You’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is king.”Clichés aside, that’s really the matter. When it comes to website design, high-quality content is the GEAR that drives usability, user flow, and conversions.
You need real and authentic elements to create a connection with the users to engage them. The best designs start with content close to the end product, and designers should be reluctant to work with anything less. But what is the real content anyway? Here’s a guide to get you started.
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The 2 key components
How do you classify content as real? If you put it in design, it’s real, isn’t it? Wrong. There are many websites filled with content that is simply not good. (Yours shouldn’t be one of them.) The actual content has two properties:
- Original: All the content of your website is yours and yours. If you use something from another source – from an image to a quote-it will be associated with that source.
- Valuable: Users get something they want or need from the content. This can be anything from how to make a delicious game to buying a cup of coffee.
Content with authority
In addition, the content must be reliable and credible. Users should look for the information they provide because they consider it an authoritative source on a topic. Users should trust the information-it comes from the content itself and the way it is presented – and not question its validity.
- Exactly: if you are not sure about something, do not include it on your website. An explanation of problem and users can stop trusting them. Accuracy also applies to more than just general statements; check the spelling, links, and UI elements to make sure they are correct.
- Current: good content is common. Consider it a kind of new and apply some of the basic principles of journalism when thinking about what kind of content to use. Ask who, what, why, when, where and how. And answer the questions fully.
- Scannable: although the actual content may be cumbersome and dense, it will not be read. Divide the content into digestible parts with the help of subheads, chips and a common web formatting so that it is digitized and easy to consume for users.
- Imputable: credible information and content comes from a known source. Do not use anonymous publications or unnamed testimonials. Build trust and credibility by mapping information.
The slogan “for brave women who break the mold”is exemplified throughout the design, product selection, and images that connect to social media. The content is different and authentic, it is a topical subject and everything from images to sales messages is scannable.
Using data and facts
The content should have a research and information base. Use data and facts to store your statements or claims to make content more authoritative and real. Josh Puckett said this best in his blog post on Design with data: “If we don’t work with data, we’re wrong about ourselves.”
He then explains how to create and design content that is rooted in data. Although he applies it to certain instances, the idea is quite usable.
When you make a claim or say something, back it up with a little data or facts. Treat the design and creation of content as a kind of scientific experiment. Start with a statement (hypothesis), test it and explain the results with real information.
This process will not only create more credibility with users, but help them develop robust content and information that they can reuse throughout the design.
Stick To What You Know
It is much easier to create original and valuable content if you are an expert in your field. Create content based on your industry and deliver information and information from that perspective.
There are many ways to do this:
- Blogging: share information about what you do
- Providing Testimonials: People like to see that they are part of something that others support; testimonials from important customers or users can generate growth momentum
- Highlight the Awards: Write down important business accreditations, awards, or employees who do things worth evaluating
- Related content sharing: Especially on social media, you can share information related to your industry that you have not created to emphasize your authority in this area more
- Create Voice: Connect your content with users in a cohesive way with a consistent voice and story; the voice must not only be consistent across all content types, but must also match the type of content you are streaming
Content First, Design Then
A good content strategy starts with the content. All too often, creative managers and designers focus on the appearance of something, trying to force their content into this format. This is not a good way to think about a website.
Start with a vision of the content.
How do users access your website? Focus on keywords and research.
- What do you want users to remove from your website? Create a story and save it with images, facts and a branding.
- What do users need to do on your site? Create separate user streams and calls to action that are easy to identify and use.
- What do you want users to feel when they visit your website? The emotional connection can produce the desired conversion. Consider how users feel after performing the planned action; will they feel satisfied or happy at the end of the experience?
Answer these questions and develop content that will make users perform the actions they want.
The actual content is not something you can develop in an hour. But this is part of the history of your company. For new businesses this might be a little harder to develop, but most established companies already have a narrative. Use it to create content for your website.