I know, I know, as a website designer this may seem like a strange thing for me to say but it’s true.
Before I get started with the web design process with clients, I always make sure I have the content ready to go. The reason for this being that your website needs to be built around the content, not the other way round. There are three main reasons for this of which I go into in more detail below.
First up SEO. As I mentioned in my 5 Steps to Kickstart your SEO post, content is THE most important thing when it comes to boosting your SEO ranking. Google looks at the content of a website to see how it should rank depending on its relevancy and authenticity to the subject topic.
I see so many websites that have the most beautiful homepages but there’s no content on them. Your homepage is going to be the most frequently visited page on your website and therefore it should contain information about what you do, who you are and what you offer. This is one of the main reasons why scrolling websites have become so popular in recent times. If your website contains little content then it’s going to be difficult for Google to identify what your website is about when crawling your website.
User Experience is a word that has been cropping up more frequently over the years and there are now entire job roles dedicated to the user experience of a website.
When typing ‘Define User Experience’ into Google, here’s what comes up: User experience is the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use. If a website visitor doesn’t find your website easy to use then they will more than likely click straight back off it again and visit one of your competitors websites instead. This results in a high bounce rate and more importantly, loss of business.
So why does content matter to user experience? No matter how good the design and functionality of a Web site is, if the content is poor, the overall user experience will be disappointing. Visitors come to your website to for information. They want to find out about you, your services and/or products, why they should use you over a competitor offering similar services. They want your your contact details, your opening times, testimonials. This is all content.
Don’t get me wrong, good design is also essential to whether a potential client will contact and book you over a competitor but good design isn’t possible without the content.
After all, from a web designer’s perspective, without content, what are we designing? Without content, how can we make decisions about the necessary functionality and technology to support it?
We all want to attract our ideal clients right? And what better way to do it than with words. People buy from people and you are more likely to stand out over your competitors by making a connection with your ideal client.
Take branding designers for example, it’s no secret that it’s a highly saturated market but that doesn’t mean that we don’t book clients, it just means we have to do things differently and bring our personality to the forefront in order to attract our ideal client. We do this via our website copy.
Use your website content to highlight what makes you different, to highlight why a potential client should choose you over someone else in your industry. Make connections with your website visitors by bringing your personality to the forefront. If you are a mum to three boys or you love cats, then mention it. The likelihood is that you’ll attract other mums with three boys or cat lovers.