My heart sinks.
They just launched a new site, and now they think of a content strategy. It’s like going fishing. The new thought leadership content strategy is the bait, but the hooks and posts that make up the rest of the website are afterthought.
For a long time, we have focused on blogging and video content as the mainstay of content marketing.
The thing is, they’re not.
Your website – the information architecture that makes up all of your navigation and user flows – is critical to the success of your content marketing.
If your website’s navigation systems are meaningless and not optimized for search, you could risk losing potential traffic and conversions. Without hooks and fishing rods, you won’t catch any fish no matter how many you feed your bait.
Learn about 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 your AI
Before you can write and publish content on your site, you must first understand what type of content will appeal to your target audience – and how you are going to organize it. This is where your information architecture (AI) comes in. This is just how your site visitors will find the content they need and take actions (conversions) on your site.
Your AI controls how your content is:
- Organized in the navigation bar
- Tagged in breadcrumb and other links
- Navigated from various other pages
- Search by users
“When we created our new site, we knew we wanted it to be optimized for search and conversions from the start,” says Nick Phillips, co-founder of Children’s art box, a subscription box service, “The key to doing this was to start with a solid information architecture.”
Is AI the same as UX?
Information architecture and user experience are similar in that they are both tools for creating a experience for your site visitors. However, AI needs to be established before a UX designer can start building pages.
Content strategists generate a website’s AI in sitemaps. Then a UX designer can use this blueprint during their website building process. As a team, marketers and web designers can create a nice and easy-to-use architecture for their users. The goal is to make navigation on your site as easy as possible.
Businesses around the world can benefit from their site’s information architecture strategy. If people visit your site and can’t find the information they’re looking for, they’ll likely walk away and find their solution with one of your competitors. This can impact the bounce rate on your site, leave a negative user experience in how they view your brand, and most importantly, result in a lost opportunity for a new customer.
How the sales funnel should fuel your site structure
Understanding the sales funnel and how potential customers move through this process is key to designing your site’s information architecture. Your AI represents the solutions you have to offer customers, which Google and users will consider quite far down the funnel.
When users visit your site’s main pages (such as product or service pages), their intention is most likely to take some sort of buying action – whether it’s to buy something online or to fill out a prospect form. These pages will often have high conversion rates. However, you need to focus your content on the right kind of keywords – those that are closer to the buying phase than the thought leadership phase. You need the right hooks.
Your actual blog and the media content you own will primarily focus on thought leadership topics. This will provide people higher in the funnel with useful information that they can use to narrow down what they are looking for. To come up with blog ideas, consider topics specific to your niche, which a loyal customer would like to know. This can include tips on how to use the products you sell or news specific to your industry.
Marrying this thought leadership with the actual pages on your site and understanding how they interact can help you identify paths of least resistance. Figure out where your visitors are in the sales funnel and deliver content that matches their intent. When you have that in mind, you can feature calls to action and other navigation to hook them up and guide them through the journey.
Your goal is to find out what it takes for a person at the top of the funnel to read a blog post, stop on other pages, and then be encouraged to say, “Yes, I’m ready to buy. ”
“Closely pairing new thought leadership with existing and enhanced product / service pages is critical to the success of a content marketing strategy,” says Melissa Dreyer, Director of Marketing at STANLEY Access Technologies, “Without these two components working together, you could end up with a lot of traffic, but not a lot of conversions.”
Tips for presenting an organized site
Information architecture may seem complicated, but it’s easier to put together than you might think. You just need to consider what makes the most sense when organizing the pages on your site.
Consider these tips to help you get started building AI for your site:
- Keep it simple. You want the process of navigating your site to be simple and straightforward. Don’t add unnecessary distractions that prevent your users from finding the button you want them to click, the form you want them to fill out, or most importantly, the answer to their query.
- The simplicity also applies to the navigation bar. Keep your navigation bar simple and not overcrowded. A good rule of thumb is to keep the main navigation under seven items. Your page groupings should be meaningful and relate to each other, like service offerings or company information.
- Be strategic on internal links. Invite your site visitors to learn more or take a step towards a conversion by presenting them with links to the product and service pages or your Contact Us page. These hooks can get people from “simple navigation” to consideration quite quickly.
- Research your industry. Take a look at your competition to find out what the industry standards are for presenting and organizing your content.
Phillips says, “Our site started from scratch, and in just a few short months we are already ranking in the top 10 for a number of competitive keywords that we thought would take a year or more to rank. . The research and the efforts devoted to impact assessment have paid off very quickly. “
Please start your content strategy with your AI
To make your business more visible online and perform better with customers, you need to start with a solid marketing strategy. When you think carefully about your content strategy – starting with your information architecture – you can not only make an impact by delivering real value to your industry, but you can also catch a lot of new business – which has always been the case. the goal, isn’t it?