Direct Traffic to 1-Stop Content Pages

When you send people to the home page of your website, you’re asking them to decide where to click. You’ll have better results when you direct traffic to pages that lead to action.

Marianne Mitchell, Whitewashed

©2009 Marianne Mitchell, Whitewashed. Oil pastel, 10 x 10 inches.

Note: I’m using the term “website,” but this advice can be applied with equal vigor to permalinks on your blogs.

1. Create the 1-Stop Content Pages (a.k.a. Landing Pages)

If you want people to see a new body of work, group all of the new work together on one page.

If you’re asking people to sign up for a workshop, gather the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How for the workshop on a single page.

If you are inviting people to an art opening, create a special event page that shows people the art that will be on view. The same page will include all of the event details so that people can scan to see if it fits into their schedules.

2. Give the Pages Good URLs

As we’ve found out by using Twitter, shorter URLs are good, but so are URLs that are meaningful. For example, using http://artbizcoach.com/web-makeover for my upcoming teleseminar is much better than a random URL like http://artbizcoach.com/page398.html.

If you have the power to control your URLs, use it!

3. Use the 1-Stop URLs

Rather than listing your home page in your signature block, why not mention a link to your newest work? “Hot from the studio” is a lot more enticing than “website”!

When you send out an email or a postcard promoting a workshop or exhibit, use the direct link to the event. Don’t ask people to try to find the link for themselves.

Direct people to specific content on your website by grouping relevant events together on landing pages, creating meaningful URLs, and sharing the shortest paths to the information.

I’d love to read about and see your examples of this in motion. Leave a comment!

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10 comments to Direct Traffic to 1-Stop Content Pages

  • I couldn’t agree more! I look at a huge amount of artists websites for my blog and there is nothing more frustrating than being sent to a website, landing on the home page and then having to work out where the pictures or the information you want to see/read might be located. Invariably this also happens in relation to websites which are poorly signposted.

    There also seems to be a group of artists who are trying to work out how few words they can use to help people find their way around a website. It’s not clever.

    The more precise and dedicated the content page and the URL the more likely it is to be read/reviewed. If you want people to look at your content make sure people can actually find it!

    One of the tips I always give to people is to test their website on somebody who has never seen it before. Ask them to find specific images or information – and then see how they do. You can learn a lot about how people look and what sort of cues they need to click links and look further.

  • This is a terrific suggestion that I don’t follow nearly enough. More than that, it also gives suggestions for landing pages that I hadn’t thought of. I already send people to one or two specific pages (and have plans for others) but I hadn’t thought of a “new works” page! What a great idea!

    Of course that’s also going to add to my long list of navigation links but if it helps me then its worth it.

  • You don’t actually need to add every page you make to your top level navigation links. If you do that people often then find it very difficult to see the main headings.

    However at the next level down you can create another table of navigation links to those pages sitting at level 3. AKA that’s what I did when I found I had an awful lot of pages to index! :)

    Site plans are also wonderful things! ;)

    • I did (do) have a site plan. Only it appears my plan did not take into account every contingency. I had in mind the adage that people don’t want to click more than maybe two times to find what they’re looking for. This is really hard to do! It’s also bad to use javascript drop down menus (not to mention annoying to have to keep recoding them). Are you saying, Katherine, that your navigation panel is different at different levels of your site?

      It is beginning to look like I shall have to redesign my navigation, rewrite my templates and rewrite my already existing pages. What a huge project! I’ll have to add it to my list of things to do, but it’s going in the middle not the top (for now).

      • Patricia – what I do is create simple little tables of navigation links at the next level below top menu, then if I need to add in an extra one I just alter the table. Takes me about 30 seconds!

        I wouldn’t both rewriting templates – try tables!

        • Tables? I hear they might be back in vogue with CSS (despite having already been deprecated and “personae non gratis” with the CSS W3 people). I had finally gotten used to CSS and placing everything in divs and now they are letting tables back in?!

          Hm, I guess I could add a div just above the footer for a link table. Might be a little ugly though on my page. Gotta think about how to design this….

  • I love having a “recent work” page on my website, which I update every few days So, even though I post my new work on my blog, people can see it all together in the thumbnails on my Recent Work page.
    A couple of weeks ago when I was talking to my rep in NY he mentioned he was going to give my website to a collector he was meeting with, and I immediately emailed him the link to the Recent Work page, which is where I wanted his client to go first.
    And I really like looking at my newest work all in one place, too…it is a great overview of what I’m doing and helps me think about where I want to go.