It’s so easy to look at a website and think that it is a pretty little thing on the internet without realising what its real purpose is.
Like any other advertising medium a website is a tool that needs to be used with a plan to achieve the results you want.
What do you want to achieve?
When you start your website it’s a great idea to know from day one what the purpose of your website is:
- Do you want to sell products
- Are you going to showcase your services
- do you want to provide information
- is your site an online journal
- affiliate marketing
Once you know the purpose then you need to work out what you want your ideal visitor to do when they come to your website. Do you want them to:
- buy something from you
- join a mailing list
- click a link
- interact with you via comments/share your information with friends/social media
When you know what outcome you want your tool to achieve you can create the site with that in mind.
click to download pdf – structure your web content mind map
One thing that you always want to bear in mind is the visitor. So many people create a website based on what they like they don’t realise that it can be difficult for visitors to view your content, find your content and be engaged with your content.
Planning the site structure is the first place to start
If you are going to have a site with a lot of different topics that you will create content for then it needs to be divided up into logical order.
If you have a site on say dog training you would divide it up into specific sections of your website so it is useful and easy to find your way around. you might have a section for:
- Dog Training in general,
- a section on dog training for puppies,
- older dogs,
- abused dogs and the like.
You might have another section for:
- dog training accessories,
- frequently asked questions
Each section of your site would have content added to it on that particular subject. When adding content you need to think about how your ideal visitor likes to consume the content. Do they like to:
- look at images
- see videos
- listen to audio
You can play on the safe side and have content created in all mediums to suit all visitor tastes. This is not a difficult task and can be easily achieved.
One of the first things that makes an impression and sets the tone for your site is the website homepage content. You have a few choices here. You could have:
- a static page showcasing your important information
- a blog which shows your latest articles
- a hybrid structure which is a combination static page with a few of your blog posts displaying
Your homepage makes the biggest impression so it should be the place where you clearly plan out what actions you want your visitors to take.
If you want them to join your list for example make sure your optin form is clearly placed with clear instructions on what you want the visitor to do and why they should join your list. It is also a good idea to have more than one place with your optin form (or any other call to action you want your visitor to take).
Your website content plan also needs to include some ancillary information that is common on all websites and ensures you comply with relevant legislation and makes it easy for visitors to contact you. You will need a:
- contact form
at the very least.
Theoretically, it is better to have your important information in the top navigation area of your site and your ancillary pages at the footer of your site. This way visitors see the information that lured them to your site quickly and easily without being distracted by other information.
There’s a lot to think about when coming up with your website content plan. Often it is helpful to draw it out on a piece of paper first before you start creating your site.