Last week, I did a content update for a local tech company. Mostly, it was a matter of reorganizing their information. This week, I’m working on a site for a local church. They had as many as eleven or twelve subheadings for each main navigation tab. This afternoon, we figured out how to get them down to four or five. It was really just a matter of reorganizing the information.
In both cases, the content was fine, but it benefited from reorganization. Would your content be better if you shook it up a bit?
- Identify your main point. Sometimes you just have sort of a list of things that you — or the committee — would consider important. The tech company, for example, had a lot of technical detail about their data center. Their main point, however, was, “Our tech skill and knowledge gives you a competitive advantage.” Does having a cooler data center make your pet shop or restaurant more competitive in your local market? Hardly. We’ll move that information to a blog post, where it will draw people who want to know, and replaced the specs with the aspects of the company’s tech resources that really will give their clients a competitive advantage.
- Identify your audience. The tech company needed to remember that other tech guys aren’t their primary client base, so their snazzy machinery won’t impress clients as much as their equally snazzy services, phrased in terms of the benefits to their clients. The church liked the idea of imagining people who might come to their website, so they could consider the user journey for each of the personas we developed. There are many approaches, but clarity about the audience — what they need, how they’ll find you, what kind of words they’ll understand, what problems and opportunities brought them to yoru site — clarity about these points is essential.
- Group what belongs together. Separate what doesn’t. For the church, combining things like all the items for children allowed us to keep their navigation from being too complex to use. For the tech company, combining all their hardware support services let us separate out and emphasize their coaching and consulting services — the most profitable part of the business. Identify all the items you have and see if there’s a better way to group them. This can be especially important when you’ve had your site live for a while. As small changes are made over time, and as things change in business or in the world, your initial sorting may not work as well any more.
Take a fresh look at your website. Identify and list all the elements. Sort them out in the best way possible. Then look back at your website and see whether it would be good to make some changes.