Information Architecture (or IA) is the way that your website’s content and functionality are structured. Organising information architecture involves reorganising, structuring and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way for your business. The goal is to help users find the information they need quickly and complete any tasks they have in mind. This needs to be done whilst building site and brand authority all at once. Organised IA is vital for a high performance and functioning site. Your IA serves the role of helping users understand where they are in your site, what information they have gathered, what other information is around and what else to expect from your site.
What Is An IA Audit?
When undertaking an Information Architecture (IA) Audit, our goal is to analyze existing information on the website and how it can be better structured to improve user experience. We also look at opportunities for content that doesn’t yet exist on the website but should to assist in increasing organic traffic to the website or an improved user experience. The aim is to have users land on the site and be able to navigate through the site intuitively. A user should always be able to understand where they are on your site and how their current location relates to the information they are viewing and the information they will view in their next steps.
What To Expect From An Information Architecture Audit
During a content audit for IA, there are a few steps involved. In order to gather information and context about the site, we will use different processes and tools. These include target audience identification and analysis, keyword volume research and competitor research of both direct and indirect competitors. If you have an existing site, this can also be audited for improvements.
Keyword Volume Research
During keyword volume research, we will be able to determine what keywords and phrases users are entering into search tools like Google or Bing to find products like yours. This can help us understand the goals of the people visiting the site as well as the content they are hoping to find and engage with. This element also ties directly into improving organic traffic over time.
Direct Competitor Research
Competitor research can be used to determine the industry environment. Direct competitor research is used to identify those that have product in direct competition to yours (that is, their product offering is, at its core, the same as yours). By auditing direct competitor websites, it is possible to understand how competitors structure their content and how they envisage the user journey for their own customers.
Indirect Competitor Research
Indirect competitor research involves researching competitors that have products that offer similar or substitute products to your own product (in other words, they offer a different solution to the same target market’s needs and wants). By auditing indirect competitors, we can identify tried and tested practices for different product areas.
Review Current and Existing Information Architecture
A review of the current Information Architecture is also completed. This provides a benchmark of what your site is currently doing in terms of information presentation on the website.
Of course, the last part of our Information Architecture Audit includes recommendations for how to improve the way the content on your site is organised. This may include:
- Addition of new pages
- Changes to the main navigation
- Updating heading tags & heading content
- Increasing the depth of current page content (with specific keywords)
- Internal link optimisations
- And much more!
How An Information Architecture Audit Assists Marketing
The overarching goal of an IA audit is to provide recommendations in improving the content structure of the website; with the goal to increase organic traffic, improve user navigation and increase goal conversions. After the audit and optimisations are implemented many benefits can be expected. Organic traffic to the site will increase over time, user experience and navigation will be improved (increased time on site and pages viewed per session) and lastly increased conversions due to improved user journeys are likely. Overall, an IA audit can improve the quality of your site to both your site visitors and search engines – and positively effect your ROI by increasing conversions.
Not sure if your site needs an IA Audit? Contact us for a chat today!