There was a time when websites were nothing more than online brochures. Pages and pages of content with one photo on the homepage. Paragraphs of text that linked to more paragraphs of text. So many words that a navigation bar on the top AND one on the side was necessary.
On the other end of the spectrum, some clients understand that their audience isn’t interested in reading much of anything and want photos to lead their content … lots and lots of photos. Photos of their building, photos of their trucks, photos of photos. In this case, some run the risk of not including enough written content.
Today, creative agencies such as Gaslight are redefining the website design process. Gone are the days of plopping in client-provided copy the day before the site launches. Today, the content drives the design, not the other way around.
For example, the site we created for Third Street Brewhouse shows how a lot of information can be concisely organized and presented in a visual way.
But what if your company is embarking on a website redesign, how do you know what to include and what not to include? How do you know how much content is enough content?
In my experience, it’s not quantity, it’s quality. It’s not the amount of content you have, it’s the quality of content that really matters. See a successful example here where we partnered with Criveller Group to provide strong visuals paired with key website content.
Here are few questions to discuss internally that can help shape the content for your website. Your agency will help you carry through a customized strategy from here. [Helpful Hint: Getting management’s buy-in on these answers will save you potential headaches later.]
7 Website Content Questions to Consider
1. What are the goals of our website?
Would you like to sell products, attract potential customers, be a resource for current customers and vendors … or?
2. Who are we speaking to?
Who is most likely to visit our site? i.e., existing customers, potential customers, employees, vendors, etc. [Helpful Hint: You’ll probably have more than one].
3. What information are these audiences seeking?
Survey staff to discover what questions are most asked and consider adding this to your site. Make a priority of list and strive to include enough information for them to act, not all the information.
4. How do we want site visitors to contact us?
Your site should lead them on a journey to do just that. Do you want them to email? Call? Would it be helpful for them to complete a form to give your staff insight as to their reason for contact.
5. What can we include on our site geared for specific audiences?
Remember, not everything on your site needs to be accessible to everyone. Consider back-end functions such as password-protected portals for customers to see their orders, vendors to request information or employees to access human resource documents.
6. What information will help communicate our company culture?
Include information and visuals about your company participating in community events, volunteering, and industry associations. Website visitors still like to read about people, so make sure you include photos of your staff. At the end of the day, you are asking potential customers to have a relationship with you, and they want to know “who” you are.
7. How can we show examples of our work / Build trust with our audience(s)?
In addition to writing about the work you do, it’s a good strategy to show it. This can be tricky for some service industries, and in these cases, I recommend including customer testimonials. Be creative!