You spend a great deal of time on a new design for your utility organization website to look good. What can go wrong? Your site visitor becomes frustrated and leaves because they can’t easily find what they are looking for, so what’s the solution? It’s taking the time to think about content strategy.
Content is an essential aspect of your website, so you want to make sure you spend time thinking about your content and how best to utilize it. Follow these guidelines while organizing your content and structuring menus and pages.
Site Visitors’ Needs
As a utility organization, think about what your site visitors are most likely coming to your website to do. Common items they will be looking for are:
- Paying their bill
- Starting new service
- Contact information
They should be able to find this information quickly without having to work too hard to get to it.
Global Navigation Menu
Most often, visitors first read the items at the beginning and at the end of your global navigation; the ones in the middle tend to get read last. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have the first item on the left be an item containing the most important information or top tasks based on your audience. For many utility organizations, this could be something like Your Account, where there is information on paying their bill.
The number of global items depends on how much content your site has. You don’t want there to be so few that it results in no clear guidance. On the other hand, avoid having too many as that can make it overwhelming to scan through. Organize your pages based on logical groupings that make sense.
Site Hierarchy & Navigation
The pages located under the global menu items should all be relevant to that specific category. For example, pages with information about electric vehicles, solar programs, or energy rebates could logically go under a global menu item of Energy Efficiency. This grouping is intuitive and will allow your site visitor to find the page they are looking for with ease.
You don’t want to overwhelm your site visitor by putting all the pages in the global menu’s dropdown. Instead, group your pages under headings, and make a landing page. For example, pages about the Youth Tour, scholarships, and school presentations can all be grouped under a landing page of “Education Programs” under the global menu item of “Community”. A site visitor will instinctively know where to look for them.
Number of Clicks
“Avoid organizing your content so that a user has to click farther than three times.” Have you heard this before? It’s not really true. If the journey a site visitor is taking through the site makes sense, the number of clicks isn’t going to matter. Just make sure the clicks are intuitive and easy to navigate. The user doesn’t want to do much work or think too hard to get to what they need. With this in mind, we don’t advise getting lost in too many clicks either!
Pages titles should:
- Be clear and specific
- Be relevant to the content found on the page
- Use terms that are recognizable and meaningful
Use terms for your page titles that a site visitor will instantly recognize. For example, let’s say you offer a program where members can sign up for community solar, called “GreenSun.” However, the program name wouldn’t be the best title for your page since people visiting the site for the first time wouldn’t understand what “GreenSun” means. A better page title would be something like “Solar Community Program.”
Remember these elements when organizing and structuring your site. Taking the time and effort to focus on content strategy will make your website recognizably Powerful.