With the very fast and frequent changes in Google’s search algorithms doing SEO is not what it used to be. What were cardinal rules for basic SEO a few years ago barely remain effective today for getting your website to the first page of a Google search, much less to the top of the results. Since the rules have changed, how you do SEO should change too.
Flat versus Deep – Choosing Between Website Hierarchies
When it comes to website structure, web pages can be arranged in two ways: in either a flat or a deep hierarchy. Having some sort of system is crucial to organizing content, and arranging them into groups, and then into subgroups, is what’s known as a hierarchy of content. It’s a structure that’s not all too different from what know in organizations, family trees, and even flora and fauna.
So why should you care about content hierarchy?
The manner in which your content is structured can have a major impact on how your website works for users, so it pays to make the right decisions. There are plenty of factors and nuances behind it, so the best way to understand the differences between a flat or deep hierarchy is to give you a bird’s eye view of the structure.
Consider the image below taken from web usability experts the Nielsen Norman Group
On the left side is a flat hierarchy, which as the name describes, is broad and short with 8 categories spread thinly. On the right side is a deep hierarchy, which as you can see, has only 4 categories and 8 subcategories, but cascades down into multiple levels and even more subcategories, giving it a tall and narrow appearance.
Both types of content structures have an equal amount of information, arranged into two different but equally understandable hierarchies. However, a user’s experience when going through these structures will be completely different.
Pros and Cons
The average web user will probably never think of these structures, let alone see it in this kind of visualization. Nonetheless, they will feel it.
Web content is easier to find when it’s not buried under multiple layers of categories, that means deep hierarchies have the short end of the stick.
Likewise, specific categories that don’t overlap against one another are easy to understand, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that flat hierarchies are superior. True, deep hierarchies have tendency to be more generic and confusing due to having fewer categories on each layer.
According to a 2012 study by Econsultancy, social media engagement proved to be the most exciting digital opportunities for marketers during the previous year. The study, which saw 54 percent of respondents—consisting of company marketers and agents—considered social media as the online marketing opportunity they’re most passionate about, rating it ahead of three digital opportunities.
- Mobile optimisation at 38 percent
- Content optimisation at 37 percent
- Conversion rate optimisation at 31 percent
- Brand/viral marketing at 27 percent
- Video marketing at 24 percent
Social Media Considered a Top Priority
Surveyed marketers also noted that for the year 2012, social media marketing would be included in their top three priorities. In fact, social media engagement, along with content optimisation, topped the list at 39 percent. This was followed by:
- Brand/viral marketing at 32 percent
- Mobile optimisation at 29 percent
- Content marketing at 29 percent
Passion Not Translating to Revenue
The same survey however, shows that while social media marketing is a high priority and engaging point of discussion, marketers still can’t figure out how to make it effective when it comes to generating revenue. Among the companies and agencies who participated in the survey, close to half admitted that while social media has added new goals and programs to their marketing schemes, it hasn’t generated much revenue to support new hires.
However, if used correctly, social media can provide a platform for business growth and networking at a convenience. The use of blogs and social networks, for instance, Facebook and Twitter, companies can market a new product or offers directly to their intended market. But, it is imperative that any message sent via social media needs to convey a strong and meaningful message or else it will be seen as ‘junk’ and become irrelevant.
What Will the New Year Hold?
With 2013 upon us, we at Enform believe that the time is ripe for social media to finally become a real income-generating platform for companies looking to expand their online presence. We earlier reported a disparity between the goals of brand marketers and what consumers wanted from brands, and we think the two camps will finally see eye to eye this year.
Have you always wanted to optimise your landing pages for your email campaigns through A/B testing but never got around to doing so due to time, skills and energy constraints?
Enform now has a web app we’ve specifically designed for the purpose of testing, creating and publishing email landing pages as part of our Automailer package. Moreover, we’ve built our program with the ability to provide you with comprehensive reports, giving you relevant information about your test campaign. And if you don’t have the skill to create code and set up the analytics protocols yourself, don’t worry. Enform has seen to it that you get this as part of the package. All you have to do is set an objective, such as collecting email subscribers, and you’re good to go.
Grow your Email Subscriber List
Perhaps the biggest advantage of having optimised pages geared towards your email lists is its ability to make your list grow. A/B testing allows you to determine whether your email subscription pages are working the way you want them to. An optimised landing page allows you to streamline your email marketing campaign, helping produce a higher conversion rate. Moreover, our web app allows you to automatically export email addresses into our main Automailer features.
Create Landing Pages
Enform’s new Automailer web app not only allows you to gain more subscribers, it also helps you create and host landing pages for your email marketing campaigns, whatever your promotion may be. Whether it’s a special, limited-time offer or new service, the choice of how to proceed with your optimised landing pages is up to you.
If you have questions about our new Automailer feature, don’t hesitate to contact the Enform team.