‘Content-First’ Site Design Approach
An effective web site relies upon effective market research: Who are your audiences? and, How can my site best serve their needs?
Online marketing really has to be about serving - not being served. People give you a little of their attention in order to learn more of how your product or service can solve or meet their need, issue or problem. While they may not think of it in this way, your preparatory market research can greatly benefit from doing so.
So, after deciding on your site’s purpose (Why have a web site? And also… What are you hoping it will achieve?), exploring who your audiences are, and how to best meet their needs can be an essential ingredient in an effective web site.
Investing time in market research is to take a ‘content-first’ approach, with the discussion of layout and design, of image selection and photo galleries following.
Four key aspects of effective site design are:
- Market research;
- Content research;
- Content creation & collation; and then…
- Web site functionality.
Look at each of these in more detail…
1. Market Research
Consider the market space in which the business operates:
- What are you offering - and what outcomes are you really offering people? (As in, what problem do you solve?)
- Who are your actual competitors (not just those offering the same service as you)?
- What do they offer your customers - how do they position themselves?
- Crucially: Who is your audience? (Likely to be more than you think).
2. Content Research
Consider the nature and scope of content involved:
- What do people expect of a web site in your industry or segment?
- What words, terms, phrases are people likely to relate to?
- And what will be ‘top of mind’ when they enter a search on their device?
- What terms are the competitors targeting in their non-paid ‘organic’ search results?
- What terms are the competitors advertising against in their paid search ad campaigns?
- What is your primary target demographic/culture/customer profile?
- How can you best convince them to engage with your business?
3. Content Creation & Collation
Consider content sourcing:
- Decide on your text content - And who is tasked with collating this?
- Decide on your corporate branding, style, colours, ‘flavour’
- Source graphics - highest quality and suitable when resized for device screens;
- Source photos - licensed stock photos, professional photo shoot, or in-house?
4. Web site Functionality
Consider the site from a functional and operational perspective:
- What will and won’t the site do?
- Where does the site fit in your overall marketing strategy?
- Does the site need to integrate with existing office or online booking software?
- What amount of detail do you list your product/service?
- Why should people bother visiting the site? Their motivation? Their return on their time?
- What’s the call to action?
- What, if any, pre-qualification of leads is desired - filtering out those who are not in your target market?
There can be many aspects to consider. And these are best discussed in-person with key business stake-holders.
IDO’s Graeme Morris can assist you by informing and facilitating such a discussion as part of a ‘content-first’ site design approach