Last updated on March 5, 2019
An idea can come within a split-second or developed over time. But any idea is only as good as how well it can be presented. Studies on preferences, test groups, several QA sessions and even more revisions are often necessary to get everything just right.
Not to advocate judging a book by its cover, but the reality is that with so many sources of stimuli all around a viewer, it’s easy to get distracted. That’s why so much money is invested on how to best present specific content. Any idea suffers greatly from the lack of interest.
Creating compelling content for websites is imperative because it influences website traffic on search engines and relevant impression on page visitors. A lot of business owners assume that a visually appealing website can already go a long way for their brand.
What they don’t realize is that the visual impact is not enough to maintain interest from site visitors.
Content that represents what a business’ services tend to gain more relevant appeal from audiences. For the purpose of this article, “content” will be referred to in a broad sense; front end content like text, images, video and/or audio plus back end content like the metadata required for SEO. “Web Design” in this discussion will be color schemes, layout, compatibility and navigation.
Content has been the reigning king of the internet for the simple fact that people have an inborn curiosity that refuses to be satisfied (and is easily distracted). That’s how a person starts off researching on free web templates online to suddenly learning about skeuomorphism only to find himself watching videos of nematodes coming out of spiders and praying mantises (or researching on what the plural of “mantis” really is – mantes??).
Web design, and in fact all designs, compliment content mainly by making sure a person’s curiosity (or potential customer/user) does not end up losing to distraction. A great design aims to create a sense of focus and presence that minimizes a site’s bounce rate.
Good and effective website content provides an excellent first impression on the site visitors, making them want to learn more about a business and the services it offers.
It is not skewed towards a one-dimensional output—good content but with an outdated design or an excellent web layout with little to no relevant information about the brand it represents.
Here is a checklist of the characteristics that help determine what a well-crafted website must be like:
Web design and content should work fluidly together in what can be called the “perfect form”; the end result does not overload the senses nor underwhelm the viewer. It’s all about finding the middle ground which at times would mean sacrificing some design elements in favor of the content and vice versa.
The middle ground of course has its limits, there are some features and elements that cannot be sacrificed or overlooked like the ease of navigation, SEO compliance, responsive design and cross-browser compatibility. This is a matter of effective content and functional web design.
Below are some of the most helpful tips and steps on how website content and design can be merged to deliver a cohesive final output that will both appeal to site visitors and adhere to search engines guidelines.
Auditing a web content means checking whether previously created and published content has successfully resounded well to target audiences or captured the essence of the brand it represents. It likewise involves keeping track of the performance of each content to determine which need rewriting from those that are effectively generating higher traffic.
By actively putting in order the details in a website, the brand stays relevant among its competitors and generating new ideas for content becomes more in-tune with what speaks well to the business as well as to the customers.
Knowing the population or group of individuals being targeted by a website contributes to producing well-thought-of design and content. A business or website with a younger target audience would have to incorporate a touch of fresh and contemporary elements to the design, along with getting familiarized with specific terminologies that reflect the culture of today’s youth.
On the other hand, websites whose audience is comprised of individuals belonging to the business sector or the older age bracket would focus on developing a clean, elegant design and a simplified content.
Variety of content helps maximize a website’s function and usefulness. By not limiting content to a single type or form, a wider audience can then be reached. Blogs, infographics, video content, case studies, reviews, landing page content, product information, e-books, and FAQs each have a specific purpose and approach to disseminating information to people.
It is therefore vital to leverage the advantage of each assortment of content into an effective extension of a business’ digital marketing efforts.
Although creating compelling and relevant content is an essential component of outstanding web content, that alone won’t make the cut in the long run. The performance and success of a website’s design and content can be tracked through checking site performance.
Website performance can be measured through audience reach or site traffic. Determine what pages and designs get the most visits as well as what parts of the website get the most frequent bounce rates.
Doing so helps generate a well-crafted content design plan.
Content schedules are useful in mapping out different types of content that will be used for the website. It aids business owners in choosing what product, topic, trend or service to focus on first. Based on the desired contents that need to be produced, a schedule can be drafted and constantly enhanced as more topics and new goals branch out in the future.
This will enable a clearer perspective on how content can be developed and improved to complement the website’s overall design and adhere to what the audience demands.
Responsive designs are able to adapt to any device that the website is being viewed on. That being said, the quality of the pages, the overall design and the structure of the content are not affected when the website is browsed using different devices.
Not only does a responsive website initiate better end-user experience, it also serves as a manifestation of how a well-coordinated web content and design can do wonders for a brand.
Content sharing on social media is one of the most prevalent methods people use to exchange and gain knowledge and ideas. Providing readers and site visitors the option to share an article, infographic or multimedia content found on a website boosts the site’s exposure, attracts higher referrals and ultimately pushes for audience retention.
Design and content are similar to two puzzle pieces, in such a way that when both are carefully matched and connected, a beautiful and more meaningful image (in this case, a website), is created. All-in-all, creating the “perfect form” is a mix of balanced content and design with full consideration of user/consumer preferences.
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