What is Content Hierarchy? Everything You Need to Know

  • By Jackie Petre
  • 21 Sep, 2017

Let's talk about your content

We’re all familiar with the concept of saving the best for last. But when it comes to the content on your website, your approach should be the exact opposite. You may not realize it, but the order of your content often determines the rate of conversion your website sees. This concept is known as content hierarchy. Whether you’re a business owner who is creating services pages on your website or you’re just running a personal blog on the Internet, content hierarchy is something that affects the success rate of your web page.

Let’s start at the beginning.

What is Content Hierarchy?

Content hierarchy is an element of content marketing that involves the strategic placement of the order of content on each page, putting the most important information at the top of the page and the least important at the bottom. This is done through all content-related mediums, from website descriptions to marketing emails .

Even this blog is an example of content hierarchy. Notice how we put the most important info—the explanation of what content hierarchy is and why it’s important—at the top of the page, while in-depth info—CTA and visual hierarchy—are farther down, for those who want to learn more than the basics. If readers walk away with one piece of info, this is what we want it to be.

Why is it Important?

Today, it seems like people are losing interest in what they’re reading more quickly than ever, thanks to an overwhelming amount of information available in an instant. In fact, today’s average bounce rate is around 40 percent, and people only stay on pages for about ten seconds. Think about your own Internet habits: you probably read the first few paragraphs before determining whether you want to read on. Or maybe you just scan the subheadings on each section to see if it’s worth your time. This is how most people consume content so you can see why it’s important to put the information you want consumers to read most at the top of the page.

With your content strategically ordered from most to least important, you have a better chance of attracting their attention and possibly getting them to stay on your page longer. And even if consumers are only on your page for a few seconds to read the first several paragraphs—or sentences—they’ll have gotten what they were looking for on your website.

How does Content Hierarchy Affect Conversion?

Content hierarchy is all about the strategic placement of content to grab the attention of readers and get them to stay on your site, consuming more information. You want them to trust that the information they are reading is true and applicable to them, whether they’re reading about a service they’re looking for or just learning about a new subject. If you can keep their attention long enough and gain their trust as a reliable source, you have a better chance of getting them to take action now or come back to you in the future.

Simply put, content hierarchy works to keep people on your page and consuming your information for as long as possible. In the end, hopefully you have provided what they were looking for and have compelled them to buy in to your product or service. This is why content hierarchy is important to a well-converting web page.

How do You Determine Your Content’s Level of Importance?

When you’re deciding what content should go first on your website, ask yourself: if visitors only take away one thing from my site, what do I want them to know?  This will likely be your most important content and should be ranked highest on your page. From there, think about all the information you want to include on this page and rank it from most important to least, while still keeping flow in mind. That is, make sure the content still makes sense in the order you’ve determined.

If you’re finding yourself stuck on determining the order of information, try doing a search for similar subjects. This will show you the types of questions people are asking about your product or service, and will give you valuable insight as to what the most popular topics are. For example, here’s a general outline of content hierarchy for a service page on a business’s website:

  • Establish a connection with the customer by relating the service to a common problem they have.
  • Explain what the service is that’s being offered. What unique features do you provide?
  • Provide an answer to why your service is different than competitors, and what the customer will gain from your service.
  • Answer any additional FAQs .
  • Include a friendly reminder of who you are in a brief business summary .

Of course, don’t forget to include calls-to-action throughout your content as well, for those who don’t make it all the way to the bottom of your page.

Decide on a Call-to-Action

We already touched on why content hierarchy is important to conversions, but how exactly do you work a call-to-action (CTA) into your hierarchy? The first thing to do is decide on the main CTA you want to stress. Do you want people to sign up for a newsletter? Call you to schedule an appointment? Whatever is most important is the CTA you should put at the top of your page, and, most likely, stressed a few more times on the page.

If you only have one CTA you want to focus on, continue to use the same one throughout your page. However, if you have several items you want to highlight, place them in the order of importance and put the less important ones farther down on the page. For example, here is how you could incorporate three different CTAs on a page:

Like your content, CTAs follow the same hierarchical rules, and should always be placed in the order you want action to be taken.

Don’t Forget Visual Hierarchy

Content hierarchy doesn’t just include writing. It also includes the visuals that grab readers’ attentions, from images and videos to logos and notifications. Visuals are a great way to draw attention to the points you want to highlight most, such as your CTA or a graphic that illustrates your main point. On a more technical level, there are scanning patterns and rules you can follow to improve user experience through visual hierarchy , but for the sake of brevity, we won’t get into those.

Have a Game Plan 

Even if you haven’t yet established your content’s hierarchy, it’s something that is probably already affecting the success of your website by either providing exactly what people are looking for or driving them to another result. Next time you publish a page on your website, make sure you have a plan for the hierarchy of your content beforehand. Adjusting the order of a page’s content is an easy fix down the road and is worth playing around with if your page isn’t converting well, but ultimately, it’s better to get it right from the start.

The Science Behind Digital Marketing

By Jackie Petre 19 Jan, 2018

What exactly is a local citation? It’s any listing of your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) on various websites, apps, local business directories and more. Simply put, it’s any online mention of your business’s contact information.

Think of all the places these listings appear online: your website, your social media pages, Yelp, Google, etc. These are all your local citations.

By Jackie Petre 11 Jan, 2018

With the influential role social media plays today, many small businesses are adding social media advertising to their digital marketing strategy. Facebook in particular has grown to offer small businesses more than just an opportunity to socially connect with consumers.

In a recent blog post , we touched on the fact that many successful small businesses are expanding their online presence to include Facebook Ads. The popular social media outlet is now a top platform for paid advertising, allowing business owners to advertise to a highly specific audience. And while there are many benefits to using Facebook as one of your digital marketing strategies, there are certainly a few areas to be mindful of as well.

In this blog post, we’ll cover:

  • The many benefits to using Facebook Ads for your marketing strategy
  • How you’ll see a change in your social return on investment (ROI)
  • A few concerns we want small businesses to be wary of when doing your own Ad campaign

Here’s what you need to know to start a successful Facebook Ads campaign for your small business.

By Jackie Petre 05 Jan, 2018

Most small businesses start with a simple website. You might include basic information about your products and services, contact information and maybe an “about us” page. As your business grows, however, your website probably will, too.

Over the years, we’ve had many small businesses come to us wanting a small website with little content and a small marketing budget. But as those businesses grow and gain more traction, we’ve seen that the vast majority of business owners decide to upgrade their websites and overall online presence to better reflect their growth.

Last year, Locallogy introduced our very own website platform called the Locallogy Rapid Platform . Initially, we saw this as a great opportunity for clients looking to upgrade their websites with a cost-effective service that lets them customize their site. We quickly saw that this was a popular option with small business owners—both current and new clients—who wanted to update their websites without blowing their marketing budgets.

By Jackie Petre 22 Dec, 2017

The recent repeal of net neutrality by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to have everyone up in arms about the future of the internet.

Will consumers have to pay more money for a connection to the internet? Probably .

Will popular streaming services like Netflix increase membership prices to keep up a faster speed? Most likely.

Will finally be forced to pay to use social media? Possibly .

These are all very likely possibilities if the repeal does actually go through. But one of the questions our team at Locallogy has been dealing with is how will the repeal of net neutrality affect the group most of our clients—and ourselves—are part of: small businesses?

Most small businesses today depend on the internet to deliver products or inform clients on services. With that, they also rely on a free and open internet to keep up with larger businesses that could have an advantage if the internet were to become more expensive.

So with the threat of repealed net neutrality, what does this mean for the future of small businesses?

First off, let’s start with what’s happening.

By Jackie Petre 20 Dec, 2017

During a recent local search, one of our digital marketing experts discovered an interesting new feature popping up on listings. It seems that Google has added snippets of business reviews to local pack listings, particularly reviews that include keywords from your search. This doesn’t appear to be a standard feature yet, but one that’s currently in a test phase.

You’ll notice that certain words are bolded in the review, correlating with keywords from the search. The reviews that show up depend directly on what keywords are used in the search query. So, depending on the wording of the search, the reviews that show up for each business will change.

By Jackie Petre 13 Dec, 2017

It’s no secret that planning your business’s finances for the upcoming year isn’t always easy. Digital marketing budgets in particular tend to confuse many business owners who are trying to decide how to spend their money in 2018.

Where should I be spending the most money?

How do I know if I’m spending too much or not enough?

These are common questions we get when it comes to creating a marketing budget. And while not everyone should be spending the exact same amount, we can help you determine how much of your budget should be going to digital marketing strategies, and how to apply what you learned from your 2017 campaigns to your 2018 strategy.

By Jackie Petre 07 Dec, 2017

Keeping up with today’s expanding online services can be difficult. Even more difficult than keeping up with them is figuring out how to use them efficiently, especially when you also have a business to run. From posting regularly on a variety of social media platforms to navigating Dropbox and other cloud-based services, it’s easy for technology to make our lives more complicated than simplified.

But what if you had a system that could create workflows by linking all the software you use on a daily basis and automatically performing the repetitive tasks you hate doing?

Tasks like saving your email attachments to the appropriate Dropbox folder, or creating one single social media post that gets published on all your company’s social media accounts can easily be done on their own. We’ve found a few services that make automating your daily tasks simple and effective, giving you more time to run your business.

By Jackie Petre 29 Nov, 2017

We know that many business owners are skeptical of pay-per-click advertisement (PPC) and might think digital marketing companies are only promoting it to make more money. They know how important organic SEO rankings are and only want to focus on those, since organic rankings are both crucial and free.

The fact is, however, that PPC actually has the potential to help boost your organic rankings.

We are the first to acknowledge the importance of SEO and doing everything you can to show up higher in organic search results. And while PPC doesn’t directly affect the organic ranking of your website, there are indirect ways your organic ranking can benefit from PPC ads.

Here are three ways paid advertising can positively affect your website’s organic search engine rankings.

By Jackie Petre 17 Nov, 2017

If you’ve ever read content on the Internet—a blog, product pages on Amazon, instructions on how to tie a tie—you know that visuals are essential to keeping you on the page.

So as the manager of your website, you realize just how important images are to keeping your visitors engaged and interested in what you have to offer. For product- or service-based businesses in particular, quality images can be the difference in total success or total failure of your site.

But did you know that images can do a lot more for your webpage than just supplement your content?

That’s right. Your images, just like your content, can be optimized for SEO benefits, making them more search-engine friendly. Optimizing your images for SEO benefits will give your page an added boost by including more keywords and giving Google more content to rank in searches.

By Jackie Petre 10 Nov, 2017

Getting customers to leave you reviews is one of the most important marketing strategies you can use. You know it. We know it. Let’s move forward.

Many businesses have reviews all over the Internet, from Yelp to Facebook and everything in between. But what’s the point of having an abundance of solid reviews if potential customers aren’t seeing them at the right time—when they’re on your site looking at your services? We fully believe that all business owners should display their reviews on their website in a way that proves your reviews are legitimate.

Our solution: an online review presenter.

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