Redesigning Your Website? Put Content First.

March 30, 2015
put content first

Last week, I felt sad for a business owner —it’s someone I don’t know. I noticed that he happily announced its brand new website on LinkedIn. He posted a very nice picture. So I clicked on his link to see the rest. The layout was modern and inviting. But I couldn’t believe what I read. The copy was horrible. I couldn’t have imagined reading something worst than that.

I’m writing this post because I don’t want you to make the same mistake. I used to run a Web design & development studio. We handled the technical side and the user interface side of their web site. When we received their copy and pictures, I was often chocked to see the lack meaningful and compelling content. Each time that happened, it made me sad.

I know that people get excited by the design, the layout and even the customer experience of their website. To tell you the truth, business websites have more or less the same look and feel. They more or less use the same structure. Templates and website builder platforms amplify that situation. To tell you the truth, for many businesses buying a template is enough.

What makes a website unique is its content. It’s how it makes people want to know more, how you communicate from their viewpoints, and how they feel that you can truly help them, that you bring a solution that will work for them.

My advice to invest in your content strategy. Pay close attention to your written and visual message before you do anything else. To give you an idea of the task ahead of you, I’m sharing a series of strategic questions that you should answer before you reimagine the content for your website. Take the time to find out meaningful answers to:

  • What do you want to accomplish with your website?
  • What’s its purpose? Do you need it for brand awareness, to establish you as thought leader, to build credibility in a new market, for lead generation, or for closing sales?
  • Who is your audience? Be specific about who will read it.
  • How do you plan to convince people to get to know you, to like you, to trust you, to ultimately make an inquiry or to buy from you?
  • How do you show people that you understand them, their aspirations, their problem?
  • What do your prospects need to know before they take action?
  • How do your website fit into your marketing mix? How does it enhance, support or complement the rest of your marketing initiatives?
  • What does it say about what you stand for?
  • What does it say about why your business exist and do what you do?
  • What does it say about what people can expect from doing business with you?
  • How do you show your personality?
  • How are you memorable and unique?
  • How do you make sure that your website is not a copycat of your competitors?

The list can go on. If you answer these questions properly, you already have a head start on many businesses. And I doubt that anyone will feel sad for you when they visit your updated website.

Photo credits: Breather. This startup has a network of beautiful city spaces that you can unlock at any time. Breather is an excellent example of what to follow when it comes to content. I love the story they tell on their website, their eye for design and what they do. Breather will inspire you!

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