The Blueprint for Success Begins with Information Architecture
Since the days companies first created an online presence, information architecture has been, is now and will likely always remain critical to the practice of structuring information for particular purposes. If you’re selling something, this means that it should inform the consumer what you have to offer, why they should get it and how to go about doing exactly that. Among the various definitions for information architecture:
Set of rules that determine what, and how and where, information will be collected, stored, processed, transmitted, presented, and used. On the internet, information architecture means how a website’s content is organized and presented to its users to facilitate navigation and search functions.
However, if your website merely provides information but doesn’t generate sales, then it’s basically nothing more than a resource for data. You need a website that nurtures sales, converting visitors to prospects, prospects to leads and leads to customers. In other words, your site requires not only information architecture but Conversion Architecture as well. It is a distinction with a difference because website conversion architecture focuses on the importance of the customer over that of the data.
If you don’t give visitors to your site something that speaks to them, they’ll simply remain visitors and likely one-time visitors at that. To keep them coming back, you need to build a website that attracts those curious about your organization (information architecture) and transition them from being visitors to customers (conversion architecture).
Information architecture involves:?
- Administering/managing the collection, organization and distribution of information on your site;
- Producing content to attract traffic to your site;
- Content should be compelling, written in language that ?speaks? to different target personas. If your content doesn’t reach the target, then it has virtually no value, no matter how interesting you might think it is.
Information architecture gives way to conversion architecture when your site:
- Actually “hits the target” which enables prospects to relate to what you?re communicating on your website;
- Engages visitors;
- Captures lead information (this is where the visitor listens to what you’ve had to say to you and speaks back to you.
In order for your website to be effective, the info you provide must lead to a conversation with your customers. Again, without that conversation, your site is only a source of information. With a conversation, however, you can convert that visitor to a lead, that lead to a prospect and that prospect to a customer.
-the process of taking a visitor on a journey that starts at interest
and arrives at the final destination of a sale, a donation or a subscription.
Well-designed conversion architecture is built on a foundation of meaningful content produced by your information architecture. It incorporates one or more Call-To-Actions by your visitors, each designed to lead them one step closer to your destination (i.e., closing the deal).
Information architecture is the threshold for your website. However, if your website doesn’t convert visitors, it’s likely because of the following:
There’s no plan?
No thought has been put into how visitors will react when they visit your website.
There’s no there there
-Visitors to your site discover there’s no content of value.
Inappropriate or inadequate Calls-To-Action
-CTA’s that don’t readily convert your visitors.
Poor Website and Landing Page Structure
-Do you have too many tabs? Not enough? How easy is your website to navigate?
Automation over User Experience (UX)
-Where the newness or “user-friendliness” of a feature obscures its utility (or lack thereof).
In a nutshell, then, information architecture focused on content strategy attracts the curious. Great content strategy creates conversations. Calls-To-Action guides customers to a purchase.
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