The organization chart seems to be an important driver for organizing websites. This reflects “inside-out” thinking rather than “outside -in” Thus you will see websites organized around departments. A prominent flower website has the URL that is organized in typical industrial era format, for e.g.
xxflowers.com/categories/valentines ; xxflowers.com/categories/wedding ; xxflowers.com/categories/anniversary
One wonders about reasons for this kind of “manufacturer’s perspective” and not “customer perspective”. It could be that there are different managers for wedding flowers vs. anniversary flowers. Or the financial/accounting system is around these categories. Or some other totally internal purpose that has a reason. There are good reasons why you have a Boss,Departments and Sections. But that may not have much to do with your customer need structure.
The trouble is that anyone who comes to these pages,in the flower example above, through organic search is not typing the word “categories” when looking for birthday flowers.And that affects the SEO ranking of the website. More importantly, this “inside” orientation does not help the internal organization get more focused on the different needs of the different segments of customers. Instead of thinking constantly about how respective markets for wedding and anniversary flowers is changing, managers are caught up with internal and supply chain issues.
Here are five tips to developing more effective website structures:
- Think like your customer: If the customer thinks occasion (eg. wedding) then have all the flowers appropriate for that particular occasion organized into one page that has a URL like xxflowers.com/wedding. Cut out the word “categories” and there is no need to insert “occasion” instead because no one types “occasion wedding” on the search bar. If the same flowers can go to other pages like the anniversary flowers page , it’s OK to repeat that particular arrangement in the URL xxflowers.com/anniversary. And if these happen to be roses have another page that has the URL xxflowers.com/roses.
- Think URL and landing page from customer’s eyes: Every page should be talking and presenting only one theme. If you have a page that is about “roses” make sure that there are no orchids on that page.
- Make sure that the images have “ALT TEXT”: Search engines like Google are getting better and may be soon be able to read an image. But for now you need to have every image titled with what the image is about from the customer point of view. If there are different types of roses then mention the word “roses” on every image description. Try to be accurate in your image description. Another specialized florist should not have to disagree with your description of the image.
- Install Google Analytics other analytics software: Make sure that have analytics code installed on your website. It’s free for Google Analytics and easy to install.Over time you will know amazing details about the visitors of your pages like visitor location,date, time on page, which other pages they saw, eCommerce, cart abandon and many others. So long as you have the analytics past data is easy to pull up even if you do not have the time to analyze immediately. At least the data will be there and help your next website re-design and tweaks.
- Decide which pages to promote in advertising: If your website is already organized around how your customer thinks- it becomes far easier to advertise particular pages. Thus if you are in the flowers business and you are expecting wedding demand over the Spring and Summer- you are ready to advertise that particular page. We feel sorry for advertisers who advertise and get a visitor to land on their home page. It’s just too much work for a visitor to figure out the “wedding” page unless they are really close to buying. And this goes for Google AdWords and PPC advertising, display advertising, Facebook advertising etc.
To summarize, a digital presence is customer facing and the website should be organized in a manner that corresponds to what the customer is looking for. About StratoServe Digital Marketing Services.