Is web content more important than design?

Posted on June 6, 2017

 

There are websites that look stunning but attract few visitors because the quality of their content is poor.

Content is king

There is a well-known saying that “content is king” and there is a lot of truth in this. Yes, visitors are attracted by great looking websites and appreciate a good user interface, but this is not the reason that they come to a website. Many websites are found using search engines. These sites are suggested as people enter keywords because they want answers to a query, or are looking for information and advice. If an all singing, all dancing interactive animated website does not provide the answers they need, then they are unlikely to stay.

No matter how well designed your website is, if it does not provide interesting, quality and thoughtful content, then it is not effective.

Textual content

There are two types of content, text and media. Media includes videos, images, animation and sound.

The best textual content is written especially for the web and not just cut and pasted from a company’s other marketing materials or press releases. A company brochure does not need to be concerned with keywords, but web content should. Web content is different from printed content in that it should contain links, both internal ones and those to external sources.

The content of brochures and press adverts is often localised content, whereas web pages can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Local content can presume that readers have knowledge of local culture and geography, but web content read by a worldwide audience cannot presume that readers are familiar with the local context.

Printed content may need to be occasionally updated, but your website should be regularly updated with fresh and unique content to keep the site ranked high in the search engines.

Textual content should be written to be shared via social media. Although readers may be interested in content about the opening times of a business, its location and what it sells; content that is shared should be more interesting and engaging.

Media content

Many designers love animation. When Flash technology was young, many designers created beautiful looking animated home pages. On less than high speed broadband connections they could take ages to load, causing many visitors to leave the site because of the long loading times. Animation, if used, should be done in moderation and needs to be quick to load.

Images should be optimized so that they too load fast and any sound should not start automatically because that annoys many visitors.

Video content is welcomed by most visitors, but should be in a format that can easily be displayed on all browsers and operating systems. Visitors greeted with the “flash plug in not enabled” message will not be pleased if they want to view your video.

The visual look of a website is important, but if your site does not also contain quality content, then the prettiest site in the world will not keep visitors’ attention and your company will lose potential customers.

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