Structuring Content Within A Site In Sitecore
Recently, in a discussion with the team regarding how to structure content in Sitecore brought up some very interesting theories which I thought would be useful to share.
So, my theory was that enterprise content should be grouped reflecting the business structure, as I discuss it here) and taking it one step further, using the same logic to structure content within a site. But this idea was promptly met with rejection. The counter theory offered was that the content should actually follow navigation paths used by visiting user personas. This immediately brought to light a rather large assumption:
Do we assume that the content tree structure in Sitecore dictates the navigation paths for end users?
The answer is, not necessarily. In my view, the minimum requirement should be to facilitate logical grouping of content that always avoids content duplication.
I think there are two primary ways of implementing navigation paths:
- Create navigation components such as Primary Nav and Left Rail Nav, which offer explicit suggestion to the user regarding how the business assumes the user should navigate the site.
- Navigation using call to actions, which is rather implicit using right rail promos or other promo components giving the user a choice every step of the way.
Creating a well-structured content tree defined by the business that reflects explicit (suggested) navigation paths does makes it easy to facilitate that type of navigation via presentation components but more importantly, it offers more meaningful deep links for SEO. But it certainly does not mean that you cannot have more than one way to reach a content item.
In case you are thinking of using aliases please read John West’s in his blog before you make that decision.
I think the best way forward is to have a good balance of explicit and implicit navigation paths. Let the business decide what they suggest should be the navigation path for content and structure the content accordingly but let the marketing folks come up with personalization and call to actions/promos by authoring content that creates implicit navigation paths for personas. Do let me know what you think and what has served you the best.
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