In the recent poll posted here, many readers agreed that an organized layout is one of the most important features of a website and a few also commented that this layout is intrinsically linked with the site design. So how do you achieve this desirable design with an organized layout? I’ve pulled together some thoughts on how to do this in a way that will both move visitors smoothly through your site but also appeal to the search engines. The good news is that Squarespace already helps with a good deal of the site organization.
Consider creating a site map. If you have a lot of hidden pages, this may be a good thing to add to your site. If not, the Squarespace interface is pretty straightforward and you may not want to clutter your website with a site map, but you may want it for your own uses. Take a look at the pages and widgets you have to get a clear idea of all the items on your website. See if any of these could be better organized to make it as easily navigable as possible. Not only does this streamlining process make the layout clear to you and visitors, but it also makes it more obvious to search engine spiders.
It’s always a good idea to use other sites you’ve seen as examples, and then branch off to find what organization works for you. Every site is different and categories will be different. Think creatively about how to organize your information and who is going to be looking for it. Try to put most link options in one place so that people do not have to scroll all over your site to find out where to go. Also, be sure to make clear what link will lead to what information. Clever labels may seem fun to you, but it doesn’t make your site navigable and it doesn’t help get better search engine results.
Make the site what you would want to see as a visitor. You are a consumer too and you know what looks good and is understandable. Trust your instinct. Plus, if you really like how your site has come out, you’ll be more likely to update often and give the site the attention it needs. Most important, even if you have created a site you love, don’t let it stay stagnant. The best sites are the ones that are being changed. So experiment and see which layouts bring visitors further into your site and lead them to the information they are seeking.