Establishing a Website Content Structure
Follow this five-step process for organizing content ideas into an effective website content linking structure.
1. Determine what the website needs to accomplish.
How will visitors use the website? What role will the website serve in an overall communication system? Define specific content purposes before writing begins.
2. Brainstorm a list of target audiences.
Will visitors be industry-specific professionals or general information seekers? How familiar will potential visitors be with the website themes and content? Determine what types of visitors are preferred for the site and target content accordingly.
3. Correlate online needs and marketing messages with specific audiences.
What types of information will each website target audience need? What will the company or organization need to communicate to those specific audiences. List types of content valuable to each audience, even if content needs overlap.
4. Categorize information across overlapping audience needs.
Evaluate the list of content needs for each target audience. Begin to pull overlapping information into website section categories, and define audience specific categories. Minimize repeated information and maximize cross-linking.
5. Create a workable linking structure to meet a cross-section of those needs.
Establish link names for each category of information that will be readily understood by the target audiences. Organize specific content into sublinks and establish content descriptions for each proposed page.