Seven unique templates comprise the marketing engine at the heart of lead generation website information architecture. In this article, I’ll explain what these pages are and how to design them to more directly shape your prospect’s experience.
The seven unique templates can be organized into two categories:
1. Positioning Pages
Positioning Pages help prospects understand the intent (why) and structure (how) of your business. Each of your website’s positioning pages should offer prospects a clear, primary action to take. These primary actions will guide prospects forward, eventually putting them in direct contact with you.
There are four types of positioning pages that your lead generation website’s information architecture must include:
- Home Page
- Capabilities Landing Page
- Service Landing Pages
- Case Studies
2. Content Marketing Pages
Content Marketing Pages help prospects better understand the nature of your expertise in a more educational setting. Each of your website’s content marketing pages should also offer prospects a clear, primary action to take. But these primary actions will enable prospects to learn more about you, and you to learn more about them.
There are three types of content marketing pages that your lead generation website’s information architecture must include:
- Content Hub
- Article Pages
- Gated Content
Other Kinds of Pages
There can, of course, be many other types of pages in your lead generation website’s information architecture. Some may also fall under either of these two categories. But these extra pages will have a far less strategic impact on your prospect’s experience.
These pages might include:
- About Us
- Employee Bio Pages
- Portfolio Landing Page
- Contact Us
An “About Us” page, for example, could be considered a positioning page. However, I generally recommend that “About Us” pages be focused on the firm itself — its culture, personnel, history, recruiting, and community initiatives. “What We Do” pages, on the other hand, should be focused on what firms sell. By drawing this distinction, the information a prospect finds on an “About Us” page could influence their decision-making, but it shouldn’t be necessary to it.
The cultural information contained on an “About Us” page is important. But, it’s more likely that it will validate a prospect’s decision by affirming the culture or values you may share with them.
That’s why I have intentionally left these pages out of my lead generation website information architecture recommendations. I am not recommending that you omit them from your site. I just don’t have strong opinions on how they should be designed. These pages should take their cues from how you and your firm express yourself — from your personality — so that when who you are becomes influential in the prospect’s experience, these pages can shine.
The Role of Primary and Secondary Actions in Lead Generation Website Information Architecture
Your positioning pages should be thought of as individual pages with individual primary actions. Each one will carry your prospect forward along an intentional flow toward a final, buyer-stage outcome.
Your content marketing pages should also be thought of as individual pages with individual primary actions. Each one nurtures a prospect using a process called progressive engagement.
But, all content pages also have the potential to graduate researchers to buyers.
Prospects who remain on your website after discovering it for the first time will typically follow a predictable orientation pattern. This pattern of navigation almost always takes them to your home page. From there, a prospect can be redirected toward a more positioning-focused experience.
Together, content marketing pages and positioning pages help attract, inform, and engage prospects. Engagement isn’t just about form submissions. It’s about progressing them through the buying cycle.
This article is the third in a series that will guide you through applying the principles of Prospect Experience Design for yourself.
Next in the series is a guide to designing an effective marketing website home page.