5 Underused Website Strategies to Be a Genuine Internet Badass
You’re a beginner when it comes to running websites. But you want to wrap your brain around higher level strategies, starting now. Why wait for years to get good at this? Time is not forgiving to the ambitious among us.
So you’re not new to being online – hell, we met because of the internet. But handling that darn website of yours is still outside your comfort zone. Maybe your new job asked you to deal with their SEO. Maybe you’re building a website for your business. Whatever the case, the foundation of any successful website is the way you treat your content. From the way you think about, organize, and write it: the accessibility of your website’s content dictates its success.
There isn’t a magic formula for going from internet zero to internet hero. Well, there is one secret. Like I said, it’s to focus on your content from conception to publication to management.
Your content must be:
But how do you go about making your content perform this way? By becoming an internet god. Or as I prefer: Being a total badass with the way you control the internet… or at least your website.
To help you, I’ve collected five simple ways to make sure your website gives its best to any visitor. Let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
Strategy 1: Assign Each Page A Single Purpose
Badass Level: Essential
Imagine me taking your face in my hands and staring into your eyes with severe intensity. Now listen to me say: If you take away only one strategy from this post, let it be this one.
Each page of your website needs one clear purpose, and to be the best at whatever that is.
This can only happen when you define that purpose, and optimize the page to fulfill its destiny. These things won’t happen by mistake. To do this, you first decide on each page’s type.
There are three main types of pages on a website:
- Navigation: These pages are luminal spaces, designed to get you from one place to the next. Examples: The home page and archives.
- Consumption: The visitor will spend some time here and learn something. Examples: Pages and posts.
- Interaction: Things happen here, like buying a product or contacting the business. Examples: Form submissions and shopping carts.
Second, remove all distractions. Here is what this might look like:
- A navigation page provides just enough information to tell the viewer where they want to go next. There isn’t extraneous text.
- A shopping cart doesn’t distract from anyone completing their purchase by interrupting the flow with walls of text.
- A blog post focuses on content. The secondary elements of the page do not distract the reader from the main text.
Working on a consumption page, like a blog post? You can take this idea a step further.
Each blog post has a different topic, or target keyword if you are coming from an SEO perspective. Make sure that post’s purpose is to provide the best content on that topic or keyword. Don’t include irrelevant information that makes it difficult to find the useful content.
How to Do It
Make the focus of the page clear and actionable: Click, read, or submit.
Keep consumption pages on target. The content should all be relevant to the same topic or keyword.
To do this, cover one topic at a time. The beauty of the web is you can create as many pages or posts as you need to cover a wide array of ideas! But each of those pages or posts should do an amazing job covering one central theme. Multi-tasking and writing do not mix well.
Strategy 2: Give People Roadmaps
Badass Level: Basic
Your website follows a theme.
For example, Dialect Pro focuses on the intersection of internet technology and human-created content. Perhaps you blog about non-profits, food, photography, or fashion.
Your site also serves a specific audience. And on any site, there is the overlap of your topic and who the content is for.
This overlap allows for near-endlessly specific ways to help your audience understand your topic. You can lead each of your readers on a specific journey so they can better benefit from your content.
That means you should create landing pages for each of the different types of readers on your site. These pages act like roadmaps so people can find the exact content you’ve published that suits their situation.
How to Do It
Let’s say you publish photography gear reviews. Some people have lots of space and money for expensive gear. Others are looking to pack light and need inexpensive, minimal gear.
Maybe you share information that applies to both groups. Instead of letting them muddle through on their own, you can create a beginner’s guide for each group.
In this example, you’ll follow similar steps for each roadmap:
- Create a new page, titled “The Essential Affordable Gear List for a Minimalist Photographer”
- Collect all your posts where you’ve written reviews for affordable and lightweight gear.
- Connect the dots between each of these posts, and link to them within this page. Maybe group them by camera body, lenses, and other accessories.
- Publish the page and link to it somewhere on your site.
Now this group can find the specific posts that help them reach their unique goal. This is what I mean when I say build a roadmap.
Don’t have enough of the right content to do this yet? Try rewriting general posts as specific posts. You can target each audiences and their unique challenges in the new versions.
- Write guides for readers with a specific problem by collecting relevant posts on your blog in one place.
- Remaster existing content to address more unique problems for a specific reader.
Strategy 3: Build Resources for Central Themes
Badass Level: Superhero
You’ve seen FAQ pages before. It stands for Frequently Asked Questions, and it’s where you can find answers to common questions all in one place. But having an FAQ is just one way to build a easy-to-use resource for your readers.
Another way is to build a dictionary for your site. Call it a glossary, encyclopedia, whatever makes the most sense for your subject matter. In the end they’re all lexicons…
But the point is that many words have variable meanings for different people. Publishing your own definition for the topics on your site sets you apart from the rest. It helps you communicate with your readers and makes it easy for people at any skill level to learn from you.
Building custom resources is great for giving fast, targeted answers to your readers.
Creating an FAQ or dictionary helps you provide a list of quick answers to simple queries. They complement blog posts, where a reader looking for quick info may not find what they need at a glance. Instead of making your readers work so hard, you can supply one-off answers in an easy to access format.
Besides, if you want to be original, there’s no better way than to literally define the vocabulary you use on a regular basis. 😉
How to Do It
Keeping up with an FAQ entails tracking common questions from your readers or customers. You can check the comments section and inbox to find them. Creating a dictionary means collecting the definitions already written within your posts. Explaining each term while you write improves the clarity of your writing, while keeping the dictionary itself easy to manage.
Each entry in your FAQ or dictionary should get its own landing page. This way you can quickly link to that answer for questions! It also helps Google refer to you in search results, and makes it easy for bloggers to use you as a source.
There are many WordPress plugins that make managing these easy. Of course I’m partial to my own Dictionary Pro plugin, which is designed for busy bloggers.
- Create an FAQ by answering the most common questions on your blog. Choose a plugin that allows for unique landing pages per question.
- Build your authority by creating definitions for the terms in your field. We recommend the Dictionary Pro plugin.
- Remember to give each of these answers and definitions their own landing pages.
- Keep answers and definitions to the point, for easy reference.
Strategy 4: Create Best Of and Start Here Pages
Badass Level: Superhero
Remember how each page has its own goal? Well, Best Of and Start Here pages are navigational. They are a specific type of those roadmap pages we talked about before.
These round up posts help show new visitors the content most likely to solve their problem.
You usually only need to choose one or the other. Here’s how to decide which is best for your site:
- Best Of: A collection of your most popular posts.
- Start Here: An action-based page that allows the reader to choose their own adventure. For example, “Are you looking to learn the functions of a camera or how to frame great photographs?” Each option leads to an even more specific roadmap.
If you have less content, creating a Best Of page is probably the way to get started.
How to Do It
Of course a Best Of or Start Here will highlight your best, most useful content. Where can you find these?
- Analytics: Look for posts that get a lot of visitors.
- Reader feedback: Check out posts with many comments and social shares.
- Your own judgement: What do you want to teach your readers that people overlook?
Once you get your top posts and pages together, it’s time to figure out how you want to link them together. Look for the journey that you can lead them on by having them read them in a specific order. You can also split them up by topic or category. Whatever you decide on: Make sure it is quick and easy to navigate.
To review, you can organize this page with these techniques:
- Organize top posts by topic or category, based on the type of reader you want to reach.
- Take the reader on a journey, by linking to roadmaps that address deeply targeted solutions on another page.
Strategy 5: Use Better Categories and Tags
Badass Level: Basic
You’ve almost made it through! To cool-down, we’ll talk about one last basic strategy most site owners don’t properly manage.
These are your categories and tags.
Categories and tags are the most well-known ways to organize content on a blog. But… they are often not used wisely. In fact, it seems most bloggers don’t know the difference between the two.
- Categories: Think about the main topics you blog about in broad terms. If it were a closet, we’re talking shirts, pants, and shoes.
- Tags: This is for post details. Think back to your wardrobe and consider qualities like color, fabric, and cut. There are many of them and each can overlap between categories.
Your categories will stay static and help people find the main content they are looking for. Tags are used to help narrow down specific posts with more in-depth information.
Just by reading that, you’re ahead of the game!
How to Do It
Categories will evolve with your site. When you first launch, you won’t have a lot of posts to work with. Your categories may need to be fairly specific in order to be useful.
As your site grows, you need to think bigger. If you already have an established site, the same applies for you.
Here few ways to choose your categories:
- Central themes: The topics you write about. For example, a photography blog might have Camera Equipment, Shooting Techniques, and Editing Tips.
- Outcomes: The goals your readers are looking to achieve by reading your blog. For example, our categories are Publish Authoritative Content, Actually Understand SEO, and Refine Communication Skills.
Which direction you take depends on your audience. Reach out and ask a few of your readers to see what works for them.
Here are a few guidelines to help you choose the categories that best organize your blog content:
- Choose between 3-8 categories. This limit is to avoid giving your readers choice paralysis.
- Each category should be filled with a bare minimum of 10-20 posts before you consider adding any new categories.
Putting It All Together
These strategies help you build a solid website that does its job. In other words, it will turn you into a total internet badass.
You can use these on your website in different ways. Here are a few examples to get you thinking:
- Start Here pages work well in the main menu, where any new visitor can easily find it.
- Blog-driven websites may consider linking to blog categories in the main menu.
- Dictionary entries work well when linked to within blog posts, so readers don’t leave the site to learn about a term you discussed.
Visitors will enter your website at different points, needing different things. Accounting for them all may be impossible, but you can create a more user-friendly experience by knowing your options and using them.
It’s Your Turn
Your task is to run a website, but you feel a bit overwhelmed. How on earth does someone know what kind of content to use where? What makes a website easy to use? How can you turn a boring website into a helpful resource?
It takes a badass to overcome that anxiety and find solutions. And you, my friend, have just taken your first step. These five strategies will help you along your journey to becoming an internet badass
and controlling the internet with your mind.
In review, here are the strategies you now have at your disposal:
- Focus each page on a single purpose.
- Create roadmaps to guide readers along their unique journeys.
- Publish references for central themes, with FAQs or by building your own dictionary.
- Use advanced roadmaps (like Best Of or Start Here pages) to guide new users through your site.
- Re-evaluate categories and tags as your site grows.
Do you have any questions about how to follow through on these strategies? Let me know where you’re at in the comments section, and I’ll help you work it out.