This best practice article outlines the importance of adhering to the MindTouch site structure.
What makes the MindTouch structure special?
The goal of the MindTouch structure is to provide an effective and efficient navigational experience that mimics the way our brain stores information for your customers and employees. This makes for an intuitive site that promotes self-service, reduces support time, creates product experts and drastically shortens sales cycles. A well planned-out structure that adheres to MindTouch best practices provides the following benefits:
- Increased renewals and upsells. Effective self-service dramatically increases your renewals and upsells by making it easier for your customers and employees to access, navigate and leverage your most valuable content.
- Control over the digital conversation. Adhering to the most up-to-date best practices regarding search engine optimization (SEO) allows you to control the digital conversation surrounding your products/services.
- Brand awareness. An easy-to-follow content structure gives your customers and employees faster access to knowledge, ultimately increasing brand awareness and inevitably increasing profitability.
The MindTouch "knowledge tree" structure
MindTouch offers both a hierarchical structure (expanding downward and outward) and a taxonomical structure (relationship mapping). The hierarchy is used to organize content for navigation, while MindTouch simultaneously builds content relationships, which helps to focus search results.
The term "knowledge tree" is used as a soft analogy to the association between a tree and your site's structure, where the trunk would act as the top of your hierarchy and the branches act as categories and guides that inevitably lead to your leaves, a.k.a. your articles (content).
Building blocks of the MindTouch hierarchy
There are four (4) structural levels to a MindTouch site:
Your success homepage is the top of your hierarchy and consists of a category page. This homepage is the starting point of your navigation and houses your different subordinate information segments (categories).
Categories organize contents for specific divisions such as personas, products, services, languages, etc. Categories can contain other categories and guides. Example: Ford has a Car category, a Truck category and a Van category living on the homepage.
Guides live inside categories and house articles. Guides act& as directories for information on specific subjects such as persona types, product systems, individual services, and specific languages. Guides can only contain articles. Example: Ford has Commercial Trucks, Large Trucks and Small Recreational Trucks in its Truck category.
Articles contained inside guides can be topics, how-tos or references depending on the specific information you want to relate to your readers. Topics are unique in that they can contain subarticles (how-tos or references). Example: Ford has an article titled How to choose the appropriate work truck in their Commercial Trucks guide.
A hierarchy in action
If you can visualize it, you can build it . . . .
The example below of Ford's MindTouch structure depicts the downward and outward structure adhering to four levels of content: Home Page (Category) > Category > Guide > Article. This tree-like structure can have as many branches as your success center needs while MindTouch intuitively connects and links pages as your knowledge tree grows.
Customizing the hierarchy
The structuring system is designed to adapt to your company's content and branding efforts. Although we strongly advise against deviating from the recommended structures as not to compromise your SEO, there is some flexibility in accommodating the individual needs of your knowledge path.