Especially in the world of Social Media, we put a high priority on getting people to our page. We focus on the interconnection between our social sites and our website. But, often times, we forget to put just as much effort into crafting a user path for our visitors.
Website paths are important for 3 reasons (actually, for many more, but let’s start with 3).
1) It directs the user experience: If your website traffic lands on your entry pages but has no idea what the next step is, you’ll have traffic drop off. Additionally, it’s frustrating for users not to have a logical sequence to the experience they expect. This could be as simple as a product page, check out page, thank you page or as complex as a top down proposition analysis for a political website, starting from broad information to specific bills and legislature pieces.
2) It provides a measurable mark to evaluate page effectiveness: When you examine your analytics, many utilities offer the potential to set up “funnels” or “paths” or some other term along those lines. This is a way for you to watch your website traffic as it moves through your site. You can set up your intended path, see if users are following that and then make changes or continue to drive more traffic to certain entry points within the path. Without a measurement of the path, it’s simply your guess that your website traffic is using the path. Analytics are a simple and measurable way to highlight effectiveness.
3) It makes you think about the strategy and integration of what you’re doing online and not just create nice looking pages: We all love having a beautiful and interactive web page. But the truth is, it is ineffective if we don’t know what our users are doing on the page. Each page, every engagement object, all content should be carefully constructed to guide a user from point A to point B. After all, our website has some reason for existence—we have a purpose behind driving users to our site. We can’t anticipate that purpose is fulfilled by one amazing page (or even 10). We need to integrate communication strategy, digital technology and interaction with our users to ensure our website is providing the value it was intended to give.