The importance of content strategy for your website
For all too long websites were designed and developed solely around what looked "good" and little thought was given to anything beyond the design. For a time this didn't seem to matter to anyone, the .com years were still young and Internet accessibility to the average person browsing the net at home was still largely limited.
When this started to change however, people began talking about User Experience (UX) and functionality and how sites needed to be created around what actions people performed when they came to the site, what actions a company wanted a user to perform, and how they achieved this.
From this, content strategy developed as a core discipline of UX, with a focus on creating website content and considering the users' needs before any design is started. It certainly hasn't happened overnight, but clients are beginning to understand why content strategy is so important, how it fits in with web development and design and why it's vital that it forms part of the initial development process.
It goes without saying that the type of content you produce directly influences the reputation and success of your website and brand, which is why it's hard to believe that many companies still consider content to be a mere afterthought. After all, if you're not offering information that your clients are looking for, then they will simply go elsewhere to find it.
Content really does form the core of any website and it's vital that you develop a content strategy that is engaging and attracts the right audience. It will also help you to identify key themes; facilitate discussion between key stakeholders; drive meta data creation and assignment; enhance search engine rankings; give life to your brand and build customer trust. As an added plus, it has been shown that a focus on content strategy can help to complete a project in up to 25% less time than a project that is design centred.
When it comes to e-commerce sites, sound content strategy, partly in the form of descriptive and informative product information, can do much to influence a user's purchasing decision. In addition to this, it's important for an e-commerce site to make use of user generated content, such as product reviews, comments and feedback, which not only improves user experience and gives users the confidence to make a purchase, but also helps establish a site as being content rich and search engine friendly. Achieving the desired effect with your copy however, means ensuring that you get the right tone, register and style that will appeal to your target audience. It's a very fine balance though and often a task best left to professional copywriters.
If you're about to start developing or redesigning your website or online store then contact Lima Bean to find out more about how we can assist.