Website content - useful tips

Content is often a common stumbling block in the completion of a new website. Here are some tips and things to consider when compiling or planning your website content.

Think about your brand

If your new website is too far detached from your existing brand values, then you'll be giving out mixed messages.

Tip: If you have a new brand - get the brand values (logo, colours, key messages, typefaces etc) aligned before you commission your website.

 

Your core messages

Think about people visiting your website and how quickly you may need to engage them.

TIP: Write down your core message in:
1 sentence, 1 paragraph & a complete description.

Your home page is where most visitors will gain confidence - 
confidence about what you offer and confidence that you are offering something they want, so..

  • Keep the message simple and clear.
  • Have an appealing visual content (see below)
  • Have a clear 'call to action' (see below).

 

Visual content

You will need visual content, regardless of your subject.
Sometimes this is obvious - if you're selling products, for example. But if you're selling a none visual service such as legal services or consultancy, then you may need to consider some professional, creative advice - be this from your web designer, graphic designer or a photographer.

Visual interest can be in the form of photography, illustration, typography or colour.

Stock Photography - there are many stock photo libraries that offer competitively priced photos for sale. This is a very common solution, should you have no original images.

Advantages

  • Simple to source (select, pay, download).
  • Cost effective - prices from as little as £5.
  • Professional quality, without the profrssional fees.

Disadvantages

  • Unless you are willing to pay much higher fees, you won't have exclusive right to the photos.
  • It can be very time consuming finding appropriate images or images that make you stand out.
TIPS when using stock photo libraries:
Don't be obvious or clichéd. The more original your thinking, the less likely it will look like a stock image or an already familiar image.
If the image is a really important part of your site - increase your budget. This will open more options.

 

Calls to Action

Once you have gained the confidence of your visitors, what do you want them to do?

  • Get in touch?
  • Buy something?
  • Join your mailing list?
  • Become informed?

Make this process easy for your visitors, guide them to do what you want them to do.

TIPS: Use clear buttons or links.
Make information easy to find.
Make the 'journey' around your site easy to follow by including back links or links to/from related pages.

 

Help Google to find you

This is not intended to cover how SEO works but it is intended to cover the basic dos and don'ts with your content.

  • Use clear titles & sub-tiles.
  • Give every image an appropriate file name and description
  • If you have time, use a blog - this is indexed, dated content that the likes of Google love.
  • Don't repeat content (verbatim).
  • Get inbound links to your site from appropriate websites.
  • Create outbound links to appropriate websites.
  • Don't 'word dump' key words (an old trick that google got wise to and will now penalise you for).