There’s a saying that goes: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But it’s not just about books.
It also applies to websites.
Imagine that Google is your bookshop, and your search results are the spines turned out to face you, to the genre that was your search. You scan your eyes, looking for the right match and you’ll pick up a few and give them a closer inspection. A lot of the time, you’ll be drawn in by a great front cover, or in the case of a website – a great design.
But sometimes, the elaborate ‘cover’ that sucked you in was a trick. You’ve got something that’s great to look at, but not all that great to read. You don’t recommend it to friends. You don’t shout about it on Twitter. You don’t pull it off the shelf to read again. You let it gather dust, while you move on to another book that ticks all of the boxes.
And while I could continue with this book analogy for the entirety of this post, I won’t, because I’m sure you can understand what I’m getting at.
That book could be your website. And it could be you that’s gathering dust on that shelf.
A well-crafted site, with a great design and everything working as it should, is a step forward in the right direction when it comes to gaining traffic, exposure, support and more. Of course you want it to be responsive, adhering to accessibility regulations, and all-singing and all-dancing, but content shouldn’t be a bolt-on, an afterthought, or something that is rushed last-minute.
Your content is ultimately what your users are going to your site for. You can dress it up however you like, but if your message is dull, peppered with errors, and longer than the Yellow Pages, your users are going to lose interest pretty quickly.
Content, as they say, is King, so why is it so often treated as the third in line to the throne?
Writing for content doesn’t just require a copy of Word and the ability to construct sentences. That content should be the very thing that shapes the rest of your site. A confident vision for content from the start, will allow agencies like us to design a much more effective website around what you want to communicate, instead of adding it as a bolt-in at the last minute.
So what should you be thinking about?