When you create a website, one of the most important questions should be - what content should I include? Prior to building a website's information structure it's best to think about the type of information the website visitor will be looking for and what information we want to provide. There's not much point to a website on which you can't find what you're looking for.
So, what's the right way to do it? To avoid getting it wrong, you should follow these guidelines:
The first or homepage should make clear what the company does.
The homepage should catch the visitor's attention, leave a good impression, lead the visitor to further information or encourage some kind of action to be performed.
Often it may make sense to include your contact info or business hours directly on your front page.
Products / services
The product / service sections should explain what the company offers. Information should be detailed yet straight-to-the-point since the reader is unlikely to spend more than a couple of minutes on it and you have to make the most of this time.
People are commonly interested in the range of products or services, their quality and price.
A detailed contacts section is a must. It should contain phone numbers, working hours, your address and a map of how to get there. The section can include a contact form so that people can send a message without having to open their email program.
You may also consider adding the most important contact info (e.g. phone number) at the top or bottom of every page of your website.
About the company
You should definitely include information about the company. This section is usually called “About us” and includes company achievements, any big advantages and history if it's interesting enough.
A gallery section is recommended to illustrate your services or completed projects. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. To ensure a good impression, you should only post top quality images.
Catalog / shop
If the company makes or sells something, you should consider creating a product catalog. A catalog gives visitors the chance to get information about the items for sale by the company. By adding online store features, you can transform your catalog into a fully functioning online store. That way, the company's goods can be viewed and purchased 24/7.
However, it's important to know that creating and maintaining a product catalog can be a lot of work since each item requires photos and a description which take time to create, especially if the range of products is vast or regularly updated.
If a user is torn between two companies, one of which has a wide and beautiful range of products, and the other only promises that, the winner will most often be the company with the beautiful catalog.
You can add news, advice, publication and other sections by choice. The more valuable content a website serves, the more “lively” an impression the company leaves on visitors and Google which gives higher rankings to websites with relevant content.
Less is more
It's important to note that visitors usually spend very little time on a website so the amount of content isn't always key. Being able to find key information is much more important. That's why it's best to work on getting the page structure and section order just right.
These guidelines usually work best:
- No more than 7 main sections. This will keep your navigation clean and easy to understand.
- No more than one sub-level. This will ensure that visitors do not have to wonder through complex tree-menus to find what they are looking for.
You shouldn't worry about a large number of products or publications. Major sections like the catalog and news page are usually designed as single sections and don't dominate over the website's main menu. At least that's what it's like with websites created with Mozello.
At the very least, the structure of a website should be something like this.
Our next article will focus on how to format your content to ensure users pick up on as much information as possible.