The point that content is the heart of your website does not need to be reinforced anymore to make you realize its importance. Whether you seek to offer services, informations or advertise your product, content is the main reason for you have a website in the first place. People will visit your site to find the thing they are searching for and as the owner of the website, your job is to help them. Hence, besides putting informative and well-written content in your site, their organization becomes a crucial factor.
The organization of content can become pretty challenging as you will have different types of visitors and your site must live up to the expectation of them all. Here are some factors that you will do good to consider while organizing the content of your site for different types of visitors.
Specify a clear information structure:
The most basic point to start with when organizing the content will be to specify a clear structure of informations for the content. If you have some experience in this field then it will help you to prepare a draft, although you should bear in mind that this structure is not something that you alone can decide upon. Rather it is the visitors who get to decide which content should stay and which one is to go. The easiest way to find out about how people are going to use your site will be to simply ask them. This way you can find out which type of content organization will work for them, but remember no matter which technique of content organization you adopt, the final structure must be decided by your visitors.
Placement of critical content:
After devising the structure of your content, now comes the time to decide where you can put your content. You will do better to start with the most critical content. Try to make an assumption regarding with type of queries people will come to visit your site. Try to address them and offer an outline on the landing page itself. Then you can make plan about where to display the less important contents and the way of arranging them.
Organize related contents into a group:
Another deciding factor for organizing the content will be to put relevant contents into a group. Again this relevance will not be determined by you, but by your visitors. Their idea of relevant content can be drastically different from what think is relevant, as in their case it will be decided by their goal and the way they go about solving it. If you organize your content logically by keeping the relevant contents into different groups or cluster, then that would make the task of your visitors easier. Within a short period and minimum effort, they can find the thing they are looking for.
Display only the relevant informations:
This point is pretty obvious, but there seems to be some websites that still has a long way to go to learn this lesson. This idea simply implies that you should offer only that bit of information to your visitors which is relevant to the context of the web page they are currently on. You should also have a fair idea about the path your visitors will take to achieve their goal and the different stages it involves to reach the end. While at the initial stage, you might need to convince them, but at a later stage you should make sure that they do not get distracted and go all the way to make the purchase.
Make an estimation about different types of visitors:
As it has already been mentioned that your site will be visited by a variety of customers who will belong to different target groups and will visit your site with different needs, expertise and knowledge. Your visitors might also vary in terms of their preference of content presentation- auditory, visual or interactive. While organizing your content, make an effort to identify the different strata of people who will come to your site. You can go for the creation of user scenarios to get a clear idea about your visitors and then prioritize your content accordingly. Before going ahead with the final design of content organization, make sure you have offered something for all types of visitors. This might involve the inclusion of same content twice in different groups, as their idea of grouping the relevant elements are certainly different from yours.
Provide multiple entry points:
In order to make your website more accessible to different types of users and clients, you can provide different entry points for them. You can clearly distinguish between individual clients and businesses, first-time visitor and repeat customer, experts and novices of your field. If you are able to identify different niche customers with specific demands and expectations, then you can as well provide separate entry point for each group.
Include the privilege of customization:
You can go for a more flexible design of content organization if you want to. And get your users involved to determine what is relevant and what is irrelevant for your site. The approach based on customization is specially suitable for the sites which are personal in nature. Adobe Creative Suite offers users the privilege to open or hide windows in accordance with their needs and preferences.
Take your content organization for a test drive:
Finally, the bottomline for the content organization is that you should not rely upon your own preference and logic but seek feed back from your visitors about what kind of content organization will go down well with them. There will be people who will come to your site to satisfy their multitudinous needs and your content organization has to match up to their expectations.