Website content: areas that are often neglected or forgotten
In our recent posts, we tried to give useful tips to those who are about to take the first steps towards a new website and don't really know where to start. We considered questions like why it is important to define the role of the website, how to choose the right technology and platform, and how you can keep the costs down by making a very detailed plan.
The current article aims to draw your attention to those bits of content that each website - regardless of its size and topic - should have, but people very often tend to forget about when planning their own.
When you start thinking about the content of your website, certainly, you first make a list of the most important areas of your business and then write a detailed description of each one. That's a great approach and is exactly how it should be done, but please don't stop there. Here is a list of the most common 'forget-me-nots'.
Plan your Homepage
Very often, start-ups forget to plan the homepage properly. The homepage is very crucial as it acts as the most essential "landing page". Its structure is of paramount importance. It has to grab the visitor's attention in just a few seconds and should give a clear overview of your services.
It is a mistake to think that the web designer is responsible for the structure of the homepage: It's only you who can know what you want to highlight about your business and what your strengths are. If you leave this task to the web designer, they will undoubtedly be able to do the job but will present your business according to what they think about your business. And their understanding of your business may be different to yours.
It's the designer's job to turn the detailed information you provide into a visual experience and a - technically - working system, but it's not their job to "figure out" how you wish to communicate your business.
Therefore our best advice for SMEs is to take the time to think about their homepage. If you feel you need help with this, choose someone who can help you with that too.
Go micro - The importance of microcopy
After you have created the main bits of content, think of your micro communication as well. Tiny things like labels on call-to-action buttons, confirmation sentences, placeholder texts in input fields in forms - these all belong here. However unimportant they might seem, they have a rather significant impact on user experience. Ask yourself: "how will visitors see my website?", "is it always clear what they are supposed to do, where they are in a certain process?"
However simple a website may be, it is hardly ever just a static display of information. Bear in mind that the primary aim of websites is to encourage visitors to carry out specific actions (making purchases, filling in forms, reading on, signing up for newsletters etc.). Microcommunication bits are the little fairies that guide them along smoothly.
Take your time and think about call-to-action words, button captions, confirmation messages displayed on the screen and automated emails. Choose your words carefully to be kind, clear and to the point. Write your microcopy so that your website visitors feel well looked after throughout the process and you achieve the result you are after.
Unfortunately, these elements are very often overlooked, although each and every website must have them.
Many business owners either don't think of them at all or consider them as generic content that might be copied from other websites. You should create these documents exactly for your own business and regularly update them when necessary. We know that creating these bits of content might not be as exciting as writing about your products and services where there is some emotional drive, but you need to get these bits done as well. Take a deep breath, grab a nice cup of tea and get them ticked off one by one.
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