Do you want readers or clients? Is it enough for them to land on your blog, or do you want them to walk through your door? Whether a casual reader becomes a paying client can depend on a lot of things. Don’t let your website stand in the way. Take the time to make sure your readers can navigate your blog.
No matter where your readers come from – newsletters, social media, or Google – how long they stay depends on how easy your website is to use. Ultimately, you don’t want them reading just one article and leaving. You want to direct them to additional relevant information and eventually, to contact you or buy your online inventory.
Your website road map can guide a reader to deeper engagement with your, or send them off on an exit ramp. How your readers navigate your content can make a big difference between browsing and buying. Make your website easy for readers to get around.
Use Clear Menus and Headers
Does your menu bar require a legal degree to understand? Or is it written in language your clients use when they talk about their problems? These short, one or two word headings can help a reader navigate among your webpages and find the content that will sell them on becoming a paying client. Work with your web developer to make sure you are using the right menus and headers to draw readers in, instead of getting them lost.
Make Categories Accessible
No matter how good a writer you are, you probably won’t answer all a reader’s questions about a topic in one 500 word blog post. Make related posts accessible to the reader by tagging posts in categories. This provides road signs for readers that they may be able to fill up on information ahead.
But categories don’t do any good if they are buried. Put them at easy reach in the side margin. Depending on your website layout, you may also be able to automatically add relevant, related posts, right to the bottom of your article. Make your categories accessible so readers keep reading, rather than going elsewhere to find the answers to their questions.
Provide Internal Links
You know your blog content better than anyone. If you know that you have explained a concept before in another post, don’t make the reader search for it. Link to it! Using lots of internal links to connect related content on your website helps build a strong web of information that will snag your reader while demonstrating your expertise to meet their particular needs.
Lead Them To Contact You
Once a reader is hooked, it should be the easiest thing in the world for them to reel themselves in. It is almost impossible to have too many ways for a reader to navigate to your contact page. Large graphics, direct links, even pop-up “Can we help?” menus can all direct readers to take the plunge to becoming a paying customer. The end of the blog article shouldn’t mean the end of their engagement. Use a direct call to action to tell that reader how to take the next step.
If you want to lose potential customers, let them get lost as they navigate through your website. But if you want to convert readers to clients, take the time to lead them deeper into your site. A little work on website navigation can go a long way to an improved return on your marketing investment.
Pat Oja is a web developer with Provisio Technology Solutions. He creates custom web solutions for small businesses. He works closely with Legal Linguist to provide a one-two punch of design and content for their customers. If your website navigation leaves you feeling lost, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.