Let’s face it: looks matter. That’s why, when businesses revamp their websites, they devote significant time to its appearance and not as much time to its function.
Yet websites are one of the most powerful and frequently used marketing tools. So if your website is hard to navigate and visitors can’t find the information they are looking for, it won’t matter if it’s pretty.
If you are creating, revamping or reevaluating your website, consider these five simple yet often overlooked basics of website content organization:
The simpler the website structure, the better. Consider the content that will go on each page. Is it necessary? Can it fit in elsewhere? Remove or consolidate pages when possible.
Within the page, keep paragraphs short. Use headers, subheaders and bullet points to make the content easily scannable.
Find out what your audience wants to know, and make sure that information is prominent, both within the website navigation and within the page content itself.
Consider your website from an outsider’s perspective; if find that you can’t be objective, then get a small group of trusted clients, connections or even friends and family to review the site. You don’t have to take all of their suggestions, but they might be able to spot problems with organization faster than someone on the inside.
Your visitors should not have to search hard for the information they are looking for. Even if the content is buried pages deep, the path to get there should be clear. Don’t base your content organization on internal perspectives or structure. Instead, think about how your audience would actually search for a topic. The content that is on your website should be intuitive. Review websites that you admire and enjoy visiting, and consider what makes them so user-friendly, then apply that logic to your own content.
Encourage exploration of your site and ensure visitors find what they are looking for by including internal cross-links throughout your content, and utilizing sidebars and other prominent content areas to reference your most significant content.
The fewer clicks it takes to get to a page, the better. This is why so many websites include dropdown menus (and it’s another reason why you want to keep your navigation concise, since large dropdown menus can be overwhelming, as well as difficult to navigate on mobile).
Once again, make the most important pages the most prominent ones, and within your page content, make sure the key information is front and center.
Focus on these five basics and you will put some major substance behind that beautiful appearance.
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