Organizing website content can only be done with the right plan in mind. Without a doubt, content is king; it rules your website. If your website has too little content or none at all, your visitors will leave quickly and your bounce rate will rocket. On the other hand, a website with too much content could bore the reader, and it gets worse when it is not properly arranged; and in turn looks like a trashcan filled with a mounting pile of paper.
Your website has to be properly arranged, formatted and must include clear-call to actions. According to a research, it takes a web user less than seven seconds to decide if your website appeals to his cause. A well organized site that is user friendly can only be achieved with adequate planning. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to ease you through the content planning process:
- What is the purpose of your website?
- Does your existing content portray that?
- What content would you like to have?
- What do your visitors need? What information do they want to see?
- Are you answering their basic questions?
- Is there a clear call to action? e.g., sign up for newsletter, submit a contact form, donate, etc.
- Have you outlined your values, mission and goals?
With these questions answered, you now have a clear picture of what type of information your visitors are looking for and also what type of content you intend to give out. To begin planning and organizing your website content, you will need to begin with:
Brainstorming a long list of content
Having some quiet time with yourself just to think of potential content brings out the creativity in you. You save time and your work gets easier. You’ll be surprised at how much ideas you can come up with. Don’t worry about the mess you make now, get out a notebook (preferably, paper) and write whatever topics come to mind. You must start with a central theme and build around it. For example, your mission is to enlighten your visitors on website ranking specifics. This will tell you that whatever content you are planning to put down has to build around SEO. From there, the topics will start to flow and by the time you are finished, you will have loads of ideas for content.
Organizing Your Content
I will classify this into two steps. Step one will entail organizing content on paper (or computer.) Step two will be organizing your content on your website.
Mapping it out on paper
Most of the greatest inventions began on paper. If you can’t take your time to draft out the layout of your website content, you plan to fail. Lay aside technology for now, get a quill and parchment, or a pen and paper (whatever we use these days) and draw out your website hierarchy. The goal of this is to find the most appropriate way to organize your content. By drawing the hierarchy, you will be able to plan every aspect of your website; from the menus, page arrangement and content. This is free and worth the time.
Organizing content on the website
It begins with the menu. Menus are divided further down into categories and sub-categories. You have to be careful when assigning content to categories. If you offer various services, don’t lump them all together on one page (it creates a mess of your webpage and adversely affects SEO), try to assign each unique services to different individual landing pages. For example, if you run an online store which sells clothes, you would want to break these down into lesser but significant sub-categories: fabric, gender, etc which lead to individual landing pages. It is highly likely that visitors do not always enter through the home page so your services should have different landing pages which they can easily get to. This greatly improves SEO ranking.
Also, work on your main menu. Your main menu should tell the visitors at a glance where they will be led to on your website.
Work on your pages. The most important pages on your website are the home page, about page, contact pages, services and testimonials.
The home page: At a glance, a visitor should understand what your website has to offer. It should contain “what you do”, “what services you offer”, “what makes you unique”, etc.
The about page: Most of your visitors will want to know more about you. This page contains your background and your little history. Make it as entertaining as possible. If it shows the profile of your team, make sure the personality of your team shows.
The contact page: People want to know you really exist. The contact page is where you should put all that valid information about you and your organization; phone numbers, e-mails, address and probably Google map showing the location of your organization.
The Services page/ Testimonials: This is the page that shows what products or services you offer. Testimonials can also come in here. You want to make this as straight-forward and enlightening as possible.
Landing pages: Remember, each of the services you offer should have individual landing pages and they could be as many as possible. Lumping all you offer on one page will do more bad than good and could stab your SEO strategies in the heart.
Going Beyond Your Content
- Go straight to the point. Have a clear call to action.
- Shorten your content. Nobody likes to read long articles.
- Use Headers. They help make your content look structured and organized.
- Try something new and innovative.
Review your content organization
When you’re done organizing your content, you need to study your work afterwards. Does it make sense? Are the categories too many? Will your visitors like it? You could let people test your website and work according to their comments and reviews. Your website content will begin to take shape when you implement the advices of your visitors.
Organizing content comes with flare. It is a form of art of its own. So, take your time, enjoy the process and organize your website content. Make it beautiful.