There are a number of information architecture mistakes that can cost businesses when it comes to website usability and potential online custom, according to design expert Jakob Nielsen.
Mr Nielsen's latest Alertbox column suggests that some of the biggest no-nos when it comes to website design include a lack of structure, missing category landing pages - which can have a detrimental effect on search engine optimisation - and poor integration of sub-sites and microsites with the main website.
"Category pages ... help SEO because they're the most prominent landing place when people search for a type of product, service or information," the expert explains.
He also highlights the importance of ensuring that internal search and website structure are properly integrated.
"Search engine results page usability increases when each search hit exposes its location within the site structure," Mr Nielsen remarked.
He went on to list some of the biggest navigation problems that can also hinder usability, including hard-to-find links, non-fixed navigation and the use of unconventional language to describe pages.
Mr Nielsen pointed out that this last issue can also affect SEO as web users can only search for certain things if they know what they are called.
A recent study by Nielsen Norman Group - of which Mr Nielsen is the principal - revealed that while website usability is generally improving across the web, poor information architecture remains one of the main causes of site task failures.