Two types businesses in particular can struggle with prioritizing the information on their website:

  • Larger companies with lots of departments.
  • Small businesses with strong emotional attachment to… well… everything.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everything on your site is so important that it needs to be immediately accessible from the very first page. Unfortunately, the two biggest hurdles to that thinking are (1) it’s physically impossible (even in cyberspace), and (2) it’s simply not true. Not everything can—or should—occupy the position above the fold on the homepage. So how do you decide what content gets priority?

What Is Your Bread and Butter?

If your company is particularly diverse, you may need to make some tough decisions on what visitors will see first. Your site will be more user-friendly if it is less cluttered (resist the urge to squeeze everything into a menu just because you can’t make it fit on the page). Nail down your core message and how to represent your “bread and butter” business in the first content your visitors see. You can always direct them progressively to the content they’re needing, but if a busy, complicated, and difficult website greets them, it will drive them away and you’ll lose the opportunity to even address their need.

The core question to ask yourself is, “What content, products or services, and values define my company—and should be the first thing website visitors see?”

What Brings in (or Ought to) the Most Revenue?

Building on the “bread and butter” core message of your company, what products or services bring in the most revenue? Since it’s also possible that revenue isn’t quite aligned yet where it should be, it may be most important to ask yourself what should bring in the most revenue. Alongside your core message (or even as your core message), the products/services intended to drive that revenue may be the content to make it above the fold.

What’s Most Profitable?

The next filter, even of those products or services that bring in the most revenue, is to determine which ones bring the best margins. In some businesses with extensive product lines, some products may generate numerous sales, but if the margins are small, they may not be the most profitable (unless the volume is significantly better than other products). So find the sweet spot among core message, revenue-driving products/services, and profitability. This should make up the first message that customers and prospects see when visiting your website.

The 80/20 rule is pretty common in business—simply put, 80% of your company’s results come from 20% of your customers, products, effort, etc. Obviously, there’s wiggle room in that equation, but the principle is sound, and very helpful for that nagging question of what content gets priority.

There’s no problem with producing and publishing content on your website about everything you do and offer. But it can’t all monopolize prime digital real estate. So look at the 100%… find the 20% that’s most effective in driving 80% of your business. That’s the revenue-driving, most profitable “bread and butter”—give it its due (homepage prominence to greet and win customers), and watch it do the work for you!