Location, Location, Location: Where to Put New Content in an Existing Web Site

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Debi Lewis Owner and Lead Consultant, Jebraweb.com

Posted on June 2nd 2014

Location, Location, Location: Where to Put New Content in an Existing Web Site

wooden puzzle pieceWhen you built your web site, if you took the time to do it carefully, you probably came up with at least a basic outline of the content. Perhaps you based it on the navigation menu -- the main links at the top or side of the site template. At the time when you launched your site, the content all fit into tidy digital containers, clearly belonging to categories that made sense to you and appeared to incorporate everything you needed.

Now that you're working with your site, however, you've discovered some information you missed. Maybe you learned something in the process of looking at your site analytics, and now you want to add content that provides the kind of information people are searching for in your search engine. Possibly, you've realized that you have a lot of opinions you want to share about your industry or local community. Maybe you just forgot something when you were building the site in the first place. Whatever the reason, now you need to add new content into an existing information architecture. Where do you put it?

Today I'd like to to illustrate some common site additions and where my clients are finding the best places to fit them into the overall puzzle.

Is It Big?

Have you realized that you will likely need more content on a given topic than just one article? If you think about the thing you're adding and imagine it including more than one page of content, then it belongs as an item in your site's navigation. Hopefully, it's a sub-navigation item -- a secondary level falling under a main item in your menu. That's usually easier to incorporate into your site than another first-level, main navigation item.

Is It a Press Release?

Web site users are accustomed to seeing press-related items all in one place in a category clearly labeled that way. A press release is almost never all by itself - eventually, it will be part of a long list of press releases.

Is It a Thought Leadership Piece?

If you're writing an essay, op-ed, opinion piece, review, or any other that's-how-I-feel content, you had better face it: you are now a blogger. Create a section of your site for your blog, and give it all the trappings associated with blogging -- categories/tags, dates, etc.

 Is It Time-Sensitive?

Are you announcing an event? Content associated with an event belongs in as many places as you can put it. Give it a home wherever on your site you'd like, but the links to that content need to appear on the home page and in the sidebar on appropriate topical pages within the site.

To help you remember how this puzzle fits together, I've included the infographic below.

adding content to your web site

 

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Debi Lewis

Owner and Lead Consultant, Jebraweb.com

I began my work on web sites in 1996, just as the graphical web was truly coming alive. After many years of consulting in a variety of industries, I decided to focus my attention -- and my company -- on the online presence of mission-driven companies and organizations. I am dedicated to using open-source software as often as possible, to creating web sites that organizations can maintain themselves, and to helping my clients put as many resources as possible into the ways they're bettering the world.

 

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Comments

Justin Belmont
Posted on June 10th 2014 at 7:33PM

Great article, Debi! Your analogy about the puzzle is accurate, because new content only fits in certain places. The final infographic was a great way to finish, too. Here's a post from our blog about designing a website that uses similar ideas: http://blog.prosemedia.com/4-tips-to-designing-an-engaging-website/