Housekeeping: Entrepreneur Encyclopedia Pages
Consistently in the top ten most visited pages (organically) on Entrepreneur.com, our large array of encyclopedia pages needed to quickly inform visitors and capitalize on page visits.
When I was first approached with this project, the main goal was to get ads onto the page and the secondary goal was to improve the organization of information so that visitors can quickly get what they need (most often than not it was an encyclopedia definition). Addressing our goals in order, first I needed to get at least two ads to display above the fold of each definition page.
Before starting anything, I went to the internet in search of how other successful encyclopedia or dictionary-like websites displayed ads to their visitors.
Merriam-webster.com, dictionary.cambridge.org, dictionary.com and urbandictionary.com were all sites that I found to be the best in terms of balancing both their page content and ad placements. A trend in ad placement amongst these sites was to keep the left-hand side of the page empty while using the top and right-hand sides for banner ads. Each definition page had at least two ad placements so it was time to move on to my next goal; make the contents of each definition page give visitors what they came for, definitions.
From a design perspective, the layout of the definition page was relatively simple; make sure the hierarchy started with the searched term followed by its definition, all other information would flow.
Spill Some Knowledge
I tried to work closely with our dev team to understand how the previous definition page was organized in the code. It turned out that the database that organized every encyclopedia term had very specific elements; term name, definition, supplementary information on usage and tags that the term related to. Understanding what went on behind the scenes helped me in the layout process of information and future implementation plans.
One of our future implementations for these pages was to create a term linking script that would scrub the page and link to other term pages that exist in our database. The hypothesis was if a visitor found themselves on the definition page, then they would want to learn another definition if they came across a term they didn’t understand. This would satisfy our goals of increasing ad impressions and helping our visitors easily get the information they need.