An intranet only has a finite usage, so it’s crucial that if you’re wanting people to go somewhere they don’t normally go, there’s a strategic need to do so and that you’re still working within their normal behaviour.

In this post I’ll be looking at how you can work to those behaviours to deliver the best sites possible.

Identify what they need and get them to it fast

The goal of an intranet site is to get people to the content they need fast. Don’t distract them or prioritise promises of updates, promotional information or other content. Provide what they need for their BAU first – that’s what they’re looking for, and that’s what will keep them coming back.

Blink and you’ve missed it

You have around 3 seconds to engage people. They’ll look around the page to where they expect content to be. If they don’t find or follow the link you need them to, the content on that link is irrelevant.

This doesn’t mean designs are the solution – well structured content where they expect it to be is much more effective. Designs often distract and take time to look at. If the design isn’t optimised to those 3 seconds, they’ll give up and leave.

Use the most effective means first

Search is often the most effective means of driving traffic to your site. But to use search effectively, your site needs to have a name or keywords that people will look for. This means no gimmicks and jargon names – matter of fact names that reflect the content will have far more traffic.

In the same vein, replicating content on other sites in an effort for additional traffic is a false economy – those sites will have lower levels of traffic than search, and they’ll go to search first.