So far I’ve introduced you to several types of page you might find on a website. Some are obvious and typically found on most websites, whilst others are often hidden and you find them according to how you enter the site and what you do while you’re there. Last time I wrote about how to assess your website needs and in this and future posts I’ll offer a few more guidelines.
I’m going to use a model for a website structure based on the awareness ladder. I’m indebted to Ben Hunt for this approach although it is probably not his invention.
To build any website, you need to understand your market and their awareness of what you’re offering, whether it is a product, a service or a cause. Broadly it works like this:
People who are not aware they have a problem may still have it! If you want to approach them you need to show them they have a problem. So, the problem is a plague of frogs. These people haven’t looked out of their window or else they don’t think a plague of frogs is a problem.
Step 1 – I have a problem and have no idea whether there is a solution to it
These people are experiencing a plague of frogs as a problem. They may have a phobia about frogs, or fear treading on them but whatever it is they know they have a problem.
Step 2 – I know there are many possible solutions
These people have done some research and found a number of possible solutions. They may arrive at your site as a part of their research. They may have found frog poisons, frog food, brushes for sweeping them out of harm’s way, frog recipes, fences to stop them getting onto their property …
Step 3 – I am aware of your solution
These people have read about your solution. Frogs eat slugs and snails and so your solution is to keep them in a special frog pool with anti-cat and anti-heron devices. However, this person is not persuaded your solution is the best!
Step 4 – Now I’m convinced this is the best solution
… because you’ve brought together all the evidence you can that your solution is the best. You’ve shown that when a garden is a haven for frogs, all the slug and snail problems will be a thing of the past.
Step 5 – I’m willing to pay for your product, how do I do it?
Home and dry. You have a customer for your patent frog pool formula!
These 6 stages could be a framework for your website. So, what do you do next? Any ideas? Have a go by commenting if you can’t wait until next time!