Tuesday 10 March 2009

Making your content work for you - top 5 tips

We have had a forum on one of our websites (www.EquiPortal.co.uk) for the past year together with news and blog feeds, an event calendar and more. However, having good content is not enough, you need to make your visitors aware of it and grab their attention before they move on.

We have just redesigned our whole website with the above sentiment in mind. Have a look to see how we are trying to ensure that visitors are made aware of new content.

Here are our top 5 tips:

1. Use your homepage to highlight new content
Don't just make your homepage a nice looking entry page to the rest of your website. Make it functional and show your visitors that you have lots of interesting things for them to see.

2. Don't make visitors dig for content
Think about what your visitors are most likely to be looking for and give it to them straight away. For example, our horse events page shows upcoming events on the first page and then allows them to browse the full event calendar at their leisure.

3. Emphasise popular content
The actions of visitors on your website can provide valuable feedback. Make your site more dynamic, emphasise content that other users have been reading. In our news section we highlight items that are getting more attention and move them nearer the top of the page.

4. Make your forums easier to use
Forums can be very ugly and the uninitiated find them intimidating. Check out our forum home page to see how we provide a clear categorisation and description of forums, using icons to quickly guide the user in the right direction. Notice that the latest postings are shown on the home page too.

5. Keep pushing your content
Make use of newsletters and blogs to keep your members informed of the latest and most popular content. Try to keep members coming back for more.

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