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Information Architecture: What It Is and Why It’s Important

If you have ever worked on a website; whether that be creating your own for your own business or working on other people’s websites in an SEO agency, it’s very likely that you’ve come across the term information architecture. While you may have heard of the term, you may not truly understand what it means and the benefits of it. In this blog post we will delve deeper into what information architecture means, what it influences, the goals of it, the benefits of it and some quick tips for it.

What is information architecture?

In simple terms, information architecture is how your website is organized. It is the act of arranging different elements and information of a website into an ordered structure that makes it easy to use and easy to find.

The Information Architecture Institute defines information architecture as ‘the practice of deciding how to arrange the parts of something to be understandable’.

organizing website graphic

What does information architecture influence?

Arranging and organizing the data and content that is on your site affects many different parts of your web design, including the following:
Usability– the ease of use of your website by your audience.
Conversions– the process of a user completing a desired action on your site.
Rankings– the position at which your site is located in the search engine results.

Information architecture goals

For users the goal of Information Architecture is to:
• Make the site ‘user friendly’
• Enhance user experience
• Increase ease of navigation
• Create an attractive interface design
For SEO the goal of information Architecture is to:
• Create a structure that delivers relevant content to search engine spiders in a format that they can easily digest and understand

Benefits of engaging in Information architecture

Easy indexing– Sites that have a clearly defined and effective structure and sitemap are more discoverable, indexable and crawlable by search engines.
Reduced bounce rates– A clear and defined structure makes it easier for visitors to navigate through a website, creating a better user experience and increasing the likelihood of a visitor staying on the site and spending more time on it.

Quick Tips for information architecture:

Create a logical information structure that makes sense to users and is easy to follow. Doing so will enhance the user experience.

information architecture website structure

Make sure that you understand your users and cater your site to them. Your site structure needs to be catered to your audience for it to be user friendly. Take the time to research and understand your audience’s likes and dislikes, and how they would typically navigate through your site. One way to view the behaviour of your audience is click tracking. For more information on click tracking read our blog post: Click-Tracking: How Using Crazy Egg Can Help You Better Understand Your Visitors’ Behaviour.

click tracking crazy egg

Ensure that you’re giving the right pages the right amount of emphasis– Make sure that your most important pages (usually the broader pages with the highest search volume) are structured in a way that emphasises their importance. Doing so will assist with the SEO ranking of that page.
Don’t lose sight of your conversion process and the purpose of your site– It’s easy to get caught up in making your site look nice for your users or catering it to search engines but don’t lose sight of the conversion process on your website. Keep your conversion process in mind when organising your site and make sure your website walks a user through your conversion process.

No matter how big a website is information architecture is crucial for driving conversions, enhancing the user experience and assisting in the SEO success of the site. Hence why understanding information architecture and taking that time out to organizing a site is extremely important for the success of your (or your clients!) website.