Getting Results with Web Pages

Web developers and people that want to make a web site for some purpose are trained to think of the web site as a hierarchy. In tech speak this hierarchy is called the sitemap. The sitemap consists of a home page with child pages and child pages can link to other child pages. The engineers then go about making a navigation bar that uses the sitemap to put hyperlinks on web pages.

In your head you’re probably thinking that to make a good web site you need to have good navigation. Good marketers know the secret though, every page is a step in a workflow where you are wanting the visitor to take some action. The secret is not about navigation and hierarchy, but the actions you are getting your visitor to take. An action might be to look up a sports score, to read news, to sign up for a newsletter, or to buy a product. In reality, there is no rule that everyone coming to your site needs to start with the “top” page or the “home” page. In fact, it’s better if you target different visitors with different “landing” pages. The landing page is not a hierarchy, but is where a specific person starts taking action with your web site. If you generate traffic by referring Facebook users to your site to sign up for a newsletter, then it’s more effective to have a specific landing page that assumes the person is coming from Facebook and talk to them as people on Facebook talk. Have them take actions that people on Facebook take. It might be appropriate to have a Like button on this page.

For the same product, you might want seniors coming to your web site to take action to come to a separate page where you will talk to them using different words. On this page you won’t have a Like button because it’s one more thing to confuse the person you are talking to.

The point is, you should know who you want to visit your web site, know how they are getting to your pages, know how you would talk to them in the real world and then talk to them that way on the different web pages you present them. The goal is for them to take action, not to display everything available to navigate to on your web site. Don’t think of your web site as something to be navigated or a hierarchy or site map. Think of it as a personal journey for the visitor. The purpose is to get the  results they came to your web page looking for. This will determine the pages you need to go about putting infront of them to make it worth their while and your while.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s