This guide explains how to organize website content in a successful way.
Below, you’ll get a list of the top website content organization tips you can use to plan a well-organized blog, online shop, or personal site that’s easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for and search engines to crawl.
By following each of the steps in this tutorial, you’ll end up with a website that has better crawlability, indexability, and positive user experiences, all of which are important factors for ranking algorithms that decide where your content gets positioned in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
How to Organize Website Content
1. Put Your Most Important Information First
The first way for how to organize website content is to put the most important information high up on the page. This guideline is a must-do for improving the user experience and on-page search engine optimization (SEO) signals.
Whether it’s selling products, generating leads, or providing information, your website exists for a purpose, and that purpose must be abundantly clear within the first few seconds a visitor lands on your website.
If a user lands on your eCommerce store homepage looking to buy shoes, then your most popular footwear should be in the hero section with visible links leading to a category or individual product page. If they want to know how much you’ll charge to fix their washing machine, then a “request a quote” form and contact number should be the first thing they see.
“Don’t bury the lede”, is a popular journalism phrase that means to not hide the most important and relevant pieces of information for the reader. Give the visitor exactly what they’re looking for as fast as possible on the page (i.e., above the first screen view or close to it).
2. Use a Content Hierarchy to Help Visitors
With your most important information front and center, you can begin to organize the rest of your website content into a hierarchy, with the next most important information positioned second on the page, followed by the third most important, and so on.
Hierarchical content structures are most frequently seen in blog posts and other pages featuring long-form content.
Here, the post title (the most important detail) goes at the top, followed by the next most important element; an introduction that sums up the purpose of the piece and tells users what they’ll learn so that they can make an informed decision about whether to read it.
The hierarchy then continues, with main points divided into sections using header tags for SEO and readability, with these sections structured in a logical order from least to most important.
Using Content Hierarchies On Other Pages
With all that said, blog posts aren’t the only type of content where a structured hierarchy is useful to follow as a guideline for success. It should also be deployed across your website on landing pages, homepages, and About Us content.
To refer back to our online shoe store example, this might mean that directly beneath the hero section, your next homepage section features all the major brands you stock to show customers what’s on offer, followed by details about your shipping fees and processes, and then yet more product categories.
Think strategically about what should come next by putting yourself in the visitor’s position. Ask yourself, “What would you want to come next in the informational hierarchy?” Then, organize the website content to meet the needs of the user.
3. Group Related Content With Categories and Tags
So far, we’ve talked about organizing content on individual pages. Now, it’s time to group those pages into logical categories according to a theme, subject, product type, or anything else that makes sense.
That way, when a visitor is looking to learn about a particular subject or buy a specific type of product, they’ll be able to find everything they’re looking for in one place.
As with all these website content organization tips, the most crucial thing when categorizing your content is to think about how your audience uses your site.
For example, if an online shoe store specializes in selling popular brands, it makes sense to categorize their products according to the brand (e.g., Nike, Adidas, Rockport) so that customers can browse through their favorites. A second type of taxonomy, called tags, can also be used for tagging shoes according to type (e.g., casual, running, dress, etc) for users who want to buy a specific kind of shoe regardless of the brand name.
You can use this same category and tag structure to organize your website content based on your primary article topics, products, or services. The SEO Chatter website, for example, uses the following categories to organize content to help visitors find related content:
A tagging system has not been set up, although it could help in the future to classify content based on specific concepts or details that overlap between articles regardless of their parent category. Examples of potential tags for website organization could include.
- keyword research
- content writing
- on-page optimization
- off-page optimization
- tools and software
4. Use Clear, Logical Navigation
Once your content is appropriately grouped, you need to make it easy for customers to find it. This means setting up an easy-to-follow navigational menu at the top of the page where visitors expect to find it.
Navigation menus should not be overcrowded. If your site has many categories or stand-alone pages, organize them into sub-menus and use short, descriptive labels so that users know exactly where to look to find the content they want.
5. Meet Visitor Expectations With Well-Organized Footers
Even as the web has evolved, some things have remained consistent, including how most websites use footers. Web users typically expect to find items such as links to privacy policies and terms and conditions, contact details, corporate information, and social media links in the footer.
Therefore, if you’re going to organize your content to be as user-friendly as possible, all that information should be in the website’s footer, preferably arranged across multiple columns so that users don’t have to scroll down to get what they need. See the footer on this website for a good example of the website organization tip in practice.
6. Improve User Experiences With Homepage Links
Your navigation menu isn’t the only place to include links. When users scroll through your homepage, they should be able to immediately click through to learn more about anything that catches their attention, so be sure that each section has a visible link to its corresponding page.
One of the best ways to organize website content on the homepage is to include hyperlinks to your highest-traffic content. If it ranks well in Google and people are actively searching for those topics, then the homepage is a natural place to include links to those URLs to increase the reach even further.
7. Use Relevant Internal Links Throughout Your Content
Links to other parts of your website should also be used throughout your content whenever it makes sense.
For example, say you produce a blog on how to build a website. You mention the importance of picking good web hosting, which you’ve already written about. Rather than directing readers to find it by using your navigation menu, including an internal link directly to that piece helps customers continue their journey with you and get even more value from your site.
You can also improve the rankings for the target page by using keyword-optimized anchor text that leads to the internal page. This is an easy SEO strategy to incorporate into your website while improving the organization to take advantage of on-site factors that improve organic search engine visibility.
8. Help Visitors Discover More With Related Content
Including related posts at the bottom of articles helps users to find more of the type of content they like. Most content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and site builder tools will have blocks, plugins, or add-ons that can generate related posts based on categories or tags.
9. Keep Your CTAs Visible
Remember what we said earlier in this guide on organizing website content about your site having a purpose? Keep that in mind when placing a Call-to-Action (CTA) on your site.
Whether in the sidebar, at the bottom of a post, or in a sticky menu, visitors should always be able to take the action you want them to take, no matter where they are on the page. A well-organized website has a clear goal in mind for each web page, and CTA buttons and links improve the chances that your visitors will take the appropriate next action, whether it be to sign up for a newsletter, submit a form, download a freebie, visit another web page, etc.
10. Conduct Content Audits to Stay On Top of Things
Getting organized is relatively straightforward in the early days of your website, but once you start adding lots more content, it can soon get out of control again.
Therefore, you want to be sure to stay on top of things with regular content audits, ensuring that every page has a purpose, a category, and a logical place in your navigation. Make it a habit to reassess the organization of your website every 6 to 12 months after following the initial instructions in this guide.
Organize Website Content Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to organize website content.
As you discovered, there are several website content organization tips and best practices you can use to make your content easier to find, crawl, and index in search engines. Plus, by following the steps in this tutorial for organizing website content, you’ll improve the user experience for your visitors, which is a positive ranking signal for the search engine algorithms that power Google, Yahoo, and Bing.