This post is part two of a series on how to quickly upgrade your website. Don’t miss the first two posts below and be sure to download the free workbook that accompanies this series!
Post 1: Upgrade your About Page
Post 2: Upgrade your Navigation Menu (this post)
Post 3: Upgrade Your Home Page
Your website’s main menu and page structure is one of the most critical parts of your website. It helps your customers quickly navigate around your site to find the information they need. Studies show that more than half of visitors leave a website within 15 seconds, we don’t have time to waste!
The words you use for your navigation menu should be concise and intuitive. Try to group your information into a few high-level “buckets” and do your best to not create menus with tons of links or submenus. There is so much love and labor that goes into your business, I know it can be hard to try to fit everything into just a few boxes. But the most important thing is that your website structure is organized and easy to navigate – there are plenty of other ways to pepper in the rest of your story in other areas.
When trying to devise the best navigation structure for your page, it is important to again step into the minds of your customers. Why are they visiting your site? What information will they be looking for? How can you set up your website to best accommodate these needs?
Make a list of potential visitors for your site, and identify those that are your ideal customers (the ones that will pay you :). Then write a list of tasks each visitor might want to complete on your website. After you have a better picture of who will be visiting your site and what they might be looking for, you can identify common needs and themes for your website and see how best to prioritize and organize them using the navigation structure of your site. Of course, you should also consider the main information you would like to convey through your website. If your CSA program or wedding barn rental are your main source of income, you would want those aspects to get their own pages and be prominently featured in your website design.
Here is an example for a Wedding Florist-Farmer who operates a pop-up flower arranging service:
Visitors to My Website
- Curious Locals
- Mothers of Bride/Groom*
- Local Media Outlets
- Potential Employees
What Each Visitor Type is Looking To Do
- View farm location, contact info and hours
- See if they can purchase flowers today
- Read blog posts about organic gardening
- Find out about booking the mobile flower bar (how much it costs and how it works)
- Learn more about seasonal availability of flowers
- View photos of past events
- Read testimonials from previous brides who booked the service
Mothers of Brides/Grooms
- Find out about booking the mobile flower bar for their child’s wedding
- View photos of past events
- Read testimonials from previous brides (and mothers of brides!) who booked the service
Local Media Outlets
- Find contact information to ask you questions for an article
- Read about your farming methods and the farm’s history
From the lists above, I can see that my website should be designed to appeal to brides and their families who might be helping them plan their wedding. It will be important for me to have areas of my website that describe how the mobile flower bar works, how much it costs and how they can get in touch with me to book an appointment. I think it would also be helpful to have an area that describes the flowers we grow and their seasonal availability, and also a place for testimonials and photos from past customers.
My draft navigation menu
– about the farmers/business
– about our fields/how we grow
– how it works, prices, logistics, testimonials
-seasonal availability chart
– contact us form, location, phone, email
– photos of past arrangements and events
– sustainable gardening tips
You can’t please everyone, so keep in mind your priority customers – the ones that will pay for your items! I know that educating the community about sustainability is an important (and admirable!) part of the mission of many farms, so if you have the room in your navigation menu, that can also get its own page, or be included on the about page of your website.
Download the Free Website Upgrade Workbook that accompanies this series!