The Importance of Content Preparation in a Website Project
When developing a new website, it is easy to get carried away with fancy effects, animations, and other visual features. However, it must be noted that the primary purpose of your website’s design is to deliver its most important component: the content. Your website’s content should include all the information necessary to accomplish your defined business goal. Regardless of the action(s) you want your website visitors to take, it’s the content that will make or break the effectiveness of your site. This is why these factors are crucial for the success of your website.
The first step in any website project is to plan out the content of your website. To do this you must first define the main purpose of the site. For example, if you decide to launch a website for your restaurant, the main purpose of the website could be to encourage and easily enable people to make a reservation, and preferably quickly and easily.
Then, you will need to define your audience. The audience for a fancy Italian restaurant could be people looking for an excellent dining experience. Your website must therefore exemplify excellence in its content. Could excellence be accomplished through an informative page about the chef? The history and tradition of the restaurant? A picture menu? These are all pieces that must be defined before building the website, as the amount and type of content will help shape its structure and design.
Writing for your audience goes hand in hand with planning the content for your website. Copying content directly from other company materials and pasting them on your website is ineffective. If you are creating a website to attract customers, you will need a completely different writing style than for example a business plan, which is written primarily for company stakeholders. The language on your website must be easy for your audience to quickly understand what your company can offer them.
Studies show that people read differently on the internet than on paper. People usually quickly skim through pages, rather than reading every word. For this reason it’s important to write skim-friendly content by following these simple tips:
- Include the most important information first, followed by supporting details
- Divide your text into short paragraphs, keeping only one idea per paragraph
- Include headings and subheadings within the text
- Use lists to highlight important information
Another aspect of planning out the content for your website is collecting supporting elements including illustrations, pictures, or videos. Pictures and videos can be added to your site to make your site more visually appealing. Just like the text, pictures and videos must:
- be relevant to your business
- provide value to your customers
They should give the right message to people viewing the website and reinforce whatever the text is stating. We also recommend hiring a professional photographer to take pictures or video for use on your website.
Although we are moving towards a more visual oriented society, it is important to strike a balance between visual media (images, videos etc) and text on your website. Doing this will have a positive impact on your website’s search-engine friendliness, since text is essential to increasing the probability of people finding your website through search engines such as Google. Therefore, the most important information on your site should be written in easily understable text that is accurate and relevant to the context of your business operation and services.
Last but not least, it’s important to plan and implement any content updates. Your site must reflect any changes to your business. For example, if the nightly rates for your hotel have changed, the rates on your website must also be updated. If your restaurant has a new outdoor terrace, you should include new pictures and information on your site stating that you now have outdoor dining options.
Any improvements made to your business, awards received, other achievements etc. should also be presented on your site in a timely manner. We regularly assist our clients with content updates to their sites and it is also important for us to receive clear and sufficient detail as to what needs to be updated. Planning is equally important for updates as it is for the initial website content.
As a footnote it is good to point out that since you are the most knowledgeable person about your company philosophy, services and customers, we encourage you to write your own original content for your website or at least be very actively involved in that process. We also offer website writing services for busy business owners, but you will definitely need to set aside some time speak to whoever is writing the content about the details that would then need to be written. This would be the case for any copywriter you engage for the task.
At CaribMedia we work together with you to create modern, engaging websites that will allow you to accomplish your business goals. For assistance with planning and creating content for your website, please contact us and we will be pleased to assist you!