How should I organize the pages of my site?

HUMAN OPTIMIZED FOR CONVERSION GOALS

For most people, your website is your best marketing tool. You've heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but once visitors come to your site you need to make sure that the website is optimized for humans. You need to understand what your conversion goals are for the site, and for each page, then make sure that your menu, and all your content, funnels visitors to those conversion goals.

That generally means you should not put anything in your menu that will distract visitors from your conversion goals. A lot of pages are great for SEO value (to attract organic traffic) but you want visitors to come from those pages and be funneled to your conversion goals. You don't want visitors that come to your home page, to then find those other pages and waste their time on reading articles that don't have conversion value. So you can have these resource pages in your site that are added to your menu as hidden links (to establish where they fit into the site structure) but generally you don't want them in the menu (unless there is a clear value proposition and call to action and large percent of your visitors really want to know that information).

LOGICAL STRUCTURE

Your site consists of a lot of different content pages that are accessed through your Site Menu. How you organize and link to those pages, determines how important you think they are to your audience. Don't overwhelm people with too much information or too many options. You have a few seconds to get people's attention and convince them to stay on your site, use that time wisely.

You must hone your message and prioritize what are the top most important things you want visitors to do on your site, and then structure your menu and featured modules accordingly. For example, if your goal is to attract sellers to list their homes with you, you need to make sure they will find the right content on your pages that convince them this is a good idea.

In your mind (or on paper) you'll want to create a map of your site (a "Site Map") which organizes the pages of your site into main logical sections (e.g. "About Us", "Search Properties", "Community Resources", "My Account", etc.). And then in each main section, you'll put the pages that best belong in that section. So in the "About Us" section, you may put pages for "Team Profiles", "Testimonials", "Philosophy", and "Contact".

TRAFFIC FLOW

As you organize your site you should think about what the most important parts of your site are. If someone only stays on your site for 30 seconds, what are the most important thing you want them to learn and the most important thing you want them to do? If you want them to learn that you provide quality service X, then make sure that is prominently taken into consideration when you organize your links and promo modules (it should be considered in your custom design). If you want them to take action Y and fill out a form to request a free sample (so you can get their contact information), be sure that one of your main links or one of your promo modules promotes this in a prominent way.

Don't overwhelm your visitors. Don't expect they will know what you want them to do. Guide them, to do what you want them to do. Make sure they see the most important options and have to try hard to avoid clicking on those obvious links.

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