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Resource pages should exist to help buyers buy, or users help themselves.
They can also be a boon to SEO efforts if done correctly.
Why else would we put these resources on our websites?
The truth is, however, resource sections are often an afterthought. Over time, they can become the junk drawer of our websites.
By defining our objectives and understanding what we can accomplish with resource sections, we can structure the best resource page possible.
So what can we do with resource pages?
There are really three objectives we can accomplish with resources pages or resource sections on our website:
Obviously the first two are most important as they move the business forward. The third is simply a reality you need to deal with as you decide how to organize all the content.
Keeping these objectives in mind, we can craft resource pages that can smooth and accelerate the buyer’s journey and also advance our SEO efforts.
Helping Buyers Buy
Resources pages help buyers buy because, done well, they can make your site easier to navigate and highlight your most impactful assets.
Resource pages can also benefit SEO tremendously when structured correctly, but they rarely are.
With a well thought through and organized resource page, you can even gain insights into where your efforts are going, what works, and what isn’t working well enough.
Many websites have a “resources” section on their site, usually in the top-level navigation. So, what actually is a resource page? It could be the category page of the resource section, or its own section altogether.
For most businesses, resource pages and resource sections can be considered one and the same, or we will at least refer to them interchangeably as such.
Some sites opt to use a simple drop-down menu as a resource section to make navigation as easy as possible. This can be helpful if a user is looking for a specific type of resource, but not so great if they want specific information. We’ll discuss this more later on.
Miro doesn’t technically have a resources page, but the drop-down essentially functions as one. It is like a collection of content hubs. It’s a mix of content types and themes/topics
When we often say “resource page”, we are basically referring to a collection of resources. These can be “collected” in a number of ways; on a single page, or commonly in a drop-down in the top level navigation, which may or not include a single page.
Resource pages are no good if they aren’t actually seen and used, so it’s imperative to house them highly in your navigation.
Resource pages should be considered higher in the navigational hierarchy than even such valuable assets as content hubs and pillar pages. This is because those assets can be included in the resource page, and linked out appropriately, due to the resource page’s broader and more holistic intent.
A resource page or site section is an ideal place to organize your SEO content hubs and Pillar Pages and bring them into the top-level navigation
Having a “resources” section in the website’s main navigation, as well as a link in the footer, is advised to maximize the effectiveness of your resource page through heightened visibility.
If your high-value assets and information are only a few clicks away, your users are more likely to engage with them and explore your website. This is better for Google’s crawler as well.
If you’ve read our piece on SEO content hubs already, you may be wondering what the difference is between them and resource pages. Both are a collection of assets meant to be easily found and shared, with an emphasis on both SEO and user experience.
The truth is that there is a fair bit of overlap between the two, but the differences are critical:
For one thing, resource pages are much more holistically inclusive, seeking to capture all the sales and marketing or support information that your business has available.
Content hubs tend to deal with just one large topic that is core to the business.
The other major difference is that resource pages tend to gather all manner of asset types, while SEO content hubs typically deal in written and long-form content only.
This makes resource pages much more generally accessible, as the option of engaging with videos, podcasts, slide presentations, etc. offers much more than just a catalog of articles.
As mentioned above, resource pages tend to be organized by content type on most websites. That means gathering assets like blogs, listicles, podcasts, webinars, brochures, and more.
While this might be easier for the website developer because it’s easier to put things in the right categories, it does little to nothing to help visitors looking for specific information, and the same can be said about search engines crawling the site.
This is a huge missed opportunity.
Users don’t decide a preferred type of medium and then choose the actual knowledge they want to gain, so why would you build out your navigation that way?
It’d be like organizing a car lot by color, rather than by important and informative qualities like make and model.
The alternative to organizing resource pages by content type is organizing them by topic.
Essentially, this method is a gathering of content hubs within a resource page. This would allow users to find the exact information that they are looking for, and then they can engage with it in the manner of their choosing.
It’s a fairly new style of thought to structure resource pages this way, but the benefits to your users will also be appreciated by search engines, as the topic-based organization will be much easier for search engines to make sense of and sift through.
On top of that, most users don’t care at all what type of content they engage with, only that it provides the answers or solutions they are seeking.
Content Camel wanted to target people searching for how to access, organize, and share their Google Drives, so they made a topical content hub collecting all their pillar pages, and linked it in their resources section.
To make the best possible resource pages, it’s important to get into the minds of your users and understand their intent and desire for being on your site in the first place.
To do this, the two biggest questions in your mind should be WHAT and HOW, in relation to information.
This will vary drastically depending on your industry, but in general; WHAT refers to the actual content that users engage with on your site, and the information gained within. This is the topic-based side of the resource page.
Complementing this, is the HOW; this refers to the form of media that users wish to engage with, and coincides with type-based organization.
It can be difficult, and even feel counterintuitive, to avoid linking to the media types like:
Many will use this as an argument to avoid topic-based resource pages and miss a huge SEO and UX opportunity.
Because here’s the real trick; you can do both!
Podia combined both topical and type-based organization in their resource section, to get the best out of both approaches
Organizing resource pages based on the type of information can go hand-in-hand with offering certain media types, and this is recommended in order to have the most impact.
There are a lot of ways to do this; such as organizing the types and topics beside each other within the same page or menu, breaking down topical information into types of media as a sub-category, and more.
However you do it, remember that the priority is topical information organization, as this will provide the largest boost to your page, and type-based organization is better as an enhancement than a standalone approach.
Of course, a huge part of crafting your resource pages is the gathering of those resources. You’ll want to include your very best converting pieces, as well as any other assets that can provide crucial information about either the business, industry, or specific product/service.
These pieces, already strong on their own, can be further enhanced through internal linking between one another, creating an infrastructure of top-performing and highly relevant content pieces on your site.
One of the major benefits of resource pages is the variety of materials presented, be sure to include as many different types of media as possible, to provide as many engagement options as possible to all prospects.
One of the hidden advantages of developing a great resource page is the sales content audit that you need to perform to gather the relevant sales materials.
On top of creating or updating your repository of materials, performing regular audits will also provide insights into your workflows and content. When collecting and categorizing assets, you’ll have the opportunity to see where the majority of your content efforts are focused, where they are lacking, and where they may need to be cut off altogether.
Performing regular content audits will ensure that you are always leading with your best foot (and assets) forward when engaging with prospects.
Check out the Content Audit Template to get started!
As part of your content audit, you’ll need to appraise and grade your assets. There are a lot of factors when grading sales materials, and while they aren’t all equally weighted, they are all worth consideration.
Content can be graded on how well it converts, how it pairs with other assets, and how frequently your sellers use it. You can use sales surveys and a sales enablement tool to measure this.
Obviously, performance and conversions are a major metric for grading content. Pieces that regularly convert or are shown to accelerate your sales process should be placed prominently on the page, and given the opportunity to do even better. Negative impressions are also helpful to account for, as they can give insights into which strategies are weaker or failing to capture your prospect’s interest.
You’ll want to determine the readability of the piece itself, as a page of gish-gallop is no good to anyone, even if you cram it full of keywords and links. Your resources are no good if no one is actually using them.
Features like design and graphics can be helpful boosters for assets, as they provide more on-page liveliness, and usually help to visualize complex ideas or data.
Other technical considerations include average time-on-page, shares, keyword usage, backlinks, and SERP ranking.
Remember, SEO-focused resource pages are trying to rank for search engine crawlers, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore human readers!
Resource pages are a great way to get your top-performing sales content into a high-visibility position on your site.
Presenting content by the topics your users care about in your navigation will allow users to quickly and easily find the answers they’re looking for.
Furthermore, presenting content by topic is a key SEO strategy that will help Google understand what your site is about and help you rank for the keywords in your category.
And resource pages can handle all kinds of different media. This can include written materials, as well as videos, webinars, podcasts, and more.
Remember, a resource page is all about helping buyers buy, so organizing by Topic and Type provides the most benefit to users. This will not only provide the right information but present it in a way that is easy to understand and navigate.
Resource pages can also be great one to one sales assets.
Well-structured and thoroughly filled resource pages can be perfect for sharing with prospects, as they serve as a one-stop resource for potential buyers.
Content camel has a great resource page tool for salespeople to create custom buyer experiences for sales.
Get the most out of your content and deliver trackable results
Content Camel is a sales enablement tool used for sales content management. High-growth sales teams use our system to quickly find and share the right content for each specific sales situation and measure content use and effectiveness.