Too many times have I stumbled across a website with lines and lines of unending, boring content structuring without a bit of directive messaging. Like watching episodes I, II and III of Star Wars I’m left lost and confused as to the context. (Refer to Ex. 1)
This isn’t to say that dull content can’t be used to keep the reader wanting more.
That’s where the magic of content hierarchy plays a key role, as it takes a foundation of plain-jane text and turns it into a piece of art. Content must have a flow that is easily followed by readers, especially on smaller screen mobile devices.
Where to start?
I start things off with a basic word document, and from there I begin to break down the text into different functions. Some pages will have many different functions, while others will only have two or three.
For this article I’ll go into the two main functions that I use: header and paragraph.
( i ) A header is a loud statement that pulls the viewers eyes and guides them along the page. From there the user will determine the relevancy of the content being presented. The average viewer spends less than 10 seconds skimming a page for important information.
( ii ) A paragraph is your main body of content that follows a header. This should complement the header, and will only be read if the viewer finds the header to be relevant.
I can’t count how many times I have landed on a website without any kind of direction and ended up leaving the page without even scrolling down. Increasing website interaction and conversion is a product of properly formatted direct content hierarchy. If you want your site to be successful and receive a 50% bounce rate drop, then implement strong content strategy.
It’s important to remember how the reader will view your content, and then plan how you will lay everything out. Always keep the end goal in mind.