Every Single Page of Your Website…

I read a great article on SparkPlugging this week by Dawud Miracle titled
How Your Customers Define Your Business. One of the main points that caught my attention is that people want to be met where they are.

This is an important point to consider when developing the internal pages of your website. A lot of people assume that every new visitor is going to arrive on the home page and navigate from there into the website. Not true...

In fact, many of your visitors are going to arrive at your site through one of your internal web pages. And for this reason, every single page should stand on its own two feet. Meaning it should have an objective, and properly lead your visitor into the next step (ie the next click).

I learned this lesson the hard way myself. I believe it was 7 or 8 years ago when I began archiving my newsletter issues on my website. This was before I had a discussion forum, and so I did this so I could refer people back to past issues from questions I received via email. There was also a link from the main pages of the site to the archive list so that my regular visitors could find them easily.

But what I didnt include was a link back to the main pages from the individual archive pages. This seems like an obvious mistake now, but at the time (and keep in mind it was around 8 years ago) my assumption was that people would arrive on those pages in a certain way. Not only that but I assumed I knew exactly who they were - people who were already subscribed, or who already knew me.

Until the day I sat down to check my stats and noticed a huge spike in website traffic that quarter. My mailing list was not growing at the same rate, I wasnt seeing any additional revenue, and so I scanned through my stats to see what was going on...

The search engines had indexed those internal pages - my newsletter archives - and people were finding them when they did a search for specific resources or topics. I had all this great content, and all this great new (highly targeted!) traffic, yet my business was not growing.

I immediately added site navigation and subscription forms on each of those archive pages, and opt-ins and sales began to grow steadily. And that, my friends... is the day that I became the "stats junkie" you know me as now 😉

This is an extreme example I know, and funny on me for making that silly mistake, but I still see people doing it across the web to this day.

Its even more important to focus on internal pages now, simply because there is more content and there are more searchers - and those searchers are getting smarter every year. They are using longer more specific phrases to find specific results, and going straight to the pages that give them answers or solutions.

Your internal web pages get a lot of brand new eyeballs - people who have never been to your website before, that dont know you, that havent even seen your main page or read your profile. You are meeting your visitor where they are.

Keep this in mind and then check your own stats. Notice which pages serve as a doorway into your site. What those visitors are searching for. How your listing looks in the search results. What your visitor is likely thinking given their search, and their decision to click on your link. And then click through yourself and analyze your web page from that same perspective.

Does your page answer their question? Does your content lead them into a specific "next step"? Can they easily learn more about you, or what you offer, once they land on that page? Get in your visitors mind and consider what you can add or change to make their experience at your website even better.

Great content simply isnt enough. Every single page of your website has a job to do, and you want to make sure that those objectives are defined - and achieved.

I've touched on this topic before, so I'll give you a few more articles that include examples and screen shots that can help you create the best website structure - and to optimize your site for the best subscription & revenue growth:

Best,

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Karen Putz says:

    This has me thinking that I have a lot to do to make my site easier to navigate between pages.

  2. Thank you for sharing your "oops" moment with us, Lynn.

    As a new blogger, this is an excellent strategy to implement from the start. Bookmarked -- no . . . I'm printing it out so it doesn't get "lost" in my favorites.

  3. Annie Binns says:

    Good point, Lynn. I always assume that people know if they click on my name on top, they'll go to the home page. But I don't actually have a link called "HOME" anywhere!

    I'm linking this comment to my new archives page - I think this style ROCKS for newer blogs (not so much if you have loads of content, though).

  4. Nice work Annie 😉

    I try to go through my stats once a month and look at any possible changes I can make to web pages that are getting a lot of direct traffic. Its good practice, and it helps you to stay in tune with your target market.

  5. Kim Beasley says:

    Thanks for sharing about a key element that all should do, have a subscription form & navigation on every page. This is great information and a good reminder to look at your website from your visitor's point of view.

  6. Kenny Ritchie says:

    Lynn your site is flawless and well organised, reading Annie's reply prompted me to have a look over there.

    It's pretty nice to look at and well organised. I've got most of the elements now but need to do a bit of a tidy up.

    Would you advocate the veiw that less is more, as your blog doesn't have a cluttered feel.

  7. Danielle Chonody says:

    Annie - how did you set up the archive page that you have linked to? Is it part of wordpress?

  8. Would you advocate the veiw that less is more, as your blog doesn’t have a cluttered feel.

    Its a personal preference for me, as I dont like trying to navigate my way around a cluttered website myself. I think that the focus should be on the content, and that the content should be easy to find and read. About.com is one of the worst sites for this - making it incredibly difficult to read their content.

    I talk about this in more detail in this post: Best Placement For Affiliate Links & Banners

  9. Charles Tillett says:

    Lynn,

    This is not on the subject of discussion. But i have to say you are one of the top professionals in this business. The internet needs more like you.
    Have a good day.

    Charles Tillett

  10. Thank you Charles - I take that as a very high compliment, and really appreciate it. Your comment was a nice start to my week 😀

  11. Dave Navarro says:

    I hear you - I just added some navigation links / teasers to my blog sidebar and my page views have went up 50%.

    Can't believe it took me so long to do that ... but the results are satisfying 🙂

  12. Dave Navarro says:

    Indeed , the 5/10/15/20 is the new part ... it's definitely increasing page views to posts, but since I just added it I don't have stats on subscriptions (and we all know how well Feedburner updates its numbers ...)

    Will keep you posted.

  13. The Story Ideas Virtuoso says:

    Lynn,

    Do you recommend tweaking blog posts, too, as we tweak our pages?

    Other than internal linking structure, is there more we should look at, or is a matter of analyzing first and figuring out what needs tweaked?

    Deb Gallardo

  14. Congrats Dave & thanks for sharing your results! Is this the 5/10/15/20 links at the top right of the page you linked your name to on your comment? I'm curious if that is increasing subscriptions for you as well?

  15. Other than internal linking structure, is there more we should look at, or is a matter of analyzing first and figuring out what needs tweaked?

    I analyze each page or post on an individual basis, considering the keyword phrase(s) and/or the objective of the content - things like that. But yes, definitely analyze first and determine if the page is performing the best that it can.

  16. Cool - I'm seeing an issue with the header in IE... not sure what the problem is. I assume you're viewing it in FF?

  17. Dave Navarro says:

    What's the issue? I see 2 things in IE7 -

    * a light line at the very top of the page - not sure what's up with that
    * a pesky blank area between the sidebar images. RRRRR.

    ... or do you see something else?

  18. I am looking in IE6 and I see that - and the header is screwy - like not in the right place, and cuts off at the "R" in "Your".

  19. kabonfootprint | Amber says:

    This post made me think another way. Why we can't go for a proper content plan and then go for choosing a theme. Once we have a pre-defined structure, we can have better presentation and a powerful navigation.

    Excellent post, Lynn you just touch the base here! also a word about your site, it always looks better and better every time I come back. to be honest, i am coming back to your site after a month, not at all a daily reader. And every month i found something improved.

  20. Thank you Amber. I agree. In fact, see this recent post: How to create a content mind map 😉

  21. kabonfootprint | Amber says:

    This is excellent one! in fact I was looking for a tool like that. Lynn this post about creating a content mind map is a must read post for any one who is starting his/her new site.

    Thanks for sharing!

  22. I think the most important statement here is that every single page should stand on its own two feet. This is a very important SEO principle.

  23. The great thing for internal pages is your internal linking...
    Proper Internal Linking can help the site gets properly spider visit ,build the relevancy of a page to a keyword phrase and increase the PR of the internal page.

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