refers to how believable a web site is; it is a perceived quality as judged by the visitor. A common goal in web site design is making the website more credible. This helps get a message across and the more believable your site is, the more effectively you can reach your audience and attain your goals. Good navigation helps you persuade and encourage visitors to do what you want them to. Note that the term persuasion is not necessarily a negative concept. In fact, the ancient Greeks believed persuasion to be a cornerstone of democracy. It is the abuse of persuasion that is negative. Making your site more credible, and therefore potentially more persuasive, does not mean relying on coercion and deception. Your organization has objectives and your website has objectives. You want visitors to register for a service, read specific content, go shopping, or perhaps even convince them to improve their own lives by programming in JavaScript. Making a credible site helps your cause.
In a large-scale study, design look was the most important factor influencing website credibility, and information organization was the second. When judging credibility, participants commented on how easy or hard it was to navigate the site and on how well or poorly the information fit together. The results show that easily navigable websites are likely to carry more credibility.
The Software layer is discussed in the next lesson.

Navigation - Exercise