Digital Content Strategy Guide: Part 1 – Site Structure
Chapter One: Site Structure
Without a good website structure you wont be able to achieve your online goals. Both website visitors and search engine spiders will get lost in a poorly designed site. Neither are patient, and will leave rather than spend time trying to find what they want. Always remember that there is someone else out there offering the same information, tips, advice, or suggestions as you. If you dont give your visitors what they need quickly, they will go to a competitor. The fewer clicks it takes to find a page, the better.
With your content strategy relying on your website as a hub for all your online traffic sources, you need to get it right. A good website provides a solid foundation for internet marketing.
So how should your site be structured?
Structuring your site like a pyramid
Think of your site structure as needing to be like a pyramid. You start with a small sample of relevant information, which is expanded upon the further down the chain you go. This is the common structure for almost all types of information, from newspaper articles to slideshows. You give a general overview of the topic in question (using your head keywords), which then lead to category pages giving more specific information, which in turn lead to specific text about one thing in particular.
Lets say you are offering graphic design services. Your head keyword would be graphic design. Sub categories could be design for print, design for web, and digital design. Long tail keywords (longer, more detailed phrases) for the design for print category could then go into individual formats in need of designing, e.g.:
- Graphic design for leaflets
- Brochure design
- Design for newspaper advertising
- Business card design
- Graphic design for posters
Linking to your most important pages
If one page on your website is performing particularly well, it makes sense to make that page more visible. If you are looking for email sign ups, and one particular article on your site has a ten per cent conversion rate, compared to a site average of two per cent, you obviously want more people looking at the first page. The way you distribute your internal links influences the flow of traffic around your site.
Following the pyramid system, traffic is distributed evenly between each page. Imagine your homepage gets all of your traffic. Traffic is divided equally between each of your sub categories, which each distribute traffic to each of their subpages.
Note: This is based on the statistical chances of people clicking on each page. In reality your traffic will land at different pages on your site, and not all pages will have an equal share of traffic. Hence the need for internal linking to drive traffic to your most popular pages.
But if one page in one subcategory is outperforming all the others, thats the one you want people to be visiting. Therefore you want to set up more internal links to point traffic to that page. Include a link in the body of the text in the parent category, so your best page has twice as much link power as the other pages in its sub category.
Next: Selling Your Services
Now you have a strong site structure that directs traffic to your most important pages. Now you need content that engages the reader and sells your services. Read Chapter Two: Selling Your Services, to find out how to get the most out of your website.
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