It is almost inevitable. We are signing up for a new client who wants to create an amazing content strategy. We have a launch call and they tell us, “Yes, we have just started a new website and now we are ready to really immerse our content marketing strategy.”
My heart sinks.
They just started a new website and now think about content strategy. It’s like going fishing. The content strategy of the new thinking leadership is the bait, but then the hooks and poles that are the rest of the site are thoughts.
For so long, we have focused on blog and video content as the pillars of content marketing.
The issue is, it is not.
Your website – the information architecture that makes up the entire navigation and user flow – is essential to the success of your content marketing.
If your site navigation systems do not make sense and are not search engine optimized, you may be at a risk of losing potential traffic and conversions. Without hooks and fishing rods, you are not going to catch fish, no matter how much you feed your bait.
Discover the strategy behind the information architecture and how you can optimize your site for more user engagement and inbound traffic.
Your content strategy starts with IA
Before you can write and publish any content on your site, you must first understand the type of content that will reach your target audience – and how you will organize it. That’s where the game in information architecture (IA) comes in. This way your site visitors will find the content they need and complete the actions (conversions) on your site.
Your IA controls the ways in which your content is:
- Organization in the navigation bar
- Marked with crumbs and other links
- Navigation from various other pages
- Searched by users
“When we created our new website, we knew we wanted to optimize for search and conversions from the start,” says Nick Phillips, co-founder of Kids Art Box, a mailbox service. strong information architecture. “
Is IA the same as UX?
The information architecture and user experience are similar, and both are tools for creating a positive experience for visitors to your site. However, IA must be created before a UX designer can start creating pages.
Content strategists create a website’s IA on sitemaps. A UX designer can then use this design in the web design process. Together, marketers and web designers can create an enjoyable and easy-to-use architecture for their users. The goal is to make navigating your site as easy as possible.
Businesses everywhere can benefit from the information architecture strategy of their website. If users visit your site and can not find the information they are looking for, they will probably leave and find a solution with one of your competitors. This can affect the bounce rate of your site, leave a negative user experience on how it sees your brand and, most importantly, result in the loss of opportunity for a new customer.
How Sales Channeling Should Feed Your Website Structure
Understanding sales channeling and how potential customers go through this process is vital to designing the information architecture on your site. Your IA represents the solutions you need to offer your customers, which Google and users will consider far enough away.
When users visit the main pages of your site (such as product or service pages), their intention is likely to be some kind of buying action – whether they are buying something online or filling out a potential customer form. These pages will often have high conversion rates. However, you need to focus your content on the right type of keywords – those that are closer to the buying stage and not the thinking stage. You need the right hooks.
Your actual blog and multimedia content will focus primarily on thought leadership issues. It will provide people in the upper echelon with useful information that they can use to narrow down what they are looking for. To find blog ideas, think about topics that are specific to your niche, something that a repeat customer would like to know. This may include tips on how to use the products you sell or industry-specific news.
Marrying this leadership thought with the actual pages on your site and understanding how they interact can help you identify paths with less resistance. Find out where your visitors are in the sales channel and provide content that matches their intent. When you have this in mind, you can present prompts for action and other navigation to link them to and guide them on the journey.
Your goal is to find out what it takes for someone high on the channel to read a blog post, pause more pages, and then be encouraged to say, “Yes, I’m ready to buy.”
“Linking new leadership thinking to existing, optimized product / service pages is essential to the success of a content marketing strategy,” says Melissa Dreyer, Marketing Director at STANLEY Access Technologies. end up with a lot of traffic, but not a lot of conversions. “
Tips for presenting an organized website
Information architecture may seem complicated, but it is easier to assemble than you think. You just have to think about what makes the most sense when organizing the pages on your site.
Check out these tips to help you get started creating your website’s IA:
- Keep it simple. You want the process of navigating your site to be easy and simple. Do not add unnecessary distractions that prevent your users from finding the button you want to click, the form you want them to fill out or most importantly the answer to their question.
- Simplicity also applies to the navigation bar. Keep your navbar simple and not too crowded. A good rule of thumb is to keep the main navigation below seven items. Your page groupings should be meaningful and related to each other, such as service offers or company information.
- Be strategic about internal connection. Invite your site visitors to learn more or take a step towards conversion by presenting the links to click on the product and service pages or the Contact Us page. These hooks can make people “think” about browsing quite quickly.
- Research your industry. Take a look at your competitors to find out what the industry standards are for presenting and organizing your content.
Phillips states: “Our site started from scratch, and within a few months we are already in the top 10 for a number of competing keywords that we thought would take a year or more to rank. The research and effort he put into IA paid off very quickly. “
Please start your content strategy with your IA
To make your business more visible online and more successful with customers, you need to start with a strong marketing strategy. When you think about your content strategy – starting with your information architecture – you can not only make an impact by providing real value to your industry, but you can also get a lot of new business – which has always made sense, right?