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Web Content Creation Course - Part 4 of 5

The fourth installment - focus on SYSTEM
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Guten tag!

We've gotten so much established in the last three days, and I'm sure it's given rise to a host of new questions and ideas that are far from settled. If you've got it all laid out already, a big congrats from me - and I'd like to bend your ear on how you managed to pull it all together so quickly!

Today we're going to look at how to add a lot of value and complexity to what you're presenting with a pretty simple system, but before we go there in the interest of clarifying previous concepts we're going to have a more detailed look at what our Tricolor Shark guy is doing.

So Joel decided to go with 5 main sections for his site. These are:

  • Homepage - He provides a paragraph describing a tank where the Tricolor Sharks have taken over and then suggests a different scenario, followed by his call to action,
    "Make your Tricolor Sharks the stars of a beautiful, low-maintenance freshwater tank!"
  • Bio - Tells the story of how, while working in a pet store as a teenager, Joel first stumbled on success at training the Tricolors.
  • Services - Explains a few Tricolor-specific services Joel provides(divided roughly into Training and Health), directly related to what he talks about discovering in his bio, as well as more general aquarium related services. Each service gets a separate sub-page.
  • In the Tank - A small group of articles about setting up a freshwater tank, introducing Tricolors to other fish, teaching them magic tricks(hey, this is my silly example!) and buyer's guides for different types of fishtanks and filters.
  • Tricolor Times - This is where the news will go as Joel learns even more about his specialty and things come up. Perhaps a local Tricolor Tax is imposed... the nerve of that mayor!
  • Contact - Listed as a section, but Joel decided to include a 'Contact Me' button on all pages, in the footer and at other strategic spots which pops up a form over whatever page is currently displaying. Joel elected to keep it short and sweet, asking just for name, email, and the question/comment itself.

Joel's website is focused on the idea that Tricolor Sharks can be stars, and although he provides enough info for readers to figure some things out on their own, it's obvious that he'd be the best guy for the job - especially to someone who wants it done, and done right. So how can he make it even better?

For one, he can continue adding articles to the Tricolor Times and letting those in his social media networks and on his mailing list know when they're published. But still, the different sections on his website exist as separate from one another; considering that they're all supporting the same idea it not only makes sense to connect them, it will allow Joel's customers to browse through his site more organically.

Time to bring in that simple system I mentioned earlier.

First, he'll include links from the basic articles in the 'In the Tank' section to his pages on his services so that potential customers can find that information as the idea occurs to them that they may need his help.

Next (and there are more complex ways to do this) he'll tag each new article in the Tricolor Times as 'Training', 'Health', or 'Other'. Then a list of the articles tagged 'training' or 'health' will be listed on the corresponding services sub-pages, and those tagged as 'other' will be listed both on the general services page as well as the main 'In the Tank' page. Now there are all kinds of useful paths to take. For instance:

Someone looks up a basic freshwater tank problem and gets a hit for one of his pages (nice job on your SEO, Joel!). Looking at the article, they get an answer to their problem and a link to how Joel can help with the health of freshwater fish, so they click through to one of the services pages, which lists a number of related news articles on that subject. And on each page is a button to pop-up that contact form and another chance for Joel to introduce himself. As Joel adds and tags more articles in the Tricolor Times, the number of paths that could be taken grows (especially if he also links back to his static sections from news articles). This could be tailored, but if Joel just writes about the things he is dealing with most in his business, those paths will automatically skew toward things his customers are most interested in.

Like I said, it's not a complicated system and it absolutely doesn't have to be to be effective. By adding a few points of connection and regular additions of new content, Joel's system will grow to court customers that are interested in his skills, it will prove his value to them, they'll customize the experience themselves, and at any point in the process they can get in touch with him with the form.

These people will most often be people that already believe that Joel's an expert, who'll have some understanding of the value of what he does and are close to being ready to become another satisfied customer.

I hope that Joel's saga gave you some new ideas about how to refine that structure, and what kind of system of growth you want to put in place. Next time is the last installment (where does the time go?) and we're going to check out some ideas for bringing more people in to enjoy this awesome little reference you've created as well as finding other ways to engage them both before and after they buy.

Onward!

Published on 9 April 2016

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