Once you’ve decided to invest in a new website, one of the most important things you’ll need to think about is how you want to structure the content.
Read on for tips that will be useful to you whether you’re embarking on structuring and writing the content yourself or whether you want to get yourself up to speed ready for a discussion with your web development company.
Work out what your visitors will want
The first step is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they’ll want when they come to your website.
If you’ve got a website already, you’ve got a bit of a head start. Use your site’s Google Analytics (other visitor statistics software is available) to look at the most frequently visited pages and the pages visitors spend most time on.
You’ll also want to get help from the real world. Ask your customers what they’d want from your website by having conversations or by running questionnaires
Look at the trends and put together a list of the biggest things people will want from your website. Confine the list to the biggest things (you want to appeal to the majority, so worry less about the minorities) and start to think about how you’ll address them.
Work out what you want your visitors to do
The next step is to think about what you will want your visitors to do when they come to your site. This might coincide with what your visitors want but it might not.
For example, people might be coming to your website to buy something or find out more about your services.
Obviously, you’d be happy for someone to buy something. But what if the person who came to find out more about your services isn’t ready to make a decision yet? You might want them to sign up for your newsletter so you can continue to market to them so you can make a sale when they are ready. Think about how you’re going to encourage them to do that.
Equally, you might decide that there are some things that people want that you’re not prepared to give. For example, people might want to know your prices but you might not want to give them. In which case, you’ll need to think of ways to demonstrate how valuable you are so people feel they can’t afford not to be working with you.
Brainstorm the information you’ll need to meet both requirements
Now it’s time to put what your visitors want and what you want together. Brainstorm the pages and information that will be needed to meet both requirements. Bear in mind that not everything will need a separate page. For example, if you want people to sign up for your newsletter, you might be better off having a sign up box on every page that people can’t miss rather than a separate page that they could. And if you need to demonstrate your value, think about having testimonials on every page rather than placing them all on a separate page that’s easily avoided.
Categorise the pages into a logical and visitor-friendly order
Once you’ve got all the pages, it’s time to start putting them into a website structure. Place them in logical categories that put your visitors’ needs first. Each category will be a menu item on your website, so give it a simple and attractive title.
Depending on your plans, you may need categories and sub-categories. These will translate into main menu items and sub-menu items on your website. That’s fine – Google loves content-rich websites. But remember that people only want a handful of things from your website so make it easy for them by only offering handful of appropriate top level categories for them to choose from.
Now you’ve got a page structure, it’s time to start putting together the content for it. Enjoy!
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