Starting out organised – planning your website content the right way!
One of the biggest struggles that many of my clients face when it comes to building a new website is how to organise the content.
When you’re starting to plan your website content and site map, there are a few things to remember:
KISS (Keep It Simple Silly!)
The menu structure should NOT be complicated. It should tell your visitors exactly what they are going to get at a glance. Most websites only need a few pages to be effective:
Home Page: Often this may be the first page on a website that a visitor sees. At a glance your home page should identify your websites main offer – that is “what you do”, “who you do it for” and “what makes you different from your competitors”
About Page: This page usually shares some background information about who you are and where you came from. It’s a great opportunity to add some personality to the website – Make it Fun! Build up trust with target market by making it personal and add a photo of yourself or your team.
Contact Page: Rather self explanatory. Here is where you put your contact info, contact form, map, social media profiles, etc.. etc..
Service/Product Page: Now what if you offer a few different services? well that’s okay, this is where we break them out into parent/child groups.
For example take my website under my heading of “services” (parent), I offer – custom website design (child1), logo and flyer design (child 2), website maintenance (child 3) and website add-ons (child 4).
As each of these offerings are different it’s important that each get a page to itself as lumping them altogether is a missed opportunity when it comes to optimising your website.
Look at it this way, if you are solving different problems for different people by offering a variety of services, then you need different pages explaining how your product or service can solve a particular problem.
Beyond the top 4 mentioned pages, maybe you’ll need a portfolio, a testimonials page, an online store or a blog.
Even if you website has 50+ pages, it can still be organised into 5 or so main categories so as not to overwhelm your visitors.
Focus on your audience
One place where I see clients fall down with their content is that they don’t focus on their audience.
When you make the mistake of thinking that your website is about you, and about your product, and your philosophy you have missed the mark.
Instead you need to focus on your prospective customers. Avoid statements like “we strive for…” “we aim…” “our philosophy…” – If you’re not telling your audience how your credentials and philosophies are going to directly make their life better, they will move on.
Some of the questions you need to be thinking whilst developing your content include;
- Who are you building this website for?
- What are your visitor’s needs?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- How can you put their mind at ease?
- Will your website be able to easily fulfil your visitor’s needs?
- Are you answering their basic questions?
- Are you speaking to them in language they can understand (don’t talk jargon)?
- How will you substantiate your claims? E.g., testimonials, social proof, etc.
- Are you guiding your visitors to do something on your site, like take a next step?
- Is there a “call to action?” E.g., sign up for a newsletter, make a purchase, submit a contact form, visit a next page, etc.
Perhaps one of the most important steps before even beginning is to understand the keyword market. Everyone wants to be on the first page of google for their chosen keyword – goes without saying.
However you need to be realistic in your goals. How competitive is the market for your chosen keyword. Can you couple your keyword with a location. For example gaining a top spot within page one of google for “website design” would be a bit of a far fetch, however coupled with a location ie. “Wollongong” – now we are sitting pretty.
One of the best ways to validate whether the market you are targeting is viable or not is to use the Google Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to uncover the most popular and relevant keyword terms and will give you an idea of how hard or achievable it may be to gain the position you are after.
All in all, when you create an organised site map at the beginning of a website project it helps keep the primary objective in place. As a designer , having the information upfront, allows me to see the website as whole and the design can be built around the content structure, leading to a more effective and profitable website.CONTACT ME TODAY!