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(Basic to Intermediate) Organizing Content for Discoverability

Illustration of scuba diver looking underwater with a content stream on an iceberg

I think we would all agree that there are few things more frustrating than searching for information online and arriving at a website to find all the [content organized only by format] … or, even worse, not organized at all.

While traveling for work recently, I found myself staring at a gorgeous mountain outside of Seattle. Not being familiar with the area, I immediately wondered, “What mountain is that?” 

Thanks to the highly informative content on the Washington State Parks and Recreation site, I spent the next 10 minutes learning all about Mount Rainier. I immediately clicked through to an article about the mountain. Then I watched a video about it. Then I clicked through to a graphic about its history.

Google got me to where I needed to be, but having content organized appropriately kept me there. If I had instead found a simple list of every article Washington State Parks and Recreation had ever created on a multitude of different topics, how likely would I have been to stick around trying to find what I needed? 

Probably not at all.

In this age of carrying tiny computers around in our pockets, we never have to wonder anything ever again. As consumers, the answers are all at our fingertips in the form of content. As marketers, we strive to be those answers for our potential customers—all we have to do is make it easy for them to find the right information on our site.

So, let’s talk about different and more effective ways to organize your content. 

Organizing Content by Topic

This might seem obvious, but make sure your content is all organized by topic! If you have documented brand use cases or benefit statements, every piece of content should map back to at least one of them and then be grouped together this way publicly. If not, this is a great time to create those benefit statements or core “use cases” that will help your audience understand how your brand or products can help solve their problems.

Organizing Content by Industry

Organizing your content by industry or vertical is like waving a little flag at new visitors that says, “Hi! Do you work in this industry? Awesome—here’s how our brand can help you!” If consumers are unclear on who you are or how your product can benefit them in their world, having content that speaks to them in their industry language makes it crystal clear to them why they should want to learn more.

Organizing Content by Persona

How many times have you received pushback from a prospect who sees the benefit of your product or service overall, but doesn’t think it applies to them in their specific role? (It’s maddening, isn’t it?) Organizing content out by persona allows you to showcase your products or services in a way that speaks directly to an individual within that role … or maybe even a different role that they’re trying to support.

Organizing Content by Buyer Stage

This organizational method can be a little tricky on the front-end—you probably don’t want to include “consideration” as a content segment in your navigation bar. However, what you can do is ask your audience to think about what level of information they’re looking for. “New to our site? Start here!” is a great way to provide visitors with high-level content as a greeting to your brand. Once they’re hooked? Now you know they’re ready to be nurtured with more in-depth material … which you conveniently organized for them on the next page. 

Organizing Content by Product

If you have content that speaks to the different products or services that your company offers, organize it together so that your consumers have an easy way of bingeing information about those products. By grouping this content together, your prospects have an efficient way to educate themselves on your products before they even speak with a salesperson.

Filtering Content

Segmenting your content into custom streams by the various methods above is a great way to point consumers toward the right content. However, providing a content filtering system on your site provides them with a mechanism to whittle content down to their specific needs. 

By having a great content tagging structure on the back-end, and by providing a filtering mechanism on the front-end, visitors can find the exact four pieces of content, without moving from your page.

Organizing content in a way that makes sense for your audience is incredibly important not only for ensuring they can find what they need, but also for continuing to educate them about your brand and nurturing them through the buyer’s journey. Make sure that when you’re presenting your content to the world, you ask yourself, “If I were searching for an answer to a question, how (easily) would I find it on my site?”

If you have a cool examples to share, or questions, please comment below and let us know!