Organizing and preparing your website content to give to your developers can be a daunting task. It’s finally time to put all the info about your company or ministry onto paper in a clear and concise fashion (Yikes)!
The hierarchy and arrangement of pages on your website has a high impact on your overall users experience.
By organizing your content, you help visitors understand and navigate your site, this quickly moves them towards what they are looking for and increases their conversion rate or likelihood of return in the future.
Strategic website content organization also helps with Search Engine Optimization. Well organized content helps search engines understand what your most important content is so that they will prioritize it accordingly.
Below are 3 steps that will help you simplify this process and organize all your copy and images.
1. CREATE AN ORGANIZED SITEMAP
When you’re starting to plan your website content the sitemap will be your cornerstone piece. Think of this as an outline of all of your pages and topics you’ll need to create copy for.
KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Website hierarchy should NOT be complicated. Most websites only need a few pages to be effective: Home page, services/products page(s), About/History page(s), Portfolio/Case Studies page(s) and a Contact or Request Quote page. If you are building a more interactive website with special features like a membership system or online store, there will be more pages involved with those.
If you are building a church or ministry website, you’ll have pages like: Ministries, Events, Sermons/Live Stream and Donate.
However, even if your website has 50+ pages/products, it can still be organized into 5-6 main categories so users are not overwhelmed when they first visit the website.
Here is an example of how you should build a SiteMap Outline:
- Home Page
- Interior Layouts
- Youth Ministry
- Men’s Ministry
- Women’s Ministry
- About Us
- Our History
- Team Page
- Mission Statement
- Business Founders
- How We Help Our Community
- Portfolio/Case Studies
- Project Details (Before & Afters)
- Community Projects
- Blogs can have an unlimited amount of parent & child categories. So can Sermon Managers. (Here is a good sermon management system: https://sermon.net/ )
- Store / Membership / Courses
- Men’s Clothing
- Women’s Clothing
- How to Courses (Here is an example of a Learning Management System we use: https://www.learndash.com/)
- Contact or Request A Quote
2. COPY CREATION
So the writing begins!
FOCUS ON YOUR AUDIENCE.
Rather than writing what you want to say, think about what your audience is looking for when they visit your website. What are their concerns and questions. Think about how you can organize your content in a way that answers their questions before they ask them. By focusing on what the audience is looking for, it often becomes clear how things should be structured and what’s most important.
PRACTICAL ORGANIZATION OF ALL PAGES.
Create the copy for each page based on the SiteMap you built in step 1. Use Word Documents. Content is king but too much can be…well too much. Stick with 500-800 words per page at most.
Make one document with your company or ministries “taglines” or “Call to Actions” that can be sprinkled throughout the website pages. Especially for the Home page.
Your website home page is the birds eye view of everything you offer and it is the main opportunity for conversion. So it is important. What you’ll want to do with this page is make a word document with the copy you will use on this page. But this page is made up of bits and pieces of your other pages in the sitemap.
You’ll have smaller blocks of text describing your main services/ministries. Snippets of your call to actions for products or sales. You will likely have a main banner at the top of your home page with 2-3 slides or a video background. The call – to – actions used on that banner or video need to be thought through carefully. They are the first thing users will see when they land on the website.
Your home page should be made up of 3-4 sentence overviews of different parts of the website and images and buttons driving users to those pages.
Here is what HubSpot has to say about Home Page Elements: https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31097/12-critical-elements-every-homepage-must-have-infographic
3. ORGANIZING IMAGES
Images are one of the most crucial elements on today’s websites. This is because many modern designs rely on images for that “wow” effect and color schemes of the website can rely heavily on the images used throughout the website. You can either provide our development team with your own images or as part of our services we provide image scouting. We can find free images at places like https://unsplash.com/. Images can also be purchased at an image library like: https://www.shutterstock.com/
There are 2 options for sending the development team your image wants.
- You have your own images or you are choosing specific images from unsplash.com or you have purchased images from shutterstock.com.
- In this situation, you will need to create a Google Drive or DropBox folder and place all or your images there. You can make folders for each page (based on your sitemap) and provide images for those pages in their corresponding folders.
- You would like us to provide image scouting for you.
- Please take some time to look through Unsplash.com or Shutterstock.com and compile a list of some images you like. We only need a few examples. Plus you can tell us what types of images you’d like us to find. I.e Mountain Landscapes, Oceans, Inspirational Shots of Individuals, Happy groups of young adults, arts, modern grunge.. Etc. We’ll find images that we feel match those guidelines and put them in the website for you. Don’t worry if you’d like what we pick, we can always change them for you.
SEND IT IN
So, now that you have your copy created, your taglines & Call To Actions and your images organized. It is best to put all of the word documents and images into an organized Google Drive or Dropbox. Then send our team the link to access those folders. If you are not familiar with either of those tools, then you can email all of the information to us. However, you’ll need to separate and organize your emails. Be sure that each email does not have more than 20mb worth of attachments.
For more help with content organization, schedule a call with one of our project managers. We are here to help you through this process.