Why Your Content is Key to a Successful Website Design
'Content is King’ is a phrase often thrown around amongst web designers, developers, marketers, and writers alike. In 1996 Bill Gates wrote an essay titled just that. Twenty-two years later and the same can still be said, to some extent. Why is that the case and how can content be optimised to keep users, and the Google search engine, happy? At Christian Michaels, whether we are creating new websites or revamping an existing one, writing purposeful and engaging content is an essential part of our design process. Here we share why content is the crux to online success and how to make the most of it.
Quality Content for SEO
Search engine optimisation is a crucial component in web design. You may have a beautiful website, but unless it appears on the first pages of the search rankings, you are unlikely to have much traffic driven to your site. A website that is successfully optimised for the search engine will contain quality content that is presented in an easily digestible way – not only for the user, but for the crawling algorithms.
Content that is optimised for search engines will largely come down to keyword integration. Keywords should feel natural in the text and channel the core purpose of the page. Websites with poor content are characterised by an overuse of keywords which makes for clunky and forced sentences. Rather than presenting what your business does, it leaves users feeling frustrated and frankly, ready to abandon your site never to return. A negative user experience is not the only consequence; Google may consider this content as spam potentially penalising your website, pushing it down the page rankings.
Never stop creating content and re-optimising. You may consider writing keyword optimised blogs for your website which can link to relevant service pages and be shared on social media. It is vital that your SEO campaign evolves as your business evolves to ensure the optimum reach and visibility. Keywords will see some change over time, and these need to be updated within the content to remain relevant to users and to Google.
Information – Give the Users What they Want
A user has found your website because they require information about a service or in the case of Ecommerce websites, a product. As is the way of the modern world, your users are multi-taskers. Most will be searching on-the-go and need the information to be easily accessible, relevant, and well-structured. To accommodate this mobility, a knowledgeable web designer will always create a mobile-friendly version of a website.
Content is the key to supplying the user with information. However, is it crucial that this information is not jargon-heavy, long-winded, or without an active human voice behind it. Content should be informative, yes, but also compelling and engaging to stimulate interaction which leads to a consultation or sale. By compartmenting the information into sections with headings and split up by images, you can create a positive user experience.
This information, infused with natural-feeling keywords, should also be used in the image alt titles, Meta-descriptions and Meta tags. It will not only help guide your reader to and around your website, it will also contribute to your SEO.
We may not be 5 years old having a bedtime story told to us by our parents, but human nature tells us that no matter our age, we respond positively and emotionally to story-telling. Content is the ultimate tool to lulling your users into a sense of security and positive user experience. It is also a fantastic opportunity to breathe life into an otherwise emotionless computerised operation.
Existing in a technological world, we people crave human interaction, therefore a website that has a human voice, rather than a cold and entirely unemotional one is far more likely to engage your audience. It also makes you unique amongst competitors. Story-telling with your website content can be thought of as a bridge of communication that takes the user over the river of competitors, and into the pages of your company website. In spite of this rather poetic analogy, it is important not to become overly whimsical or flowery in the content style. Your users probably have somewhere else to be or something else to do. Your content should be clear and focused on what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Content may be king but what is a king without his royal advisors, dresser, butlers, and the rest? Content can only work successfully alongside SEO practices and an engaging web design with images and colour and style and a navigation system; the list goes on. Optimising each of these elements with strong content throughout is invaluable to your website and growing your online presence. If you feel that your website needs an optimisation boost, get in touch for a free consultation.