In our last post we explored the role of navigation in providing a structure or road map for your website. Sticking with the road map metaphor – content is the destination.
Content is a range of items; text, photos, drawings, charts, graphs, videos, links to other websites, bulleted information, testimonials from customers; the list goes on. To put it simply: content is all the information that will be on your website. Navigation gives your audience access to your content in digestible, purposeful amounts and sequence.
Content is how you communicate with your visitors; how you appeal to them emotionally and express the character of your organization. It is also how you provide sought after information.
Often, we find well designed websites, live on the web, but without substance or content. Our developer, Garry, always stresses that the Web is about information! Without it, the most beautiful designs can be ineffective in delivering a message and converting visitors to new business opportunities.
So many web design firms focus on “look and feel” which is important, but neglect to advise their clients about the value of substantive content. These clients and their visitors are left with a pretty box with nothing of value inside. A website that doesn’t tell a story or deliver a message will not deliver results. Our process ensures that full attention is placed on both design and the creation of compelling content and messaging.
You’ll need to be realistic about the type of web content you’ll be able to develop and maintain. Copy-writing, photography, and videography are each their own medium and have their own professional standards; how you use resources to create new material, or purchase stock photos will have a powerful impact on your end product.
Here are a few starting points:
First, consider using any existing marketing material such as printed marketing materials—brochures, posters, power points,
presentations, videos, or flyers. It’s often not about creating new content but repurposing ideas and messaging . We can help remold existing content and messaging to be web friendly. It might be beneficial to develop this content over a longer timeline, adding elements as you are able to.
Second, it’s not a bad idea to look at your competitors to find ideas you like or things you’d like to do differently.
It’s not about stealing content but about understanding how others approach web-based communication or marketing strategy to find a starting point. Placing your identity in context with your industry will help demonstrate your strengths and unique qualities.
Third, break up long areas of text with sub headlines. This has a two-fold benefit. Search engines like headers and use them to cue their robots about relevant content related to a visitors’ query. For your visitors, it provides a way to scan long pages to find the information they’re looking for. Give your content plenty of line spacing so it isn’t crowded and is visually digestable. Design of content is as important as the content itself.
Finally, visit websites that you enjoy going to—sites you shop at, read for information, or seek out for entertainment.
These websites could have absolutely nothing to do with your business but can lend clues about what feels good to you on the web. Reflect on what draws you to these pages and share with us the tangible and intangible aspects of these sites you find effective in communicating.
In the end, try to develop a comprehensive outline to launch the process of developing your content. Now is a great time to draft questions for your design firm or project manager about developing specific types of content for the web.
If you need help with content writing, Synerge-marketing has both technical and copywriters that can help. We welcome your calls and inquiries.
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